Unfortunately, this has to be a bit of a rant.
Honestly, how would Microsoft ever expect compete with Blackberries, Iphones, or any other Mobile platform if they continue to put simple clean usable functionality behind some crappy unneeded security regime.
Last week, I finally bit the bullet and decided to get push mail running on my HTC Touch. Despite owning the phone for six months, I had never bothered to get it talking to exchange because the mere thought of dealing with all of the clunky menus was enough to get me on the bottle. But, I thought, "It can't be that bad?"
Well, after figuring out that it was actually through active sync that I configure this, and completely unrelated to "email settings", I entered in the pre-requisite information - you know - server name, email address, items to sync ya da ya da .... and, much to my surprise...within seconds actually, it started to sync.
That was easy......right? Well, it really was....until the damn thing stopped working about 12 hours later. Suddenly, active sync is now demanding that I install a personal certificate and refusing to sync. Again, this is not a problem, I can get the cert easily...after all, I work in an IT consultancy...this is a piece of cake.
Here's where the yelling, swearing, and finally, the frantic googling began. 2 certificates later, and a lot of error messages, it still wasn't working. I was at the end of my rope until finally, I find the answer. Hidden deep within the depths of Microsoft's Knowledge Base is an article describing the procedure required to make this work. It seems that all of the well-placed certificates and super strict security is just smoke and mirrors - Microsoft actually instructs users to have IIS and exchange server disregard client certificates to get this working. I won't detail the whole process in this blog as it is well documented in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927467 but ...WOW .
Anyway, I guess the bigger point is, how many people would have just given up by this point? Should average Windows Mobile Owners have to contact their server admins to have client certificates disabled? Should they even have to know what a certificate is? I really like my Windows Mobile device, but the answer to those questions is obviously NO!.
Microsoft has hereforth been put on probation, let's hope Windows Mobile 7 is able to deliver right out of the box!