WP7 Release Spurning Enterprise, Then Remaking WinMo’s Mistakes?

Posted by Zealot on Oct 01, 2010

closeThis post was published 3 years 9 months 26 days ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

windows-phone-7-seriesOh please Mr. Ballmer, say it ain’t so. Remember the dark days when Microsoft split its Mobile client into three flavors; first called Pocket PC, PPC Phone and PPC Smartphone and then Windows Mobile Standard, Windows Mobile Professional and Windows Mobile Classic (for some reason at the time, MS marketers missed the obvious fourth flavor, Windows Mobile Increasingly Irrelevant)? It appears that MS may be going for a new version of that market-baffling strategy.

First of all, it appears that Microsoft is admitting that, out of the box, Windows Phone 7 will not be a good fit for the Enterprise, being slavishly consumer focused. Most of us had already guessed this so it is not a major surprise…just disappointing to hear it so blatantly confirmed. However, Redmond is saying they intend to pick up business customers further down the line, but they may be trying to go back to making a sharp distinction between consumer and business users in the upcoming Windows Phone 7 through the use of different hardware models.

According to Silicon.com, this is what Paul Foster, Microsoft Evangelist in the UK, had to say at a recent press briefing…

The device emphasis is clearly a consumer device. [WP7's predecessor] Windows Mobile was a very successful business app, but the world changed with a focus on the consumer viewpoint. So we have rebooted our mobile phone product by delivering – along with Windows Mobile, because it still exists there under our Windows Embedded team – a consumer-focused Windows Phone 7….

WP7 devices will have one of two screen resolutions – either 800 x 480 for large touchscreen devices with the potential for slide-out Qwerty keyboards, or 480 x 320 for ‘BlackBerry’ style handsets that can incorporate a Qwerty on the front of the device. Microsoft expects the majority of WP7 devices to have the larger screen resolution at launch, with smaller resolution handsets coming later, said Foster.

OK, so Windows Mobile still exists as an embedded OS (along with Windows 7 Embedded) which is bad enough.  I had hoped Microsoft would have the nerve to put a stake in it once and for all, but OK. Worse, it appears that MS will be funneling businesses to a candy-bar style which one assumes will have different application requirements from the larger screen models being initially released. How many flavors of bad can you detect in this overbaked idea? Supposedly MS had learned from Apple in the creating of Windows Phone 7, but it seemed they missed the fact that a single OS and limited hardware forms is the way to go currently….but NOOOOOOO. Instead we are apparently back to market-numbing variations on what should be a single, laser-focused theme.

The other massive error that Microsoft seems to be working from is that business users will wait around for WP7 to get around to supporting them. Already many former WinMo business users are switching to Android smartphones or the iPhone. When Windows Phone 7 releases as a consumer focused operating system with few provisions for business users, the last WinMo stalwarts who are holding out hope will likely switch over to one of Microsoft’s competitors.

Windows Phone 7 is coming very late to the Consumer market, however it may come TOO late for the Enterprise market. Has Redmond missed this fact?

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Zealot (839 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


By day a department manager and writer for a major network device vendor...by night Zealot stalks the mean magnetic streets, striking fear into the hearts of bandwidth abusers and theme park mascots. Zealot has been involved with mobile devices for more than a decade now, starting off with dumb phones, moving to PDAs and then to smartphones, notebooks and netbooks with the odd PMP thrown in. Most of his mobile time currently is spent on a Treo Pro, Zune HD, Thinkpad T61, HP Mini 311, iPod Touch 3G, iPad 16G or a Hackintoshed Compaq Mini 704. He proudly groks the Geek community and considers himself a Neo Maxi Zune Dweebie (thanks Wil Wheaton!).

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  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Does Android only support one aspect ratio? (Notice that I didn't say “screen resolution”. Even iOS supports multiple resolutions if you count the iPhone 3, iPhone 4 and iPad.) Android certainly supports various form factors (touch-only slabs and sliding keyboard models at the least), and it seems to be doing very well, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

    Those are not variations in the OS, like Windows Mobile had with Professional (touchscreen phones), Classic (touchscreen PDAs/non-phones) and Standard (non-touchscreen phones), just variations in specs the devices have. Even if you only look at Classic, Windows Mobile 2003 SE supported different screen resolutions/aspect ratios (240×320, 320×240, 480×640, etc.).

    As for business users, maybe Microsoft would be smart to support Windows Mobile until Windows Phone 7 (8?) supports business features. Businesses with a significant investment in Windows Mobile infrastructure would certainly be happy about that.

