Windows Mobile 5 and BlackBerry E-mail Solution Comparison for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Service Pack 2, or later, users Compiled by the Consulting Services Team December 11, 2006 This is a pretty thick document for being a simple comparison of two e-mail solutions. The fact of the matter is, this is not a simple comparison. A single page feature grid just can’t tell the story of the similarities and the differences between the BlackBerry and Windows Mobile e-mail solutions. To fully appreciate each solution, you will need to understand the comparison presented here. By the end of the document, you should recognize that both solutions have their strengths and weaknesses, and that both solutions are great solutions for right customers. This comparison is based on the assumption that the customer has already deployed Microsoft Exchange 2003, Service Pack 2. This is required in order for Windows Mobile 5 to perform as it is outlined in the comparisons. For the sake of comparison; Exchange will always refer to Exchange 2003, Service Pack 2, Windows Mobile will always refer to Windows Mobile 5, BlackBerry will always refer to a handheld with 4.0 or later operating system. BlackBerry Enterprise Server, or BES, will always refer to BES 4.0 or later. SERVER ENVIRONMENT Windows Mobile 5 If the customer has already deployed Microsoft Exchange 2003, Service Pack 2, no additional hardware or software is required in the server environment. This means that there will be no expenses for an additional server, server software, solution software, or installation services. This does not mean that there are no server side costs to the Windows Mobile 5 solution. If the company out-sources its server support, there is a chance that they may need to pay someone to configure the server properly for this solution. And, while this solution is part of the overall Microsoft Exchange environment, adding functionality to the system can lead to additional costs of maintaining and administering the added functionality. The truth is that this impact will be dependent on the size of the deployment. Adding a lot of wireless users will require more administration than adding just a few. Windows Mobile provides tools for creating and editing Word, Excel, text, graphics and audio files. These files can be received or sent as an e-mail attachment. You can actually send or receive any file format, even if you can’t view or edit it. BlackBerry The BlackBerry solution requires that the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) be installed on a separate server from the Exchange server. While some customers will need to purchase an additional server and server software, others will be able to install the BES on one of their existing servers (Terminal Services, file server, SQL server, etc.). It is important to recognize that a new server and the BES software are going to require some learning curve as well as ongoing administrative resources. While the investment in hardware, software and administrative resources can be significant, the security and control capabilities of the BES often justify the expense. It should also be noted that there are BES flavors for Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise environments as well. This is an important factor for customers who may have already deployed one of these e-mail solutions. Through the sake of this comparison we will restrict our focus to the Microsoft Exchange 2003, SP2 environment. BlackBerries can view several attachment types, but cannot edit attachments or create attachments for sending. Summary If the customer has deployed Microsoft Exchange 2003, Service Pack 2, they can save a lot of money by going with a Windows Mobile 5 solution. They will also have a lot better e-mail attachment experience. If the customer has deployed Lotus Domino or Novell GroupWise, they should consider a BlackBerry solution first. The customer should also consider the BlackBerry solution first if security is more than just a passing concern. SECURITY Windows Mobile 5 By default, Windows Mobile 5, in conjunction with the Exchange Server, uses Username and Password credentials for access authentication. These measures can be strengthened with root certificates that not only authenticate the user’s access to Exchange, but are also applied to each and every message transferred between the handheld and the server. Microsoft uses SSL encryption to protect all content being transferred between the handheld and the server. The Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) adds the option of S/MIME support. This brings a popular feature of desktop e-mail security to the handheld. Microsoft offers several methods to protect information that resides on the handheld. Users can set password protection on the handheld that will require the user to enter a password when they want to access programs and information. The MSFP gives Exchange administrators the power to wirelessly manage handheld passwords as well as several other IT policies. Exchange administrators will also have the power to “remote wipe” the handheld if the user reports it lost or stolen. BlackBerry Security is the hallmark of the BlackBerry solution. Where Microsoft transports your important information in an armored car with armed guards, Research In Motion transports your information in a tank, escorted by the Army’s First Armored Division. Both security solutions will be more than adequate for most customers. Where security is more than just a concern, but a deciding factor, the following BlackBerry information should be considered. Where Microsoft uses Username and Password credentials to authenticate a user, RIM uses a secure key and handheld PIN number for authentication. Like Windows Mobile, the BlackBerry will also allow for root certificates to strengthen its authentication. Where Microsoft uses 128 bit SSL encryption to secure your information between the handheld and the server, RIM uses either 164 bit 3DES for older handhelds or 256 bit AES for newer handhelds. RIM also supports S/MIME security for enterprises that require it. The BlackBerry can be password