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Microsoft to launch rival to Blackberry e-mail system

Cliff Saran
Microsoft has developed a rival technology to Research In Motion's Blackberry push e-mail system, which it claims will be easy to operate and can scale to thousands of users.

Speaking at the company's annual TechEd development conference in Florida on 6 June, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer outlined push e-mail for its Exchange e-mail server.

The mobile messaging product requires a free update to Microsoft Exchange and an update to the Windows Mobile 5.0 mobile device operating system.

The update, which is due in October as part of the Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2, will allow businesses to make a secure connection between end users' calendar, inbox, task and contact databases and a mobile operator network using the internet.

These databases are pushed directly to users running wireless devices with Windows Mobile 5.0 over a wireless network such as GPRS or 3G.

Jason Langridge, UK mobility business manager at Microsoft, said that, unlike rival wireless push e-mail systems, Microsoft's approach does not require any additional hardware or middleware.

Another benefit, according to Langridge, was that the mobile device can be disabled remotely, if, for example, it was stolen or the password was entered incorrectly.

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