Have you come across a desktop app that will masquerade as an Exchange ActiveSync client?

A friend of mine mailed me today with this issue. His company will let him use virtually any mobile device to access and manage his corporate email and calendars. He typically uses an iPhone an iPad but sometimes uses a Windows Phone or Android device. He’s delighted with the capability.

However, he absolutely hates using his corporate issue laptop. He’d much prefer to use his MacBook Air or one of his sooped-up Dell machines to access his corporate mail. But he can’t.

His company won’t allow it. They won’t let him dial-in or use “remote access”. He reckons it’s the IT department being lazy — indeed, they’ve actually told him they can’t be bothered to enable it. Their view is that they’ve enabled connectivity for iPads and other mobile devices so their job is done. If you want access to your corporate email from a desktop, come into the office.

I think that’s a rather stupid policy.

To be clear, his company is using an old rubbishy version of Exchange — 2003 — and they’ve switched off the IMAP and HTTPS capabilities, so you can’t use any traditional Exchange-compatible desktop app. Exchange Mobile ActiveSync is the only way to get at the data.

However I wondered aloud with my friend — if he’s got complete permission to do what he wants with any Exchange ActiveSync compatible device (like an iPhone), wouldn’t it be possible for a desktop application to ‘spoof’ or masquerade as an iPhone client?

We’ve both done some searching and come up with nothing. Do you have any suggestions?

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