Microsoft further extended its reach into wireless push e-mail technology this week by naming four carriers (including including Vodafone) and four new Windows Mobile-based smart phones and handhelds (from vendors including Sony Ericsson) that will support its Direct Push technology.
Reacting to the announcement Wednesday several business users and IT managers, running wireless e-mail from Research In Motion, said they welcomed the progress that Microsoft has made into wireless e-mail, given NTP’s ongoing patent lawsuit (All you need to know) against RIM’s BlackBerry wireless e-mail service.
But users and analysts also said Windows Mobile 5.0 needs to be improved to be widely adopted by end users.
John Halamka, CIO at Caregroup Healthcare System in Boston, supports 500 RIM users and has rigorously tested a Palm Treo 700w, but has found it wanting when compared to the BlackBerry.
“Direct Push is good, but my experience with all Microsoft mobile technologies is that they are not as easy to use as BlackBerry,” he said. RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server with Exchange is “already seamless and highly reliable,” he said. Yet he called the Microsoft mobile client “clunky.”
Emcor Group, a construction and building services company in Norwalk, Connecticut, has about 500 RIM users and deploys Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino server to 9,000 users, so Direct Push from Microsoft holds no interest, said Emcor CIO Joe Puglisi.
“We can’t justify a total change in architecture just for remote mail,” he said.