For PC-users who enjoy their new Apple iPhones, a return to familiar ground is on the way in the form of Microsoft Exchange and Outlook support. There can be little doubt Apple's iPhone has been a success with consumers, but it hasn't caught on as a smartphone for business users. A significant reason for this is its lack of built-in support for the email servers used in the enterprise.
However, strong evidence has emerged that will soon change; Apple has a job posting on its web site for a "iPhone Windows Outlook/Exchange QA Eng".
The job description makes to perfectly plain: "Your focus will be testing Exchange and Outlook functionality with Apple's innovative new phone."
More than email?
That Apple intents to add support for synchronizing email with Microsoft-based servers is a safe assumption, but it's possible it will go beyond that.
Both Windows Mobile and Palm OS devices can synchronize their calendars and address books with Exchange and Outlook, and this feature may be added to the iPhone, too.
It's not known when this feature will be introduced, but if this job posting is for someone to be part of a new development team, then the release is many months away. However, if it is for an additional team member for a project that's already been going on for some time, then support for Outlook and Exchange could be right around the corner.
Microsoft Exchange is widely used in the enterprise, but RIM's BlackBerry Server is a popular choice for companies deploying mobile devices.
If Apple is really serious about making the iPhone a device for enterprise users, then it will eventually need support for BlackBerry Server, too.