Come June, iPhone users will be able to use exchange. Great. With a Mail2Web free account, you’ll be able to sync your world of devices on Exchange. Your calendar, address book, and device info can all freely flow to your Windows Mobile phone, all your PCs, your iPhone, even your iPod touch.
But what about Mac?
Follow me on this. Right now, I have my address book completely in Apple Address Book. I have my email accounts in Apple Mail. I have my calendar in iCal. I didn’t drink the kool-aid… this was what had to be done to keep my iPhone working with my Mac. Granted, I’ve found it much more pleasant than Outlook, but that wasn’t my motivation.
Now however, I actually want to move back to Outlook. I want all that data synced on Mail2Web Live so that I can have all my devices stay in sync. But, Apple, despite licensing Exchange, has no roadmap to adding Exchange support to their Mac apps.
You might at this point be asking “But wait, I thought Mac OS X stayed in sync between iPhone and Mac.” Well, yes, and no. The source code for all the Core* functions are synced. Meaning CoreServices (kernel), QuartzCore (drawing), CoreImage, CoreAnimation, everything up to QuickTime and WebKit all are the same base code… improvements on one platform eventually can flow to the other.
However, higher-order functions are not synced. Meaning, the Contacts app on iPod touch isn’t the same as Address Book on Mac. Likewise, while Mail on Mac and Mail on iPhone are certainly related, they aren’t tied at the hip.
This is where financials come into play. Does Apple want Exchange on Mac? Again, yes and no. Yes, they want corporate expansion, but not at the cost of an all-Apple solution. Apple wants companies to switch to Leopard Server and deploy CalDAV. Obviously, this pitch hasn’t gone over well; companies continue to believe Apple treats the corporate world as second-class citizens.
So, the ball is in Apple’s court on this one… will they roll out Exchange support on Mac OS X? I think in the short run, they won’t… but eventually they will. Remember, Microsoft has Entourage for Mac, so if a company wants to start migrating to Mac, the real barrier is not Entourage… it’s Office. And, eventually, Apple wants iWork to nullify Office completely. Having an Exchange client license may just end-run around Microsoft’s plans to keep pumping life into Office for Mac.
Of course, nobody outside of Cupertino or Redmond really knows all the terms of that agreement. For all I know, the MacBU caught wind of the deal in time to put a preventing provision from deploying Exchange directly on Mac hardware…