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Motorola's Droid Pro phone designed for business users

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Droid Pro business phone, encryption and Exchange features using the Linux Android platform

A new mobile phone announced by Motorola supports interoperability with Exchange and the ability to wipe the file system automatically if stolen. File system encryption has been a part of many Linux distributions years, and now the Android OS will include it as a security feature.

Droid Pro business phone by Motorola

Motorola announced the new Google Android smart phone at a press event on the eve of the 2010 CTIA Enterprise & Applications trade show. Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha called the phone, which sports a 3.1-inch touch screen display and a QWERTY keypad, the first Android phone designed specifically for business users.

The company has added several features to the Droid Pro, which could make it a strong BlackBerry competitor.

One of the key features it offers is the ability to remotely wipe the device of its contents if it's lost or stolen. Remote device wiping isn't entirely new to the Android platform. Verizon recently partnered with Good Technology to deliver remote wipe on the Motorola Droid 2, Droid X, and LG Ally.

What is different on the Droid Pro is the ability to remotely wipe the memory card, as well.

Device Encryption

In addition to the remote wipe features, Motorola also plans to add device encryption in the first quarter of 2011. What this means is that the Droid Pro will encrypt all data on the phone, so that if it is lost or stolen and someone hacks the security password to the device, the contents on the device are still unreadable. This device encryption is a key requirement for enterprise IT organizations.

Another important feature that has been added to the Droid Pro is support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync technology. This allows corporate users to get their work e-mail pushed to their phones. RIM's push technology has made e-mail its killer application for most corporate users. But with ActiveSync, the Motorola Droid Pro and other devices using the technology, can get the same type of e-mail service as people using a BlackBerry.

Active Sync is offered on some other Android phones, but it isn't offered on every device. Other smartphone platforms, such as Apple's iPhone, have also been adding these security features and ActiveSync e-mail to devices in order to compete against RIM.

With over 50 percent market share inside large corporations, the enterprise is RIM's market to lose. But as Android phone makers, such as Motorola, and third party software developers, such as Good, work to replicate RIM's security and management features on other devices, the corporate smartphone king could find itself vulnerable to competitors.

DateOctober 15, 2010