Blackberry versus iPhone versus Windows Mobile

http://www.time.com/time/video/?bcpid=1485842900&bctid=1755448415 A funny comparison of iPhone to Blackberry is there… and I just checked the search on my Sister’s new S version and it’s still a bit funky and not optimal.

So we already blogged that a this time v5 Enterprise is not supported on SBS 2008, and v4 is a 32bit and it’s unclear if you can install it on SBS 2008 64bit. 

You do have the OWA option — http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=KB10154&sliceId=SAL_Public&dialogID=210922751&stateId=1%200%20210918852

We have some other options…. One can move to a hosted Blackberry service (with Exchange) or provide hosted blackberry service to your customers — http://na.blackberry.com/eng/deliverables/7314/Configuring_search_for_address_Hosted_BES_env_216501_11.jsp .  But one must not and should not overlook the fact that you are giving the vendor a domain username and password.  That may not go over well with some companies and industries.

So far the best solution I’m seeing in the SBS 2008 era is standing up a separate box for your clients that need more than the onesy setups.

Paul Arthur related his experiences getting Blackberry installed on a 2k3 box (you can do virtualized or standalone) or even consider Windows Foundation Server for that matter.

“We installed BlackBerry Professional software version 4.1 SP4. W2K3 is on a HP ML110 G5 chassis, Xeon 3075 (2.66 GHz dual core), 4GB Ram and a 160GB SATA drive. A HPEX480 Home Server is taking care of backups of this server.  Our client will have at the most 5 BlackBerry users.

After many emails and phone calls we were finally were able to confirm with Sprint support/engineering  that:
There is no operating system upgrade available to bring the Sprint/Motorola i920 up to Windows Mobile 5.0 or above.
BlackBerry Professional Software 4.X is not yet supported on Windows Small Business Server 2008 ( I doubt it ever will be).
BlackBerry Enterprise Server 6.X requires a separate server so it will not run at all on Windows Small Business Server 2008.
BlackBerry Professional Software 4.X is really BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.X.  Code was change to have a  30 user max limit.
BlackBerry Professional Software does not support Exchange 2007 SP1 (Was told it should work but not officially supported).

I found and used these pages on RIM’s site for the install of the software;
http://www.blackberry.com/knowledgecenterpublic/livelink.exe/fetch/2000/8067/645045/1382175/1404165/1382176/Getting_Started_Guide.pdf?nodeid=1382253&vernum=0

http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/professional/toolkit.jsp#tab_tab_install

Software install was straight forward with no issues with above links.

When it came time to “activate” each phone is where our issues started.  The phones kept timing out.  

I was finally able to get BlackBerry support on the phone. They reviewed the settings as well and could not find anything out of place. They had me run a utility that checks MAPI permissions. It was here we learned that the BB service account did not have the proper send as/receive as permissions.  They pointed me to http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=KB12483
After adding the send as/receive as (Exchange view Only was already done) the phones activated without error.

I went back to the getting_started_guide.pdf and these permissions were not listed in the set up doc’s! “

iPhones just connect fine to any Exchange mailbox and so does Windows Mobile.  When setting up a iphone it should ‘just work’ on SBS 2008 and 2003 for that matter (See http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2009/04/03/iphone-sync-to-sbs-2003.aspx for details)  One caveat is that you need to test the setup if you have issues — check out https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com/ .  A Windows Mobile should “just” work.  Crackberries… well… it’s workable.  Let me put it that way.

 

4 Responses to Blackberry versus iPhone versus Windows Mobile

  1. Bill V says:

    Susan,

    Thanks for all this great info. We’re still planning to move forward with Blackberries, however I don’t want to install the Blackberry Professional Software on my SBS server. Think this should be on it’s own server with SQL. TBD…

    Best,
    BV

  2. Kevin says:

    I think it’s ironic that Blackberry is the only phone that CAN’T natively sync with Exchange. My wireless provider offers software for every non-pda phone they sell that allows to sync email, contacts, and calendar with Exchange, but Blackberry, which is supposed to be the king of business phones, can’t do it without additional software and license fees.

    I like the look and feel of Blackberries, but my Windows phone “just works,” and that’s the number one criteria for me.

  3. George Wilson says:

    Susan,

    I agree with all of what has been said here as we have run across all of the BB issues with MSE2K7, SBS2K8. Connectivity with the WM and iPhones with Exchange is now right on par with the rock solid connectivity BBs and BES are known for. I think that RIM needs to rethink where it is going with BES. The article does not address the major concern of users of the devices – 1) in smaller firms where IT takes a back seat to what the CEOs, Partners and others (not IT) want, and 2) actual usability of the devices. A heavy user of mail on these devices will be unhappy and hindered with the iPhone and with many WM devices. The iPhone is too proprietary for my liking, barely adequate battery life, and not user serviceable. At least with some WM devices the only negative is poor battery life.

    So in my mind there are at least two sets of issues. The first being the back end issues. The second is the devices. And because of this, my opinion is that there is no clear cut winner as there are issues with whichever platform one chooses.

    Up until about a year ago, I was a devout WM user. I got fed up with the device choices, reliability and battery life. I switched to my BB and BES and have not questioned the move.

  4. Mike says:

    Interesting view on the whole smart phone situation. The things for me wind up like so.

    1) iPhone is not a viable option for business. It is made as a consumer product and the control Apple has over 3 party apps creates and issue.

    2) Windows Mobile is too expensive on a device. The striped down version which does not have Word, Excel etc on it does no good for a company which does require mobility and the ability to read/open these types of documents. The full Windows Mobile devices are more expensive than an iPhone or Blackberry.

    3) Blackberry works. Yes they are slow on supporting BES on 2008, but you can set e-mail up to be popped down to a device if needed, plus it supports opening of attachments, and has a lot of 3rd party apps out there, including items such as sales tools that can sync in to a server based system.

    Even for a Small Business system, I would still recommend a Blackberry, and set up a separate BES server that is running on 2003 for now. Besides, BES does work best when it is on its own box.