Update: Now that we’re close to launch (in three days), I’ve posted more on this topic. Still no clear answer as to whether or not the iPhone will work with Exchange Server, but some big names, like Walt Mossberg and Mary Jo Foley have weighed in with their opinions, and I did (again) with mine. Check it out, and let me know what you think.
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This is going to be a big deal for geeks like me who work at big companies that use Microsoft Outlook and Exchange for calendaring and email. David Pogue says:
Will it sync with Outlook? ï¿½No.
Ouch. It seems like there’s been some backlash about what the iPhone can’t/won’t do, and what people wish it would do. Maybe we’re all tired of reading iPhone phones on every blog under the sun (whoops! ). There’s some more information in Pogue’s FAQ Part 2:
ï¿½If it doesnï¿½t sync with Outlook, does that mean it will not be compatible with Windows OS?ï¿½ ï¿½No, itï¿½s definitely Windows-compatible, in that it syncs with iTunes. (Music, photos, videos, etc.)
Personally, I’d be happy to ditch Outlook/Exchange, and go to some completely Mac-based system. I’ve actually been trying to wean my wife Rachel off of Outlook and on to more portable web-based solutions like Gmail and Google Calendar. But having instant wireless access to my work email/calendar/contacts/tasks, basically, carrying my Outlook data in my pocket, has improved my productivity more than anything I’ve done in the last few years. It would be really, really hard to walk away from that.
Another interesting note is Pogue’s FAQ is that Steve Jobs said there will be a 3G/HSDPA version when “there’s enough HSDPA coverage in this country to justify it.“
Oh, come ON! It’s completely backwards compatible with EDGE! The cost can’t be more than a couple of dollars per unit over an EDGE-only radio, and there’s no downside! Why not put it in the first version?! Create some demand for fast wireless, rather than waiting for it to sprout up!
Ask me how I really feel about this… I don’t think I’ve ever used so many exclamation points in a single paragraph.
(Later…) Here’s some more information from part 2 of Pogue’s FAQ post, which leaves us with a dim, distant, pinpoint glimmer of hope that the iPhone might be upgradeable to HSDPA (via a software or firmware update):
ï¿½No 3G is almost a deal breaker. EDGE is horrible for a device this advancedï¿½how did that get overlooked?ï¿½ ï¿½It wasnï¿½t overlooked. 3G (HSDPA) is available only in a few cities. Apple says that when itï¿½s more prevalent, the company will upgrade the iPhone.
Why can’t I just have patience, and wait until June to worry about these things?