As Google and its carriers begin to make the Android 2.2 OS (aka Froyo) available to the slew of devices from Motorola, HTC, LG, and so on, one repeatedly trumpeted claim is that it has better Microsoft Exchange support, making it usable in many businesses that heretofore would have blocked it.
This support, Android fan boys say, mean that Google's mobile OS is finally ready to take on the iPhone and even BlackBerry in the corporate world.
No such luck.
The sad truth is that Android 2.2, like its predecessors, supports only unsecured Exchange accounts, which pretty much rules out any business accounts. Froyo does add some nice features for users of unsecured Exchange, namely autodiscovery of Exchange settings and new APIs that let software developers create Android mobile management tools. But when you try to connect to a secured Exchange account, you get the message, "This server requires security features your phone does not support." It's better than the blank screen in previous versions of the Android OS, but you're still unable to use the phone for corporate email.
Now the devil in the details is that Froyo does support some Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) security policies, so you could relax your security permissions at the Exchange server -- but that risks not conforming to regulations or security standards your business established for presumably good reason. If you're able to lower your standards, the easiest way to let Android devices onto Exchange is to enable the "allow nonprovisioned devices" policy -- which really means "allow noncompliant devices," and not just Android ones.
Or you could spend $20 to get NitroDesk's TouchDown email client, which does support EAS policies. There's a free trial version so you can test it. The TouchDown client works, though it's separate from the rest of your email and doesn't let you navigate through your mail folders; you can see all messages or just inbox messages, but you can move messages into your folders.
(If you use IBM's Lotus Notes, TouchDown also works with version 8.5.1 of that email server, using the Notes Traveler capabilities. IBM promises to release a native Lotus Notes client for Android OS 2.x some time this year.)