    Steve

  • stevenshytle

    “The other massive error that Microsoft seems to be working from is that business users will wait around for WP7 to get around to supporting them. Already many former WinMo business users are switching to Android smartphones or the iPhone. When Windows Phone 7 releases as a consumer focused operating system with few provisions for business users, the last WinMo stalwarts who are holding out hope will likely switch over to one of Microsoft’s competitors.” Exactly.

  • Chris

    “Worse, it appears that MS will be funneling businesses to a candy-bar style….

    “…which one assumes will have different application requirements from the larger screen models being initially released”

    Not sure how you arrived at either of these suppositions. Screen resolution/aspect ratio differences are easily handled in Silverlight, the primary environment for most applications on WP7.

    The “business features” missing seem to be more on the Enterprise Management side (Provisioning/Software Distribution/etc), not as much from a user perspective (given it's EAS/Office functionality). Are there other _common_ business user features missing?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CTTMEE3JLEIVB5ZX53OIXLW2H4 Keith

    Agreed. We were a 100% winmo shop running on ATT. As far back as a year ago, they've been trimming their winmo devices off their premiere store and we were forced to jump ship to the Apple Iphones. THis announcement essentially slams the last nail into the coffin and we will more than likely not be revisiting Winmo as a PDA solution going forward.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CTTMEE3JLEIVB5ZX53OIXLW2H4 Keith

    Agreed. We were a 100% winmo shop running on ATT. As far back as a year ago, they've been trimming their winmo devices off their premiere store and we were forced to jump ship to the Apple Iphones. THis announcement essentially slams the last nail into the coffin and we will more than likely not be revisiting Winmo as a PDA solution going forward.

  • eric12341

    nice anti-MS article….NOT!!! seems that this site is catering more to the likes of android and apple everyday,and you can even tell by the lack of articles about wp7 compared to those of android or iPhone. maldita bola de tarados!!

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Geez, you're back? We did NOT miss you.

    Anyway, I think the article itself is fair. I do agree that our coverage of the Windows Phone 7 release has been remarkably lacking, though.

    Steve

  • eric12341

    Yea see so my comment is valid

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    Only one part of your comment was valid (that our Windows Phone 7 coverage is lacking). The rest is your usual crap and insults. People here are free to write about what interests them, and if that happens to now be the iPhone or Android, so be it.

    Dissenting comments and criticism are welcome here; insults are not. All in all, you're a net loss and are free (and encouraged) to visit other sites.

    Steve

  • eric12341

    This article was insulting MS' efforts. Its obvious that this site now caters more to iPhone and Android. It should cater to everything equally. NACOS!!

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    This article was insulting MS' efforts.

    I wouldn't say that, but let's write that off as a matter of taste. Z (who probably posts more articles than the rest of the staff combined) has “insulted” Steve Jobs on numerous occasions (for example, Fanboi Pain Continues…Apple on Letterman) and has critized Android as well (Android vs iOS 2010: Open Source Cuts Both Ways).

    And some of his conclusions in this article seem correct to me, such as the following:

    The other massive error that Microsoft seems to be working from is that business users will wait around for WP7 to get around to supporting them. Already many former WinMo business users are switching to Android smartphones or the iPhone. When Windows Phone 7 releases as a consumer focused operating system with few provisions for business users, the last WinMo stalwarts who are holding out hope will likely switch over to one of Microsoft’s competitors.

    I know that I'm seriously considering Android for my next phone. I don't want to give up my investment in Windows Mobile software and jump to Windows Phone 7 which hasn't proven itself yet. I'll certainly check out any WP7 phones that Verizon may carry, but Microsoft has lost all of the inertia it had with its existing application base when it made WP7 not backward compatible.

    Its obvious that this site now caters more to iPhone and Android. It should cater to everything equally.

    If it caters more to the iPhone and Android, that's probably reflective of the fact that those are the devices most people are interested in. The people here are (almost) all volunteers and write about what they find interesting.

    And good luck with covering everything equally. By that logic, we should also cover WebOS, BlackBerry and Symbian equally, too.

    I agreed with you that our WP7 coverage was lacking (we still haven't posted one article since the October 11 release!), but that's as far as I agree with you. As I said, if you don't like the coverage here, go someplace else; I'll be happy to link you to several sites that cover WP7. I'm not sure why you find the above so difficult to comprehend, but insulting us won't win you any points.

    Steve

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