The process of setting up an account on an Exchange hosted plan is generally a painless one. When you sign up with 4Smartphone, they have an awesome tutorial that describes every little detail of the process. There are two parts of the setup: Outlook configuration, and Windows Mobile device configuration.
Before starting, you’ll want to export a PST file from Outlook so that all of your email and PIM data is saved. You’ll also want to take note of any account settings that you may have set for other accounts, because they’ll all be overwritten once you install the Outlook settings file (I found this out the hard way).
After you download and install the Outlook settings file and import the PST that you saved previously, Outlook will begin uploading your messages to the Exchange server. I had several thousand emails stored in Outlook, so this process took about two hours (I have the professional 1GB service plan which seems to be enough capacity). After the process is complete, you can check to be sure that your data was entirely uploaded by viewing 4Smartphone’s Outlook Web Access, which you can view from any web-enabled device.
Following the Outlook setup, it’s time to install the new settings onto your WM device (the service works with any version of Windows Mobile). You download and install a profile . What the file does is alter ActiveSync settings to reflect your Exchange account username and password. I went ahead and installed this profile on my Smartphone and Pocket PC so they’d both be syncing with the same account.
In the first screenshot below, you can see that I don’t sync my Smartphone with my PC anymore; it’s all done through wireless Exchange sync (how refreshing!). Shown in the second image, for email notification, you can have it occur two ways: through an invisible SMS that is sent to your phone as items arrive (which fires up ActiveSync to pull down the new message), or you can schedule a sync at given intervals, as I do. I don’t have a SMS plan, so the interval option makes more sense for me.
While on the topic of cell phone plans 4Smartphone says that you can get by with 2MB of data transfer, and I think that depends on the amount of email you receive. Since most emails are 5-10KB, that seems to come out to 200-400 emails. I’m on Cingular, and for $20, I went with the unlimited data plan because I deal with quite a bit of email.
Next blog, we’ll talk further about settings, and what live is like–in sync.