Mobile OS Rivals Seize Enterprise, Vendor Attention

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-01-13 Print this article Print

5. The enterprise is looking elsewhere

Although Windows Mobile was once closer to ubiquitous in the enterprise, it's now quickly losing ground to the BlackBerry and the iPhone. Microsoft must stop the bleeding now or face the possibility of losing all its influence in the corporate space. It could happen-especially if Windows Mobile 7 doesn't launch until 2011.

6. Relevance is important

There's little debating that Windows Mobile is far less relevant than it once was. The iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices have pushed Windows Mobile to the back of the pack. If Microsoft waits another year, it will find itself even farther behind the competition, making it even more difficult to catch up. Waiting is simply not an option.

7. Market share is slipping

Windows Mobile's market share is declining compared with where it was just a few years ago. The longer Microsoft keeps an inferior product on the market, the greater the chance that its market share will continue to slide. Consumers and enterprise customers are looking for a next-generation phone. If Microsoft's software can't accommodate such a device, there's little chance of Windows Mobile regaining lost market share.

8. It will help Windows 7

Windows Mobile 7 could help Microsoft's sales of Windows 7. Historically, Windows Mobile and Windows have worked quite well together. The software was especially handy for enterprise users who wanted to be able to quickly sync content between office computer and mobile phone. If Windows Mobile 7 will be a viable alternative to software already available on the market and it will work best with Windows 7, it could push some companies to finally adopt Microsoft's latest operating system. That's an opportunity that Microsoft shouldn't miss.

9. More fodder for Apple and Google

Microsoft is in the middle of a major marketing battle with Apple and Google. The last thing Microsoft needs right now is to supply Apple and Google with the ammunition they want to make Microsoft look worse than it already does. If Windows Mobile isn't released until 2011, it will give both companies a full year to highlight all of Windows Mobile's shortcomings. That's simply unacceptable.

10. Vendor response

It's important to remember when considering any impact Windows Mobile could have on the market that it's only software. In order for users to get their hands on the new operating system, they need to buy a phone from a third-party vendor that runs the new OS. For too long, Windows Mobile has been the "also-ran" in the market. Meanwhile, vendors are wondering if and when they will see sales grow. That probably won't happen until Microsoft finally releases Windows Mobile 7. The longer Microsoft waits to release the operating system, the less likely that vendors will be willing to stick it out. They might opt to leave the mobile space altogether or, even worse for Microsoft, start offering phones with Android installed.

There's a lot riding on Windows Mobile 7. The sooner Microsoft can get it out to customers, the better.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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