Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Smartphones explosion sheds light on enterprise mobility evolution

John Cox | Sept. 10, 2012
New smartphones this week from Nokia-Microsoft and Motorola-Verizon Wireless-Google, with Apple's iPhone expected next week, shed light on how mobility is evolving for enterprise IT groups.

Nokia is currently the leading Windows Phone vendor in the U.S., but that's not actually saying much, as one analyst notes. "Despite recent gains, Windows Phone is not yet performing to Ovum's expectations," says Tony Cripps, principal analyst, devices and platforms, Ovum, a technology market research firm.

Cripps has a novel thesis about why. "This is, at least, partially as a consequence of the strength of the opposition [iOS and Android], but partly, we think, as a deliberate move by Microsoft and its hardware partners to avoid flooding the market too quickly with the platform before they are in a position to play up its synergies with other Microsoft products, especially Windows 8 for PCs and tablets [due out this fall], and its business applications," he says. "The clear benefits to businesses from the ready integration possible across Microsoft's products set will set a benchmark for BYOD strategies focused on out-of-box device capabilities once Microsoft's full range of new platforms is available."

But what this integration will entail, or what synergies it will achieve (or at least promise), and in what time frame, all remain mysterious in light of Microsoft's continuing silence about its priorities for the mobile enterprise.

Ovum's chief telecoms analysts, Jan Dawson, argues that by extending the distinctive, "Metro" user interface of Windows Phone into Windows 8 on tablets and notebooks, Microsoft paradoxically will make Windows Phone more familiar to a much larger audience. Another synergy is the now-shared kernel in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. That means "developers can develop for PCs, tablets and smartphones in a unified way, which should help developers get on board with Windows Phone, and that in turn should make the platform more attractive," Dawson says.

That's a view echoed in a blogpost by VentureBeat's Devindra Hardawar, who argues that with the advent of Windows 8, Windows Phone "will no longer feel like an outlier among Microsoft's products. Windows 8 finally wraps up everything Microsoft is doing - desktops, smartphones, tablets, and even the Xbox's new interface into one cohesive computing experience."

Windows 8 is what will "truly differentiate Windows Phone for the upcoming year," he says. "That's important, because the [mobile] platform has suffered from being only slightly more convenient and prettier than its competitors. If Microsoft can market Windows Phone 8 as an extension of Windows 8, it could finally make consumers pay attention."

As Hardawar points out, that's not something that Google or even Apple, which has been importing the look and feel of iOS into its desktop/notebook Mac operating system, can offer, or at least offer in quite the same way.

The new phones show that mobile devices are less like personal computers and more like personalized service endpoints that smoothly and efficiently interconnect with a growing range of back-end services, either on the Web, in various clouds, or behind the firewall of the enterprise.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.