An Apple in every briefcase

Apple Computer has launched an initiative aimed at putting its iPhone wireless device into the hands of millions of corporate and government workers by adding messaging and security features needed to make the phone a trusted workplace tool.

On March 6 Apple released the beta version of its iPhone 2.0 software with a development kit for application providers and preliminary information for corporate and government users on the service assurance and security features that will ship with the commercial version of the software in June.

The new release will include support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync capabilities such as secure push e-mail, contact and calendar messaging, and a remote data erase security feature. It will also support Cisco IPsec virtual private networking tools for secure, encrypted access to protected corporate and government networks.

Apple's licensing of Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync platform will give iPhone devices the ability to link to Microsoft Exchange Servers 2003 and 2007 for secure mobile access to e-mail, contacts, calendars and address lists, as well as the ability to remotely erase sensitive data and password policies from a lost or stolen iPhone.

The addition of Cisco IPSec VPN capabilities will give the iPhone support for IP-based encryption and user authentication using passwords, two-factor tokens or digital certificates. In addition, the iPhone will offer security on Wi-Fi networks via WPA2 Enterprise 802.1x authentication.

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