RIM has been detailing exactly how BlackBerry PlayBooks and future BlackBerry 10 devices will connect using ActiveSync for ages. Due to some blogger who must have been confused for the last few years it seems like RIM’s Senior Director for Enterprise Product Management, Jeff Holleran, decided to reiterate the point. People are getting really confused by BlackBerry 10 devices, PlayBooks, and Mobile Fusion making use of ActiveSync instead of the ancient MAPI protocol. The new ActiveSync component in Mobile Fusion is actually a nice improvement over the previous proprietary MAPI protocol in my opinion and has matured quite a bit since its launch.
In a blog post on the BlackBerry BizBlog Jeff Holleran explains exactly how the connection differs from the current BlackBerry Enterprise Server configuration. One of the things I like most about this new implementation using ActiveSync is that companies can make use of Mobile Fusion to replace VPN and not expose ActiveSync to the world while allowing RIM to support many different mail servers beyond Exchange. On the other hand this also allows companies to forgo using Mobile Fusion and simply use ActiveSync while still getting full sync of PIM but not BlackBerry level security.
If you are curious to learn exactly how it all works I highly recommend reading Hollerans great recap of Mobile Fusion, BlackBerry 10, and ActiveSync.