ZDNet UK has reported yesterday, that Microsoft will finally enable Exchange ActiveSync for mobile devices for its Windows Live Hotmail service. According to ZDNet, Hotmail Exchange ActiveSync, which has been in development for some time, will be officially switched-on on Monday 30 August. While Microsoft's own Windows Mobile and Windows Phone devices were the first to support Exchange ActiveSync, Microsoft has licensed this technology to a couple of other operating systems, including Nokia's Symbian or Palm's webOS and even Google is using an Exchange ActiveSync front-end (only) for Gmail, to share the calendar and address book with mobile devices.
However, with the upcoming launch of Windows Phone 7, which has a strong focus on connectivity and merging information from different sources on the device, it definitely makes sense for Microsoft to have its own standard in place. Allowing Windows Phone 7 customers to share contact details and calendar items (as well as notes - if supported on the handset) with its Windows Live Hotmail service instead of forcing customers to either use its own Exchange environment or Google's free Gmail service.
While the Hotmail Exchange ActiveSync service and support is yet neither officially announced or launched, it seems it's already reachable and somewhat working; even if we failed in our tests with different smartphone platforms to get a working login to the account.
UPDATE: Exchange ActiveSync is definitely coming to a mobile device around you! I've just found this E-Mail in my Hotmail inbox, after I tried several combinations to get Exchange ActiveSync working on several devices:
While it's yet not officially confirmed by Microsoft that Hotmail Exchange ActiveSync isn't just push E-Mail but also contacts, calendar and task synchronization, it's most likely that Microsoft will support the full range of Exchange ActiveSync services. Anyway, next Monday the 30 September we should know more!
Cheers ~ Arne