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  #1  
Old 12-17-2010, 11:01 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Windows Phone 7 and Outlook Sync: The Forgotten Scenario?

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsphone7/thread/48ae2598-f773-4b4c-87cc-54d8c5c012d2/?prof=required' target='_blank'>http://social.answers.microsoft.com.../?prof=required</a><br /><br /></div><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/wpt/auto/1292472365.usr1.jpg" style="border: 0;" /></p><p>Over at the Microsoft Answers forum, there's a <a href="http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsphone7/thread/48ae2598-f773-4b4c-87cc-54d8c5c012d2/?prof=required" target="_blank">very long thread</a> where many users are chiming in on the same subject: the lack of desktop Outlook sync with Windows Phone 7 is a big problem for them. Microsoft forum software is pretty bizarre, so I can't tell how many posts there are in this thread, but I'd guess it's at least 100+. When any discussion thread reaches 100 posts, you know it's a serious issue.</p><p>I remember when I first heard about this decision; it was at the <a href="http://windowsphonethoughts.com/news/show/95970/mobius-2009-fascinating-but-little-that-can-be-shared.html" target="_blank">Mobius 2009</a> event. You could hear a pin drop when <a href="http://www.google.ca/search?sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=aaron+woodman" target="_blank">Aaron Woodman</a> announced that Windows Phone 7 would be completely cloud-centric: there would be no way to get email, calendar, contacts, or even files via the desktop...it would only come via the cloud. The repercussions of this decision were huge, and long-time Windows Mobile users were shocked when the product shipped without the ability to do any sort of local sync. Is it a problem for you? Vote in the poll, but keep reading...</p><p><script src="http://static.polldaddy.com/p/4264323.js" type="text/javascript"></script></p><p><MORE /></p><p>I was personally hoping I'd see desktop sync get better, not vanish completely; I always thought there was a core opportunity for Microsoft to have Windows Phones sync with the Windows Live desktop suite; control your PIM data via Windows Live Mail, photos and videos via Windows Live Gallery, etc. But I'm not overly "cloud based" - I like powerful PCs with real apps and local storage. Maybe I'm a vanishing breed?</p><p>It's easy to say "Oh, just move to the cloud!" but I've seen example after example where people, usually in small to mid-sized business settings, simply can't. They're using Outlook on a desktop PC, and the only way they can get their PIM data is via desktop sync. The IT infrastructure at many businesses can be shockingly dysfunctional, so you can't just say "Oh, go get an Exchange server and fix it all." It's rarely that simple, and by making this decision, Microsoft has alienated many of their core users. The decision, coming without any explanation or justification, also comes across as arbitrary - there may well be data showing that the customers Microsoft is targeting with Windows Phone 7 are primarily cloud-based, and that's why they made this decision - but why not come out and say that?</p><p>The shocking truth? If you're a desktop Outlook user and you need to sync PIM data, your best option (other than older phones can still accomplish this) is an <strong><em>iPhone</em></strong>. Seems like a twisted joke, doesn't it?</p>
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2010, 12:26 AM
brianchris
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I have been using hosted Exchange for years, so the lack of Outlook desktop sync is not a problem for me. What has been a problem is how to get Office documents back and forth on my WP7 device.....the only way I've found is emailing the files! I *must* be doing something wrong, and would love for someone here to point out what I should be doing? Thanks!
 
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:32 AM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianchris View Post
I have been using hosted Exchange for years, so the lack of Outlook desktop sync is not a problem for me. What has been a problem is how to get Office documents back and forth on my WP7 device.....the only way I've found is emailing the files! I *must* be doing something wrong, and would love for someone here to point out what I should be doing? Thanks!
I'm in the same boat. I've had a hosted Exchange account for years, so the lack of desktop PIM sync doesn't impact me, but the file sync stuff is pretty bizarre. No, you're not doing it wrong; most people email files to themselves, so I think Microsoft used that as an excuse to no develop something better.

I think you'd benefit from using Dropbox - there's already at least one Dropbox client for Windows Phone 7, and I suspect more are on the way.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:35 AM
brianchris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
I'm in the same boat. I've had a hosted Exchange account for years, so the lack of desktop PIM sync doesn't impact me, but the file sync stuff is pretty bizarre. No, you're not doing it wrong; most people email files to themselves, so I think Microsoft used that as an excuse to no develop something better.

