Where is the Messaging and Security Feature Pack?

Well If I had a pound for every email I'd had this week surrounding the availability of the Messaging and Security Feature Pack - I'd currently be holidaying at my beachfront property in the Carribean. 

Now we've released Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 to the Web there is a lot of confusion as to how customers get hold of the Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) for their devices.

Let me try and clarify this.

  • MSFP will be available as an update to Windows Mobile 5 devices early Q1 2006.  The update will be provided through OEMs and Operators.

  • The reason for the time difference is the different business models of our Server and Device platform.  When we finalise a product in the Server space we can just release it to the Web for download and to distribution.  For Mobile Devices our release is delivered through OEMs and Operators as they perform the testing and integration of the device ROM whilst Microsoft provides the core operating system.  Be assured that all operators and OEMs are working really hard to bring this to market as soon as possible!

  • In the future all Windows Mobile 5 devices will have MSFP integrated - it's just the current gap between Windows Mobile 5 coming to market and MSFP being available where there is a grey area. 

Some common questions and answers I've had over the past week:

Q. Will MSFP be available for my Windows Mobile 2003 or earlier device?

A. No - MSFP will be an upgrade to Windows Mobile 5 devices.

Q. Can I download MSFP from Microsoft/Jason - can you send me a copy?

A. No - MSFP will be available as an upgrade through your OEM/Operator

Q. Is MSFP included in the Exchange 2003 SP2 download?

A. No - it is not - it will be released through OEM/Operators as described above.

Q. When will it be available?

A. Current plans are Q1 2006. Check with your OEM/Operator for their current plans/specific dates.



Hope this helps clear up some confusion - feel free to drop a comment/email to me if there are any other questions you have.

Comments (17)
  1. Jason says:

    This is exciting news!

    Do you have an AKU number for the MSFP?

    Unfortunately Q1 2006 could mean Q4 2006 for some users. Just think how long it took some OEM/operators to bring the update with Windows Media Player 10 Mobile…

    I believe I read in some Microsoft blog that Windows Mobile 5 would include a feature to enable Microsoft to update the OS easier without the OEM having to retest and rerelease everything.

    What happend to this?

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    Hi Jason – AKU 2.0 is the update for MSFP.

    Q1 2006 is the Operator availability 🙂

    Windows Mobile 5 has Image Update which is the mechanism that provides up updates but it does not bypass the OEM/operator – it does allow them to distribute updates to the OEM for different compnents without the need to reflash/reload the entire OS

  3. HookEm96 says:

    You are right about there being a lot of confusion – generated mostly from the Microsoft Exchange website I think. The marketing material for Exchange 2K3 SP2 makes many claims of functionality without stating that MSFP is required.

  4. exchguy says:

    I welcome the MSFP update next year, however the negative of having to wait for OEM/Operators for software updates of devices is always a scary proposition because they aren’t in the business of providing software updates. They’d rather sell you a new device with the right software already there. The question of support on existing devices is also difficult and something most carriers would rather avoid. This is why OS upgrades for phones are rarely provided.

    Plus, carriers and OEMs are in the business of selling new phones and voice/data services do not want to be in the business of helping end users upgrade ROMs on their existing phones.

    I really hope that for future versions of Windows Mobile, that there becomes a better way to easily update add on software rather than having to be bound by what the carriers or manufacturers allow. If BB is able to upgrade software/capabilities on their devices without waiting for carriers, Microsoft should be able to do as well.

  5. leigh says:

    I’ve just got my Orange M5000. I really really hope Orange upgrade it when they’ve finished testing the MSFP otherwise I’m NOT going to be a happy bunny. My M5000 is part of the ‘intended’ push email ‘client’ I hope to offer to my customers as a BB alternative.

    Orange better not let me down – OH sorry Leigh but you have to buy the M5001 !!!!hahaha

  6. Neil says:

    I think you are right Jason, the info that was released on the Microsoft web sites about EXsp2 was/is rather misleading as to what is available now and what needs the MSFF pack.

    Also there is very little info on how to setup AS4.0 for direct exchange sync and how to get around the issues with certs/2FA.

    And why oh why is it a problem to get it working if you have forms basied auth on your OWA, surely MS could have sorted that out in EXsp2 rather than let busnesses which would be interested in MS mobile over Blackberry flounder in a information black hole.

  7. Satpal says:

    Thanks for the note about MSFP, I was one of those that was just about to send you an email and ask about availability 😉

    Can anyone point me to weblink that compares what you can and CAN’T do with Exchange SP2 with/without MSFP?

    I sell mobile email solutions (inc BlackBerry and any other email system) for a living and a lot of customers ask for details on the Exchange SP2 push email solution. Seems that, from the notes from above, Microsoft are pitching vapourware and that by leaving the MSFP pack in the hands of the OEMS, they may never see the light of day.

    Also, aside from the SP2 infrastructure upgrades, some users are spending £100’s on WM5 devices now because of Microsoft’s active pushing of Exchange SP2 features.. but they will not be guaranteed that the device will not be redundant in Q1 2006, if the OEM decides to sell a newer model with MSFP instead.

    I must say that I was impressed by the demo’s at the Technet show in London, and I think that my customers will have been equally impressed by the literature being sent out by Microsoft.

    Last word .. If MSFP is not out yet.. How are Microsoft demoing push email on their devices (Orange SPV M5000 etc)?

    Many thanks for all the posts here .. I have found them very helpful.

  8. HookEm96 says:

    Check out this web page for a matrix on what is required to get what functionality:


  9. MSDNArchive says:

    Hookem96 – that’s actually a matrix that Stan Foster and I pulled together back in August – great to see you leveraging it http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonlan/archive/2005/08/30/458000.aspx

  10. MSDNArchive says:

    Satpal – let me answer some of your questions:

    1) Microsoft have an internal build of MSFP that we are using on non-Orange devices. They are devices from HTC direct.

    2) MSFP is not vapourware! It is going to be available early next year – all OEMs are massively enthusiastic about the opportunity it represents for them.

    3) For devices that are in Market already – I’d check with your OEM/Operator if they plan to offer an upgrade.

    Remember from next year every device will have MSFP integrated – it’s just the gray area in the interim!

  11. Brice says:

    If anyone is wondering… The reason carriers will actually be upgrading their devices this time is the extra bandwidth. Carriers realize that minute usage is only part of their money making potential.

  12. Tarek Haoula says:


    Do you think the upgrade will contain Compact Framework 2.0. It would be awesome if could be included in the rom.

    Kind Regards,


  13. Dyvim says:

    Will there be any way for ISVs to leverage Exchange SP2 and MSFP to create 3rd party synchronization solutions? e.g. synchronizing Exchange information to applications other than the defaut Microsoft apps (Contacts, Messaging, Tasks).

  14. I was just on Microsoft BetaPlace downloading the Microsoft Device Emulator 1.0 Community Preview to test Windows Mobile 5.0 with Exchange ActiveSync and the download timed-out at 98%. 2% remaining? Such a tease… I then tried accessing http://beta.microsoft.com

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