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Microsoft to slot ActiveSync into Hotmail

Play push and pull with Google, Apple... Oh, and Windows phone 7 too

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Microsoft will show some much-needed love into Hotmail next week, by adding Exchange ActiveSync to the webmail service.

ActiveSync was licensed by Apple in 2008 and by Google in 2009. Other phone makers that are also paying Redmond big bucks to use the service - Microsoft's protocol to push email from a server to a client - include Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung.

But up until now the service, which provides wireless synchronisation of calendar and contact information, hasn't been available in Hotmail. According to CNet, that's about to change.

Microsoft's Dharmesh Mehta said ActiveSync would be available within Hotmail, allowing its users - whose accounts are POP-enabled - to better sync email with their phones.

The reason that Google, Apple and others have already adopted ActiveSync is due to the fact that Microsoft's email and collaboration software has burrowed so deep into server rooms across the world.

In many incidences biz customers simply wouldn't be able to use phones from companies such as Apple or services from Google unless they supported Outlook and Exchange.

So the addition of ActiveSync to Hotmail, which since relaunch has had a bit of a rough ride, will undoubtedly be welcomed. But some might ask, what took Microsoft so long?

Mehta told CNet that those users who don't hook up to an Exchange Server but have a device with ActiveSync support enable would still be able to use the tool.

In September last year Microsoft confirmed that the Windows Live ID had been extended to work with the Exchange mobile client, so adding ActiveSync to Hotmail was a natural coupling for the webmail to play nice with the firm's Windows phone 7. ®

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