Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Push Comes to Pull at Microsoft

Unstrung looks at Microsoft's (MSFT) "long-awaited push email update to Windows Mobile 5.0 and Exchange." Gartner analyst Todd Kort points out one small detail, "Microsoft's email upgrade isn't really push at all."

Kort said, "Microsoft calls it 'Direct Push' -- but when you look beneath the hood, it is actually a 'fast pull' technology." He explained that "the device calls back to the Exchange server to retrieve messages, rather than mail being pushed to the device via a network operations center (NOC), which is how the email systems from Good Technology Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) operate."

Kort added, "Direct Push is a marketing term that is not reflective of the actual technology. For whatever reason, 'push' is perceived by the vast majority of users to be better than 'pull,' but this is mostly based on historical comparisons rather than today's conditions."

Kort thought that the "user experience is generally comparable to true push email systems, but said, "I would not make a big deal about this, except for the fact that Microsoft's pull technology is going to use up your battery faster."