protected, just like a Windows Mobile handheld, but the most recent BlackBerries can also encrypt the information as it sits on your handheld. The biggest differentiator between the BlackBerry and Windows Mobile security solution lies in the control placed in the administrator’s hands. BES administrators are not only able to wipe the information off of the handheld, they can also remove the operating system. This means that even though the information is wiped from a Windows Mobile handheld, the handheld is still as usable as if the thief took it off of the store shelf. The BlackBerry solution gives administrators the tools to render the handheld completely useless to anyone who may recover it. BES administrators do have quite a few policies that they can choose to administer. In fact, the BlackBerry IT Policy Reference Guide contains over 200 policy rules that can be administered wirelessly. Of those, almost half are security specific. Summary The majority of customers are going to be well served by the security features of both solutions. If security is a hot button issue, the customer should look at the security aspects of the BlackBerry solution. SYNCHRONIZATION Windows Mobile 5 Windows Mobile 5 allows for wireless synchronization of E-Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks to the Exchange Server. These applications can also be synced to a PC, along with Notes, Favorites, Files and Media, using an application called ActiveSync. ActiveSync is found on one of the CDs that come with the handheld. E-Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Notes can only be synced to Exchange or Outlook. Favorites are only synced with Internet Explorer. Other synchronization pairings are available with 3 rd party applications. BlackBerry The BlackBerry allows for wireless synchronization of E-Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Memos with the Exchange Server. When connected to the PC, the BlackBerry can sync with Outlook, Outlook Express, ACT!, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, Lotus Organizer, ASCII, and Netscape. PC synchronization is handled by BlackBerry Desktop Manager which is found on the CD accompanying the BlackBerry. Password Keeper, Saved Messages, and other features of the BlackBerry are not “synchronized” per se, but they are backed up onto the server. If the user loses their handheld, these features will be restored when a new handheld is activated on the server. Summary Again, both products are going to serve the customer well. BlackBerry adds a few more personal information management (PIM) applications that it is compatible with. If you customer is using something other than Outlook, and it is listed above, this may be a deciding factor. HANDHELD FORMATS Windows Mobile 5 There are several different formats to Windows Mobile 5 devices on the market. Here are just a few distinct models. Pocket PC Phones – These handhelds include Pocket Outlook for E-Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Memos; Word Mobile; Excel Mobile; PowerPoint Mobile; ClearVue (PDF viewer); Windows Media Player; Internet Explorer and Terminal Services Client. Manufacturers and carriers may also add applications on the handheld or an accompanying CD. These handhelds will have a touch sensitive screen with a stylus. Other features that are optional to the design include an integrated QWERTY keyboard, camera, speakerphone, WiFi, Bluetooth and a memory card slot, just to name a few. Sprint PPC-6700 Verizon Wireless Palm Treo 700w Smartphones – These handhelds include Pocket Outlook for E-Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Memos; ClearVue (Word, Excel, and PDF viewer); Windows Media Player; Internet Explorer and Terminal Services Client. Manufacturers and carriers may also add applications on the handheld or an accompanying CD. These handhelds are usually smaller than the Pocket PC Phones and will have a “joystick” instead of a touch sensitive screen with a stylus. Other features that are optional to the design include a camera, speakerphone, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a memory card slot, just to name a few. T-Mobile SDA Verizon Motorola Q BlackBerry While several companies are licensed to manufacture handhelds with the BlackBerry operating system, Research In Motion (RIM) is the only manufacturer who’s handhelds are available in the United States as I write this. While RIM has several models to choose from, they mainly fall into two categories; Handhelds and Business Phones. All BlackBerries include the following applications; Messages, Address Book, Calendar, Tasks, MemoPad, and BlackBerry Browser. BlackBerry Handhelds – These handhelds have a full QWERTY keypad and a trackwheel for interacting with the device. While all current handhelds include Bluetooth, some units also include speakerphone, GPS, or even WiFi. Cingular BlackBerry 8700c Nextel BlackBerry 7520 T-Mobile BlackBerry 7290 BlackBerry Business Phone – The Business Phones (7100 series) are more “phone-like” in size and feel. These handhelds have a SureType QWERTY keypad and a trackwheel for interacting with the device. The keyboard is laid out in a QWERTY organization, but has 2 letters to a key. While all Business Phones include Bluetooth and speakerphone, some also include GPS or broadband modem capability. The BlackBerry Pearl is unique in that it also includes a camera, media player and memory card slot. T-Mobile BlackBerry 7105t T-Mobile BlackBerry Pearl Verizon Wireless BlackBerry 7130 Summary From a functional standpoint, Windows Mobile 5 handhelds tend to be much more robust as features go. Media Player can be used for MP3s, but it can also be used to show video testimonials, product demonstrations, and even listen to business audio books. A camera can be used to take party pictures, but it can also be used to record images of damaged packages, completed installations, and even parking lot signage so you can find your car at the airport. The additional features of the Windows Mobile devices may be frivolous to some, but they can be important business tools to others.
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