The difference between Windows Mobile and BlackBerry push email
It looks like the perennial discussion on the difference between Windows Mobile and BlackBerry push email is still on-going, at least at the local HardwareZone Forums. I have posted a response where I attempt to explain the issue in a way that is more accessible to the lay-person. An excerpt of the key points is below; hope it proves useful to you:
A quick backgrounder. In the past, I have actively used push mail on the Windows Mobile platform on at least two different Windows Mobile devices over a couple of years. I am now on my 4th BlackBerry – the first two were company-owned while the latest two were purchased by me.
Let me try to clarify on the differences between the two.
By using an Network Operating Center (NOC), the BlackBerry method represents the most battery and data efficient method for push email. In a lay person’s term, the email is forwarded to your BlackBerry by the RIM-operated NOC only when there is email. And even then, only the first chunk of email is sent. In the absence of email, nothing at all happens, and your BlackBerry behaves much like a normal mobile phone.
As you can imagine, unless you receive a hundred emails an hour, enabling push email on the BlackBerry does not normally result in any noticeable reduction in battery life.
RIM is able to do that because of your BlackBerry registers itself with your Telco, which forwards the information on to the RIM NOC. The result is that the NOC now knows exactly where to forward your emails to. This is also the reason why a normal data plan is not adequate to give you BlackBerry email services.
On the other hand, the push email employed by Windows Mobile uses the HTTP protocol, which is a clever piece of engineering to do away with an NOC, actually.
Imagine typing an URL into your Web browser and then hitting “Enter”. Instead of a response coming in right away, imagine your Smartphone doing that and then waiting instead for up to 8 minutes (default). If nothing happens, the Smartphone does it again just to make sure that the connection is still up.
If there is an email though, your Windows Mobile Smartphone will get a response. At this point, your WM Smartphone will perform an over-the-air activesync to retrieve it. Since your WM Smartphone talks directly to your server, no NOC is necessary, nor any involvement on the Telco level beyond the availability of a normal data connection.
Battery life is shortened however, due to the constant need to connect to the server even if there is no email.
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