In pushing for a standard Windows Phone 7 experience across many devices and carriers, Microsoft is likely to run into problems. For as much as Microsoft wants its smartphone OS to look and act the same across many devices, carriers and hardware makers want to make their own marks, too. At stake is control of the user experience and, ultimately, of customers themselves.
Will the carriers and hardware manufacturers remain top dogs, or will the operating system vendors prevail? Put another way, will smartphones end up following the PC business model, where hardware manufacturers do not control user interfaces, or will they and carriers remain an important chokepoint between a smartphone OS and its users?
An application that many users have never seen--Microsoft's SharePoint--plays a key role in Windows Phone 7 Series' Office Hub, the center of business activities in the new smartphone operating system.
On a phone with rich social networking features, adding business collaboration through SharePoint seems only natural, if not obvious. Microsoft, however, might not be alone in offering this capability.
SharePoint is a mature technology that Microsoft has invested in for more than a decade. It has, however, morphed over time and is variously promoted to both individual and enterprise customers.
If Google's new Buzz isn't ready for enterprise users' private networks, is it really ready for anyone? The delay between Tuesday's release of free consumer Buzz and the paid enterprise version is worrysome, especially if there are security or stability issues.
The only people who should--for sure--be interested in Buzz are paid Google Apps Premier Edition customers, for whom is should be a private, high-quality, preconfigured social networking intranet. But, it isn't. Not yet, and there's no definite word as to when, just "within a few months."
My guess is adding the necessary enterprise administration features to consumer Buzz takes time, perhaps accounting for the delayed release. Or maybe walling-off enterprise Buzz from consumer Buzz is the hold-up. Or it could be something else.