Even with so many bells and whistles to attract business buyers, some analysts are not sure whether HP and Microsoft will succeed in promoting Windows 10 Mobile phones. The advantages of using Windows productivity apps across different form factors with Continuum might lure some enterprise users already familiar with Office apps, but that might not be enough apps for the broad array of software that workers need.
HP added the Salesforce1 mobile app to the phone for customer relationship management, as well as its HP Workspace software and the Adobe PDF Reader.
Still, it is unclear how HP and other Windows 10 Mobile phone makers are going to erase a 10% decline in Windows Phone shipments recorded by IDC for all of 2015.
Overall smartphone growth is expected to slow with greater intensity over the next five years, according to IDC. The analyst firm put the Windows Phone OS at just 2.2% market share for all of 2015, compared to 81% for Android and 16% for Apple’s iOS.
"Despite all the effort Microsoft has put in the launch of Windows 10, IDC does not expect Microsoft's share of the smartphone OS market to grow much over the coming years," IDC said in December.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy was more optimistic. He said the Elite x3's ability to link to desktop monitors, keyboards and other devices is a "fascinating use case … that will promote Windows Phone." The technology will not only allow Microsoft productivity apps to work with Continuum, but also with other 32-bit apps that are virtualized in the cloud to give companies more flexibility.
Moorhead said the Elite x3 is the first generation of a modular system that will catch on in businesses, and predicted it will grow to be in 10% of workplaces within five years.
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