I’ve just got myself a Windows Smartphone and would like to move my 6000 contacts on my Sony Clie to my new phone. I currently sync against Outlook Express. How do I do this?
I got this question last week from John, the Prince of Mann. Well, the main problem in what you’re asking above is that Outlook Express is no longer supported by Microsoft, and has limited use in a synchronisation environment. Most products on the market seem to target Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express’ big brother; particularly as Microsoft Outlook has extra functionality around Notes and Calendar which bring additional value to a PDA user.
So, the first thing to do would be to move off Outlook Express and onto Microsoft Outlook. Once this is installed, it will ask you if you want to import your data from Outlook Express and it will take care of this relatively painlessly for you. And this is where the magic happens. If you plug in your Smartphone and you have Outlook installed, it will automatically sync up your Smartphone with Outlook and all your email, contacts, calendar appointments etc will make their way over to your new phone.
This was only half the story though. John’s 6000 contacts hadn’t found their way over to Outlook Express and we needed to find a way to import them into Outlook so that the new PDA will pick them up. There are a number of products on the market that are supposed to be able to do this, including the synchronisation programme that came with the Clie. Unfortunately however, it didn’t support Outlook 2003, and and the newer versions of Intellisync didn’t have his PDA on the “supported PDAs” list.
There are a number of products on the market to do what we wanted and although they are all cheaper than a Patek Gondolo watch, we really didn’t want to spend any money on what would be a one-off process. So we ended up going down the Chapura PocketMirror route. Pocketmirror is a product that lets you synchronise Outlook against Palm OS. There is a charge to use it, but luckily they have a 7-day trial and we only needed to use it once to get his contacts out of his Clie. The software worked a treat and today John is a happy bunny!