Welcome to the Windows Phone 7 for IT pros blog. This blog is designed to provide IT pros with tips and pointers to help get workers with Windows Phone 7 devices up and running as quickly as possible.
Today’s workers can’t be shoehorned or pigeonholed into a single description or generation. Workers from many different cultures need to work together and communicate through whatever means possible to get the job done. However, there is one increasingly common factor—user mobility.
According to research, mobile users will make up 73 percent of the workforce in 2012. The growing need for mobility means computing is becoming increasingly user-centric. IT departments are changing to become more flexible and to accommodate users’ needs. Smartphones are no longer nice-to-haves, but essential tools. And it’s no longer feasible to dictate what technology tools are “allowed” without taking into account what your employees need and want to have. The changes that many IT departments are dealing with today are sometimes referred to as the “Consumerization of IT.” Many workers now personally choose and purchase the technologies they bring into the workplace, and they expect IT to make them work.
Windows Phone 7 is a different kind of phone designed to bring together what users care about most—easier and faster. It was designed to accommodate their needs for mobility and web 2.0 technologies. And it can tie in to your existing Windows infrastructure and take advantage of the rich functionality available in products such as Microsoft® Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint® Server. The flexibility of Windows Phone 7 is compelling, and its integrated but feature-rich user interface is impressive—there is a lot for IT pros and users alike to appreciate.
Make sure to reference this blog or the Microsoft Download Center page for useful Windows Phone 7 articles when your workers bring Windows Phone 7 devices in and ask you to make them work. Let us know if you have any tips or pointers to share, or any requests that can help you successfully deploy Windows Phone 7 in your organization.
Alan Meeus, Windows Phone Product Manager
Deleting my comment instead of responding to it - mighty classy of you. I've been a loyal Microsoft customer for years, but you guys continue to deliver reasons to go elsewhere on a silver platter.
My apologies if I offended you. I delete your comment after adding content to the blog and download center, as you were complaining about lack of content. I will be adding more technical articles in the next week and early January and I hope you will find what you are looking for. If not let me know.
Is there any change for better Outlook synchronization?
Better – in what way? Are you experiencing problems when synchronizing Outlook with Exchange? Please let us know if we can be of assistance.
Version 14.0 of the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol ships with Windows Phone 7, and as its version number indicates it is constantly being refined. I noted one recent improvement in my ‘Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft Exchange Server’ blog post last month:
One noteworthy feature in EAS version 14.0 is syncing of message reply state, which makes sure that the device and the server know if any message has been forwarded or replied to from any source—Microsoft Outlook® on the desktop, Outlook Anywhere (browser), or Windows Phone 7.
We synchronize flags but not categories on Windows Phone 7. Users can also set flags, mark them as complete, delete flags on the phone, and the changes will be synchronized back to the server.
More information is available in the “Windows Phone 7 and Exchange Server” document that is available at go.microsoft.com/fwlink
Is there no way to view the outlook contact categories or seach for the contacts by any way other than name? This is a basic function that has been in other windows smart phones and it is critical to conducting business on the road. Tell me I am missing something....
No, you are not missing anything. There is currently no other way to search for contact in the People Hub. Work in progress...
Will we be seeing the local sync of outlook to the device via activesync or windows mobile device center? My company block all access to personal email services like hotmail and gmail. I still want to sync my contatcts, calendar and emails, but don't have the ability to use the Outlook Connector. They also do not allow personal devices to connect to the exchange server directly.
Are you aware of any IT Tools like remote desktop or AD tools for IT Personnel for Windows Mobile 7 ?
I am not aware of IT tools running on Windows phone, but I would love to see some. What tools would you like to see?
With regard to your first question, whether Windows Phone 7 supports local sync using ActiveSync (Mobile Device Center), the answer is no. We no longer support desktop ActiveSync with Windows Phone 7.
Based on my understanding of what you are asking, here are the two scenarios:
1) You have a personal Windows Phone 7, and you connect it to Internet email services such as Hotmail or Gmail and sync your email, contacts, and calendar info from those services to your phone. For this scenario, you need a wireless data connection.
2) You are using a Windows Phone 7 that has been provided to you by your company, and you sync email, contacts, and calendar info from your company’s Exchange server with your phone. For this scenario, you need a wireless data connection too.
Technically, you could combine both scenarios into one and sync both Exchange and Internet email, contacts, and calendar info to your phone, regardless of who provided you with the phone. Your IT department cannot block this on the phone. There are no policies on Windows Phone 7 to accomplish that. However, because that would be a breach of your company’s policy, I cannot recommend that scenario.
I assume your company does not want you to combine both scenarios for security reasons. Although I don’t know the nature of your company’s business, I think they owe it to themselves to take a closer look at the protective capabilities in Windows Phone 7. To put it simply, security was one of the most important considerations when Windows Phone 7 was being designed.
Phones can be locked, currently with a numeric PIN;
PIN functionality can be managed with PIN-lock and related password policies in Exchange ActiveSync (EAS);
All data is protected during transmission using SSL;
Data can’t be transferred from Windows Phone 7 phones; removable data storage cards aren’t supported as a way to transfer data. If a Windows Phone 7 design includes an SD card, it’s locked with a 128-bit key that is securely stored in the phone and in the SD card controller, which uniquely pairs the card with the phone and makes the card unusable in any other device.
The file system cannot be accessed from a PC, even using the Microsoft Zune software that connects Windows Phone 7 to Windows–based PCs, so users can’t copy or remove documents from the phone. The Zune software can only synchronize media files (such as music, picture, and video files) with a PC.
Devices can be remotely wiped, if necessary, either by a user or an Exchange administrator.
Microsoft believes the increasing mobility of users is the way of the future, and that providing protected remote connectivity for smartphones makes more sense than trying to prevent people from using them.
I tried WP7 and gave up in frustration. The keyboard was the biggest factor. No alternate keyboards were allowed and the character set did not include most of the symbols used in secure passwords! Could not even enter a complex URL - no equal sign etc and compounded by not being able to copy and paste. I loved the phone's speed and concept - But why would a security conscious entity like MS leave us with such a limited keyboard? Keyboards and copy/paste - how basic can it get?
Sorry you were frustrated, Candace. You can display additional symbols – here’s how:
When typing, press the &123 key in the lower left to display the numeric keyboard – and on the numeric keyboard press the bold right-facing arrow →. You’ll see many more symbols, including the equal sign.
Copy and paste was also made available in an update this spring. Rather than repeat the text that’s available on line, click here to see the instructions. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/basics/copy-and-paste.aspx
The Windows Phone Help and how to page has a lot of useful information.
Hope this helps.
There are a lot of smaller business users like myself who do not run an Exchange Server based system, but still need the connectivity. I need to synchronise my WinXP stand alone (not exchange server) PC and its Outlook calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, etc.. with my HD7 (on WP7). From the comments above it appear this isnt possible. Is that correct ? Why is that the case ?