Scott Horn, from Microsoft is disputing many of the claims made by Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie last week on a conference call.  Balsillie downplayed the competitive threat from Microsoft’s Messaging & Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0 stating that only 12% of Exchange users are on Exchange 2003 which is required for ‘Direct Push’ mobile email.  Horn, however, claims that 40% of the overall 126 million Exchange user base are on Exchange 2003.

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle.  I am sure that more than 12% of the Exchange user base is actually up an running on E2K3 servers but that number is far south of the 40% of licenses that have been purchased.  Many companies own Exchange 2003 licenses but have not completed their upgrades and migrations to the latest messaging platform offered by Microsoft. 

Last week Balsillie also suggested that carriers will charge more for data plans that use Microsoft’s ‘Direct Push’ technology. 

Michael Woodward, executive director of mobile professional solutions at Cingular, said it’s too early to say how much carriers will charge for Microsoft’s direct push service, as it isn’t available yet. However, he did say that competing services tend to be competitively priced. “Most enterprise customers choose unlimited plans, including whether that’s BlackBerry or something else, and that pricing is all very similar,” he said.

from Cellular-News