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By Kinetics Group www.kinetics.co.nz

Around 9 months ago we published an article outlining the differences between Windows Mobile devices, Blackberry devices, and Nokia devices with email. Since then there has been a couple of developments in this space (namely Telecom pushing Blackberries as well), and the advantages having truly mobile access to email, contacts and appointments continues to be something our customers ask us about.

So here is an outline of the pros and cons between using Windows Mobile devices, Blackberry devices, and Nokia devices:

Windows Mobile Devices


If you have Microsoft Exchange 2003 or 2007 server – which the majority of our customers do – then you already have the capability to use a Windows Mobile device to synchronise email, contacts and calendars. All you need to do is buy a Windows Mobile device and make sure you have a data plan on your mobile phone number. These are what Kinetics use – ask us to show you our device next time you see us!

Pros:

- Easy to set up both server and client end
- A variety of devices are available from iMate, Palm, HP
- Windows based, so has a familiar interface and includes mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
- Many useful business applications have been written for this platform, such as Activiser

Cons:

- Although the devices are getting better, “sleek” and “stylish” are often not the first words that spring to mind when looking at, or holding these devices... These are right for: - Anyone who already has an Exchange server and wants the most functionality from their mobile device.

Blackberry Devices

Both Vodafone and Telecom are pushing Blackberries. They are great devices, but you need to be aware that to get all the functionality from a Blackberry requires some additional software to be installed on the Exchange server. This installation takes around 4-6 hours of engineering time and requires the server to be restarted once. Blackberry Enterprise Services also needs to be added to your phone and this includes a monthly charge of around $42 on top of your data plans.

Pros:

- The devices can easily be described as “sleek” and “stylish”.
- Many people find the interface intuitive.
- Data usage is reputed to be lower than for a Windows Mobile device.
- Again, many applications have been written for this platform.

Cons:

- The initial setup is a relatively involved process.
- There is an additional monthly fee
These are right for:- Anyone who wants mobile email, contacts and appointments on a sleek and stylish device and is prepared to pay the additional costs involved.

Nokia Devices

Nokia have a long reputation of making good mobile phones. Whereas a Blackberry or Windows Mobile device can sometimes feel like a PDA that happens to also have a phone, Nokia devices will always feel like a phone that happens to also do email. We have had some quirks in settings up the “Mail for Exchange” software that runs on the Nokia phones which can end up taking a lot of time to resolve.

Pros:

- The devices are phones first, so are small and light.
- Many people are already used to the Nokia interface.
- Will work with Lotus Domino and Novell Groupwise as well as Microsoft Exchange.

Cons:

- Our experience is that the initial setup can be unreliable. For some customers the devices just work first time, for others it can be a time consuming process.
- The devices are phones first, with smaller screens, so viewing or replying to long emails can be difficult.
These are right for:- Anyone who wants a “normal” mobile phone, with the ability to check emails now and again.
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