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Wireless Synchronization Protocol

Busy? Of course you are. Heck, when was the last time you weren’t busy? Can you even remember? I know I sure can’t.

And this is perhaps one of modern life’s greatest ironies: We are surrounded by ever-impressive technologies to save us time and make us more efficient at work. But who has the time to learn about them?

If you’re like most people these days, chances are you have a desktop, laptop, smartphone—maybe even an iPad. So many handy gadgets to help you stay in touch and up-to-date, whether you’re working from home… on the road… or from your summer cabin deep in the woods (remember when vacations meant not working?)

Yes indeed, having all these handy tools can be quite convenient… provided they are all synchronized and connected, that is. Otherwise, it’s just chaos and confusion.

And that’s where ActiveSync comes in.

Don’t know that much (or anything) about ActiveSync? Since we’ve already established how busy you are, here’s a quick 2-minute crash course on how ActiveSync can make real-time synchronization your new best friend.


ActiveSync is a wireless synchronization protocol developed by Microsoft for mobile devices such as smartphones.


Having ActiveSync on your smartphone allows you to access your inbox in real time, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. And since it’s synchronized wirelessly, you no longer need a USB cable to update your phone.


There are two versions of the ActiveSync protocol: Desktop ActiveSync and Exchange ActiveSync.

1. Desktop ActiveSync synchronizes your mobile devices (smartphone, tablets, etc.) with a specific desktop computer.

2. Exchange ActiveSync is designed for Microsoft Exchange 2010. It lets you synchronize your mobile devices with your Exchange 2010 mailbox. (Exchange 2010 is one of the hosted services offered by SherWeb; Exchange ActiveSync is included with in our special promotion.)


Exchange ActiveSync will keep your BlackBerry, iPhone, or any other smartphone connected to your inbox in real time from just about anywhere. By being able to constantly access your up-to-date email, calendar, contacts, and tasks—even while you’re offline—you can get more done when you’re on the move.

Which is basically the whole point of having a smartphone in the first place.


The awkward number notwithstanding, Exchange ActiveSync is a powerful time-saving tool that lets you:

1. Send/receive HTML messages

2. Use follow-up flags

3. Group email messages by conversation

4. Synchronize entire conversations (or not)

5. Synchronize SMS messages with your Exchange mailbox

6. View the reply status of messages

7. Retrieve messages quickly

8. View information on meetings and attendees

9. Do extensive searches of Exchange 2010

10. Reset your PIN

11. Increase the security of your device through a number of password policies

12. Automatically configure your profile using Autodiscover

13. Use auto-reply settings for when you’re away, on vacation, or out of the office

14. Synchronize tasks

15. Use direct push (on direct-push capable phones)

16. Access contact information

17. Remotely wipe all the data from your mobile device if it is lost, stolen or compromised

18. Encrypt information on your device and/or storage cards


• Version 1.0 was originally released in 1996 under the name H/PC Explorer.

• The most recent version, 4.5.5096, was released in 2007.

• To date, there have been about 19 versions of ActiveSync.

And on the off-chance you have a few more minutes to spare, Wikipedia has a good entry that describes the release history of ActiveSync and the major changes for each version.

What features would you like to see on a future version of Exchange ActiveSync?


Posted by Alfred Winsley at 9:37 am at 22. March 2012

All good stuff, Thank you

Posted by Itha at 1:49 pm at 16. April 2012

I would characterize Google’s use of Exchange to run Sync as the fassett means to grow the Google sphere of influence and not to be BFF with Microsoft to make Apple Jealous. MobileMe is nearly useless: my photos from my Mac upload to Picassa and are viewed on my iphone, my video captured on the iphone 3gs is pushed to YouTube, my contacts sync with AddressBook on the mac whenever I dock at home (there is little need to push contacts over the air), my calendar on my phone syncs with my GoogleCalendar which syncs with my Apple Calendar at home. What reason is there to use MobileME? Ah ha! Apple found the killer app, FindMyiphone, inexpensive insurance against lost iphones. For this one reason, I have MobileMe. For all the others, Google’s influence over the iphone and the OSX platform at home and the XP platform at work is growing because they found a way (ActiveSync) to make all the devices play together nicely.

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