T-Mobile G1's Enterprise Mobility Is Lost in the Cloud

T-Mobile's G1 smart phone launches to great mobile and wireless fanfare, marking the entrance of Google's Android mobile operating system. However, Enterprise Mobile CEO Mort Rosenthal points out that enterprises should exercise caution when considering the G1 or any mobile device where data from Web services lives in the cloud. Would you trust the G1 as your enterprise mobile computing device?

Today, Oct. 22, is the celebrated launch of T-Mobile's G1 with Google, the first smart phone based on Google's Android open-source mobile operating system stack. Retail stores for the phone carrier are opening up at 8 a.m. to sell what has been reported as 1.5 million G1 units to Web service-hungry users.
What you won't find are business leaders lining up to order major shipments of the device. Indeed, T-Mobile made no secret at its Sept. 23 unveiling that the G1 would be targeted for family use.
No one can argue this after it was established the G1 wouldn't support Microsoft Exchange Server, generally considered table stakes for enabling enterprise mobility. Don't expect Google to go there; Android creator Andy Rubin said a third-party programmer would have to build it.

See G1 pictures here, if you can't make it to a T-Mobile store.

Mort Rosenthal, CEO of Enterprise Mobile, which helps companies plan enterprise mobility implementations for devices based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile, discussed why the G1 doesn't pass the enterprise mobility acid test with me Oct. 21.

I know what you're thinking. Rosenthal would seem to have good reason to knock the G1 down a few pegs. This may be particularly true given the speculation from GigaOm's Om Malik via eWEEK's own Joe Wilcox that Windows Mobile is the odd man out in the accelerating smart-phone race between Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Nokia's Symbian. You may well be right.

Yet what Rosenthal told me makes solid sense, as long as you agree that the so-called cloud, or Internet, is no platform on which to base a device designed to house and transmit sensitive and proprietary corporate information.
Rosenthal said what's missing in cloud computing from an enterprise perspective is control of the information in the cloud. Most enterprises are not going to be happy with an open communication structure.