Windows Phone 7 Needs to Gain Enterprises Trust

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2010-10-12 Print this article Print


In addition, the Windows Phone 7 will come with mobile versions of Microsoft Office, including the ability to work with SharePoint Server. While there's some question about how convenient it will be to create or edit documents on a phone, the capability will be there. So not only can you create your own PowerPoint slides while you ride the bus, but you can use the Windows Phone 7 sharing feature to inflict them on others. 

But there's more to being a good enterprise phone than just working with Exchange and being able to edit Office documents. Other phones can do these tasks, too. What will matter to enterprise IT managers is whether Windows Phone 7 can be integrated easily into the enterprise, and whether it can be made secure enough to be trusted. There are some encouraging signs here. Microsoft is already promising the ability to find a lost phone, to erase and lock a phone remotely, and even to post a "Please Return" message on the screen. 

Missing so far is any mention of other abilities to control the phone remotely, such as the ability that's present in Exchange Server to turn off the camera in some circumstances. Without that, there will be organizations that will not be able to allow Windows Phone 7 phones into the workplace. 

This may not matter, of course, since the real direction of the device appears to be recreation and entertainment rather than work. But part of the reason for the success of the iPhone and the many Android devices is the ability to present something useful to virtually all users. 

Apple went to a lot of trouble to make the iPhone enterprise-friendly. So despite its emphasis as a music and movie platform, it also includes the ability to be managed by the enterprise. BlackBerry devices, of course, are tightly integrated with enterprise needs, and while Windows Phone 7 devices may not need to emulate that capability, Microsoft does need to address use in the enterprise if Phone 7 is to be successful in that part of the market. 

Right now, we don't know exactly what Microsoft will be able to deliver with Windows Phone 7, although one hopes it's a lot more like the functionality of the iPhone and Android devices than like the ill-fated Kin. Despite the new, slightly Kin-like screen, at least some of the parts seem to be in place. But a great deal will depend on whether enough of them are there for IT managers to care about Windows Phone 7.


Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazineÔÇÖs Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel