The iPhone Enterprise Experience
Ive tried to use IMAP in the past, and theres a reason why it never became very popular: Its complicated and doesnt work very well, especially when you have multiple clients reading messages off of the same server. Synchronizing, if it works at all, works inconsistently. This was my memory from years ago, and some Googling of support forums confirms these concerns. MAPI handles all these synchronization issues much more smoothly than IMAP. This will make Exchange e-mail a relatively unpleasant experience for iPhone users. Perhaps theyll blame Exchange or their own IT people. Its not like it could be Apples fault. But even to the extent that it works, it will be a second-rate experience compared to, for example, a Blackberry. And its not just the experience; ActiveSynch is actually pretty secure (I hear this from third parties who have no reason to suck up to Microsoft on the matter).With IMAP, there is no direct synching of contacts and appointments. Appointments come in as messages in a folder. Yuck! In Outlook you can synch your calendar and look at it. With IMAP on an iPhone, well, you probably use Outlook Web Access. Since the iPhone has a browser, Outlook Web Access is probably going to be the main corporate mail vehicle. Ive just confirmed that this works in Safari for Windows, as I expected it to. Its probably going to be crowded on the screen on an iPhone, but perhaps its doable, and it should be less of a headache for IT. I just cant imagine doing browser-based e-mail with a touch-screen keyboard. And now the malware world is speculating whether a massive new population of iPhone users will finally make it worthwhile to write Trojans and worms for Apple products. Presumably these would be iPhone malware, and not necessarily Mac malware, although its possible some could work on both. Im not going to venture a guess. As far as I can tell, if it made sense for malware authors to target Windows users as much as they have, it made sense years ago for them to try out Mac users. I think theyre just lazy, and I wouldnt expect this to make much of a change for them. Perhaps when someone sells (or even better, gives away) a kit for building iPhone malware with ready-made lure messages and pre-screened Mac user mailing lists, things will be different. But on the other hand, there has been talk about mobile phone malware for years and plenty of proofs of concept (especially for Symbian). None of it has been a big deal in the real world, but writing a virus that effectively spread on iPhones would bring some major bragging rights. Its certainly possible. Thats when we need to start building third-party security stacks on our phones, and thats when the fun ends. Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers blog Cheap Hack
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