Windows Phone 7 ready for corporate America?

*Disclaimer* I tried to write this as unbiased as I possibly could but, alas, I love my Windows Phone 7 and think it everyone should have one.

Windows Phone 7 for corporate America? 

Overview / Why Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s latest attempt at cracking the smartphone industry – an extremely well executed one whose full potential has yet to be fully realized. From its beginnings, Windows Phone 7 was designed with the end users in mind – hence the gorgeous UI and intuitive customizability. Once developed, Microsoft sought to deeply root the phone for the corporate business world. Strongly integrated into Outlook, SharePoint, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, Windows Phone 7 anticipated the business user’s needs and provided the support required. With a new update due in September of 2011, Microsoft clearly believes in the product and continues to improve on the platform and encourages phone manufacturers to develop better products more suited for this new platform. Perfect for all ages because of its intuitive design, WP7 also caters to the business environment. Its security features integrate with existing platforms, such as ActiveSync, easing the transition from pleasure to business.

Microsoft’s Summary:

“Windows Phone 7 brings together the information, applications, tools, and services needed to help your workforce accomplish what they most want to do, easier and faster. At home or on the go, people can use powerful solutions such as Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft SharePoint Server to stay up-to-date with colleagues and business associates. Microsoft Outlook Mobile also delivers easy access to email messages and calendars so people can respond quickly and efficiently. And with the intuitive user interface of Windows Phone 7, people can work more efficiently using gestures like tapping and pinching to select content and navigate on their phone.”

Why not Windows Phone 7

A relative new comer to the smartphone world, Windows Phone 7 has some catching up to do in comparison to iPhone and Android devices. The interesting approach Microsoft took by focusing on consumers and their experience opposed to how the phone would fit into enterprise companies seems to be a shot in the foot, keeping it from gaining traction in the business world. Microsoft took a gamble when focusing on consumers first. Their thought process:

Consumers now drive what phones and phone operating systems that get adopted in corporate America, so let’s get consumers interested in our phones and then they’ll want it for work.

A great theory, but just that: a theory. Windows Phone 7 has yet to make a huge impact in the phone industry, holding only about 7% of the market share in March of 2011 – half that of RIM (15%). With its slow adoption in the consumer market, there has yet to be enough buzz around the WP7 platform for major corporations to adopt the platform entirely, if any. The good news for WP7 is that big companies are slow to adopt any new technology, regardless of how revolutionary, giving them time to work out the security issues and any other must-haves for corporate. The bad news is WP7 started this race a few laps behind its competitors and has some catching up to do in both the consumer markets as well as the enterprise market.

What do I think?

If I were in a position to adivse a company on their mobile policies and they asked if they should implement Windows Phone 7 immediately, I’d say no. I think, if Microsoft did what it should have, Mango will come out with some surprises for the business world. Ex: More integrated security features, Phone encryption, Device control for IT admins, etc. If these items comes with Mango, Windows Phone 7 has a shot to be the leading corporate mobile device in the market but only time will tell.

What do you think of Windows Phone 7 and its place in corporate America?

 WP7 Business Documentation / Links

Security Features

Windows Phone 7 Guide for IT Professionals: (8 Documents)


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