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Smart Phones

Smart Phones
 Technology with Integrity

 By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.


Mobile phone technology has been changing very rapidly, and there are some new capabilities coming that you may not be aware of. 

Every business person I know has a mobile phone. Some of you have phones with additional capabilities such as text messaging, games, and internet access. Those of you with Blackberry phones, which also receive email, have probably been following the legal battle which will determine their future.  Tech savvy business people may be using a combination PDA phone – either Microsoft Mobile or Palm, such as the Treo.

Here’s what you can look forward to in the near future:
Microsoft is gaining market share with its smart phone and pocket pc (Windows CE) based PDA/Phones. The recent announcement of a Palm Treo running Microsoft software may be the beginning of the end for the Palm OS, for better or worse.

The next generation of smart phones is called Windows Mobile 5.  They are just coming out on the market. Traditional PDA/ Phone features include scaled down versions of Word and Excel, ability to sync with Outlook (including email, calendar, and tasks), and internet access.  What’s new is enhanced functionality for connecting to your office network. The new phones support ActiveSync 4, which has better support for wireless sync, Bluetooth, and allows you to connect directly to an Exchange email server. Direct Push, which works only if you have an Exchange 2003 server, allows your phone and office pc to stay in sync automatically at all times, whether you are in the office or not. This requires Exchange Server, which can be purchased even for small offices as a part of Small Business Server for under $700 (plus hardware). If you have a need for outside staff to coordinate schedules, it will not take long to pay back the investment in saved time and better scheduling.  The new phones also have a feature which allows you to wipe the data off them remotely if they get lost or stolen.  One catch: some of the software needed to make this work will not be included in Mobile 5 phones till sometime after April. By the time you read this it may be out. Check carefully when you are buying to see if the Microsoft Messaging and Security Feature pack (MSFP) is included in the phone, or if a flash update will be available for the model you are purchasing.

High speed (500+ Kbps) internet access will be coming to Visalia via cell phone, but probably not this year. Sprint/Verizon offer EVDO. ATT/Cingular offer HSDPA. EVDO was originally promised in our area by the end of 2005. Now it looks like it may come some time in 2007. 

EVDO Coverage map (purple areas are covered):

Map of US with state outlines and names

For more information:
Blackberry lawsuit settlement:
Palm Treo 700 runs windows:
Cell Phone internet access:
Windows Mobile 5:

Tim Torian has taught computer networking at the College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension. He has a BS in Computer Science, and has been consulting on computer networks for the past 20 Years. His industry certifications include: Cisco CCNA and CCNI, Microsoft MCSE, and Novell CNE.  He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, and custom software development. They can be reached at (559) 733-1940 or on the web at http://www.toriangroup.com


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