Windows Mobile and unique device IDs

It turns out that Windows Mobile devices have unique device IDs. This comes about because WM is part of the Windows CE family, so each WM device has a two-part unique ID. The first 4 bytes represent a device family (e.g. all, say, HTC S730s will have the same 4-byte value). The remaining 12 bytes are supposed to be globally unique to all devices from the manufacturer, so that two (say) Palm Treo 750s will have two different device IDs. These IDs are not the same as the IMEI or phone number (in part because not every device will have an IMEI or phone number– consider a WiFi-only device that syncs to EAS).

There are several different uses for the device ID. From an Exchange perspective, the two biggest ones are:

  • looking at the IIS logs on the CAS server to see when a particular device synced and what happened when it tried (e.g. are there errors? did the sync complete? when was the last sync?) Some of this information is visible on the Mobile Devices tab of the OWA’s Option page, or you can get it using the get-ActiveSyncDeviceStatistics cmdlet.
  • provisioning access by device. For example, you can allow only a specified device to connect for a user, which prevents them from using other (presumably unsupported or unauthorized) devices. To do this, you use the set-CASMailbox cmdlet with the ActiveSyncAllowedDeviceIDs switch.

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