Microsoft ActiveSync is a technology that manages to synchronize your mobile devices with your computer via cables, InfraRed or Bluetooth connections. It works for both Pocket PCs and smartphones, but its support is restricted to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
Microsoft ActiveSync allows you to transfer your documents, applications, images, music, videos, and contact information from Outlook into and from your portable device. Any changes you perform to your device in terms of content is immediately performed on the other device as soon as the sync process is successful.
Usage is not rocket science: simply connect your portable device via USB, serial cable or infrared connection, and select the elements you wish to synchronize it with (e.g. calendar, contacts). In addition, ActiveSync can synchronize with servers too, such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Axigen, Z-push, etc.
With Microsoft ActiveSync, you also have access to backups and to install/uninstall operations on mobile devices. On the downside, ActiveSync cannot process some of the content in Outlook; for instance, the contacts that are grouped into subfolders won’t be synchronized, but only the ones that are not present in subfolders.
Nevertheless, Microsoft ActiveSync is a great tool for helping you keep track of appointments, to-do lists, tasks, and others while you're on the go. It’s a great choice if you need to sync your Outlook folders with your Pocket PC or smart phones.
Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft decided to replace ActiveSync with Windows Mobile Device Center, an evolved and more advanced mobile phone management application.