Wish Lists for RIM and Microsoft

By J. Gerry Purdy  |  Posted 2010-01-12 Print this article Print

Wish list for RIM

You have to hand it to the folks at RIM. They keep selling boatloads of BlackBerry devices. They have had some growth pains supporting all the new users. But they will continue to do a great job. I do have a couple of things I still think they should do:

1. I wish that RIM would develop a rich, Linux-based operating system for BlackBerry that replaces the virtual machine operating system presently in place. This would greatly increase the user experience and make it more like the iPhone and Android.

2. I wish that RIM would develop a BlackBerry client. This would leverage installations that already have (or plan to install) the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) but enables employees who want to use the iPhone. BES already provides secure connectivity to both Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes/Domino.

Wish list for Microsoft

I was pleased to hear that Microsoft has announced plans to develop Outlook for the Mac that should be delivered by the fall of 2010. It will bring over 500 million Outlook users into consideration for a Mac the next time they upgrade-giving both enterprise users as well as professionals and other individuals that use Outlook a seamless way to migrate all of their e-mail messages, contacts and calendar to a Mac environment.

I wish that Microsoft would make the following improvements to Outlook:

1. Show both the business and home address. It's annoying to have to use a pull-down list to see someone's home address.

2. List the title before the company name, as that's the order that most people use on their business cards-and the way you think when adding someone's contact information.

3. Make it easy (for example, via a right-click option) to add a new contact from someone's e-mail signature and e-mail address.

4. Develop a utility to assist in eliminating duplicate contacts or merging slightly different versions into a common contact.

5. Provide "consolidated" view in the Calendar area for an entire week, similar to what was provided in Outlook 2003. Outlook 2007 prints the week's calendar in the consolidated format but displays only in the "spread" view of time during throughout the day.

6. Improve Outlook's Search function. Most people simply keep their e-mail messages in their Inbox and Sent folders, which grow over time (it's good to move them to an archive folder after a year or 18 months). Outlook 2010 is under development. I recommend that Microsoft improve the Search in Outlook in three major ways:

- Present search results very quickly for the first 10 e-mail messages found that satisfy the search (so that the system doesn't keep searching through thousands of e-mail messages unnecessarily).

- Make using Boolean logic (such as "&" and "or") much easier for users so they can construct searches such as "Alicia" and "equestrian" that would search for both terms, not just one.

- Provide query by example (QBE) where the Contact folder is displayed and the user can enter the fields they want to search. For example, enter 404 in the Area Code and the system would find all those in the area code. Or enter 370xx and have it find all the contacts with a zip code that starts with 370.

7. I wish that Microsoft would develop an integrated wireless handheld device using Danger assets (Zune Phone?). They have some good services, so Microsoft could leverage the Danger assets and provide something users would enjoy using.

J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., is Principal Analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax LLC.
Dr. Purdy has been covering mobile, wireless, cloud & enterprise for the past 20+ years. He writes analysis and recommendations each week in an easy-to-read manner that helps people better understand important technology issues and assist them in making better technology purchasing decisions.

Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in a column. If that situation happens, then IÔÇÖll disclose it at that time.

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