I think you'd benefit from using Dropbox - there's already at least one Dropbox client for Windows Phone 7, and I suspect more are on the way.
I have been using Dropbox for years, and had been watching for a Dropbox app for WP7, but must of missed the one you are referring to....what's it's name? Is it upload as well as download? Thanks!!
 
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:45 AM
Jason Dunn
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Originally Posted by brianchris View Post
I have been using Dropbox for years, and had been watching for a Dropbox app for WP7, but must of missed the one you are referring to....what's it's name? Is it upload as well as download? Thanks!!
Come on now, this isn't YouTube - you should be able to do your own research.

I just opened up Marketplace, did a search for the term "Dropbox", and found "Boxfiles for Dropbox". Not sure what the functionality is like...reading the description, it looks like you just email yourself a link from the program to a file in your public folder - so it's not actual access to the file. Without a file system, this may be the best we can do for now...which kind of sucks.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:17 AM
jimmyfal
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Default The lack of communication is insulting...

I'm a prominent member of the thread you are referring to, and I think a lot of us are just a little blown away that, we were the ones that made these types of phones popular starting 10 years ago, with our need to have a PIM and phone all in one hand. And now we are expected to comb through threads to comprehend why we are being so stupid and pig-headed about moving to the cloud. I think a lot of us would be happy if Microsoft would address us like the human beings and; overly loyal at this point; lemmings that we appear to be.

Talk to me Microsoft, explain to me in plain english if we will ever get this or not. What's with the silence? I don't think you would be letting any kind of cat out of the bag to let us know WTF is going on in this department. Stop leaning on your MVP's, speak the F up.

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  #7  
Old 12-18-2010, 03:08 AM
Fritzly
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I use Exchange too and in order to connect WP7 to the server I had to email the security certificate to myself using a newly created hotmail account! Why a newly created one? Because I cannot use my "real" MSN one without having a lot of people in Messnger automatically added to the phone!@#%#$#$#

Furthermore the issue is not only Outlook: I do not want to sync docs through the cloud; I want to do it using the desktop! Is it so complicated to give people options? Has MS management forgot that their company is what it is because it was the most flexible one?

Stop copying Apple business model, inglobate the interesting aspects of it but do not loose your own identity.
 
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2010, 06:33 AM
Don Tolson
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I put 'other answer', but I guess I sync mostly with the 'cloud'. But I used to do this with Windows Mobile as well, since my corp has a Mobile Outlook server (or at least a web interface to the Outlook server) which has been my sync point for appts, contacts, and tasks for years now.

So when I got into WP7, there wasn't any real difference, except the configuration wasn't as straightforward as it was in WM6. (In WP7, you have to go the Advanced Settings to put in your own server name.)

The pain is not being able to sync data files (phone lists, etc.) that are not in the cloud, but on my laptop. The only way to get those onto the phone is to email them to myself and detach on the phone.
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2010, 10:19 AM
digity
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Well it looks like SkyDrive could solve some of the file syncing woes, though its not exactly smooth (its a little confusing to navigate). What sucks is you can't access the files you sync to SkyDrive via Live Mesh 2011 directly on your Windows Phone (that would really solve a lot of these issues).

All in all I believe Microsoft has better insight on Outlook desktop syncing usage than we do. They probably saw a drop in its usage over the years, figured what's the point continuing to support this technology especially since they're already moving most of their products to the cloud (hosted Exchange, SharePoint, Office, etc.).

I think they want to move folks from the desktop to the cloud but botched this by not having their consumer focused Windows Live ecosystem ready in time (i.e., their mobileMe-ish service) and/or launching Windows Phone 7 too early. This may not be a forgotten scenario, but simply stuck in transition.

Just a thought
 
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:32 PM
brianchris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
Come on now, this isn't YouTube - you should be able to do your own research.

I just opened up Marketplace, did a search for the term "Dropbox", and found "Boxfiles for Dropbox". Not sure what the functionality is like...reading the description, it looks like you just email yourself a link from the program to a file in your public folder - so it's not actual access to the file. Without a file system, this may be the best we can do for now...which kind of sucks.
You are right....I should be doing my own research! I just assumed that when you referenced a WP7 Dropbox app, you had purchased and used it yourself, and therefore would quickly know what the name and functionality was. I am sorry for assuming that!

So, in discussing all this, I've realized something: There is (currently) no way to get an office document (or other non-picture file) *off* a WP7 device (including emailing a file), correct? If so, it means WP7 is imitating a black hole for files......files get in, but they can't get out!
 
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