Is Windows Phone the Answer for the Microsoft-Based Office?
The powerhouses of the iOS and Android operating systems currently dominate the smartphone marketplace. However, there is a new player on the field that is rapidly gaining an appreciable fan base: the Windows Phone. Boasting an operating system and design that are substantially different from both the iOS and the Android, the Windows Phone is touted as the mobile device for the Microsoft user base.
Unless you’ve been under a rock lately, you know that the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show is underway this week. Among the many announcements being made by technology powerhouses at the show, both Sprint and Samsung announced Windows Phone offerings. Clearly, the phone has appeal for consumers but what about its benefits in a corporate environment?
Given that most businesses use Microsoft software daily, is this phone the logical choice for corporations nationwide? To answer this question, we must look at the capabilities of the phone itself, as well as the types of mobile strategies that businesses are currently pursuing.
The Windows Phone was built to work well with the Microsoft suite of products, particularly the new Windows 8 operating system. With applications for both Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics, the phone should be immediately attractive for businesses given the prevalence and functionality of those programs. However, this device has steep competition from its Android and iOS counterparts for this same functionality. While these products may not offer direct integration, both offer powerful word processing and CRM programs. Additionally, Microsoft is rumored to have an office application for iOS ready for release sometime early this year. Because apps continue to be released every day that add functional value across every mobile operating system, proprietary applications do not hold significant appeal.
But what about the value of a direct integration with Microsoft Windows OS? The value of that proposition begins with companies incorporating the integration directly into their business strategy. In the recent past this was not a problem, as many companies would provide employees with mobile devices. However, with the advent of the “bring your own device” trend, this strategy is quickly becoming outdated. Because employees use their own mobile device, often of the Android or iOS variety, the value of a Microsoft integration with the Windows Phone goes way down.Continued on the next page