Windows Mobile is in a difficult position. The mobile operating system is losing ground on a daily basis to more complete and appealing operating systems, such as the iPhone OS and Android.
And until it's relieved by Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system, it's entirely possible that Microsoft will be starting at a lower position in the market than it is right now. It's not good for the software giant. And it could cost it a significant amount of cash if it doesn't find a way to make Windows Phone 7 Series devices a major competitor in the marketplace.
But there's one issue standing in the operating system's way: Microsoft's decision to focus on the consumer market. It's understandable to some extent why Microsoft would engage in such a strategy. The iPhone is enjoying unbridled success and Android, which is also targeted at consumers, is selling well. Why wouldn't Microsoft capitalize on that market?
But before Microsoft gets caught up in the consumer space, it needs to remember the enterprise. The corporate world is still Microsoft's domain. It's also the place where RIM's BlackBerry operating system is raking in the cash for the mobile company. To simply forget about the enterprise makes little sense.
Microsoft needs the support of the enterprise to take on Apple and Google.
1. The iPhone cornered the consumer market
As much as Microsoft wants to take down the iPhone, it will be extremely difficult for the company to do so. Apple's smartphone has effectively cornered the consumer market and the chances of a Windows Phone 7 Series device changing that anytime soon are slim. If Microsoft really wants to start chipping away at the iPhone's lead, it needs to work with the enterprise. Apple is already too entrenched in the consumer space.
2. This is the last chance
Windows Mobile has been a nightmare for Microsoft over these past few years. The company can't risk a similar strategy with Windows Phone 7 Series. Microsoft's upcoming mobile OS might be its last chance to turn things around. After seeing its mobile market share plummet at the hands of Apple and Google, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Series is the software giant's chance at regaining its position in the market. That will only come with the enterprise's help.
3. There's money to be made
Let's not forget that the enterprise is still an extremely lucrative customer segment. And as RIM has shown over the past few years, there is significant money to be made if it's targeted in the right way. At this point, Microsoft can't ignore the enterprise simply because Apple is making boatloads of cash in the consumer market. You can make money in the enterprise, Microsoft. You just need to focus some energy on it.
4. RIM is a competitor too
It seems that Microsoft doesn't view RIM as a real competitor. That needs to stop. If Microsoft wants Windows Phone 7 Series to be a real success in the marketplace, it needs to ensure that it's targeting all the competitors in the space and not handpicking which companies it wants to compete with. RIM might not get the kind of attention Apple and Google get, but it's a real competitor. And it's gunning for Microsoft. If the software giant doesn't realize that, it will be in trouble.