Windows Phone 7 Series Is All About the Consumer

First of all, I must say I like the design of the new Windows Phone 7 Series OS (but what a horrible name!). It is very ZuneHD-like which in my experience has been a quick, minimalist OS. Gizmodo had a chance to play with it and were smitten. Microsoft boasts of Facebook and Twitter integration right into your "People" contacts list.

It integrates your photo albums into Facebook and gives you a feed of your friends' status updates. Don't forget Xbox Live.

This is every CIOs dream phone!

Time to ramp up the help desk to deal with those Facebook/Twitter calls and get them trained up on Xbox Live! issues.

In all seriousness, Blackberry execs have to be doing cartwheels when they watch the video below. If Blackberry ever had any competition in the enterprise from Windows Mobile, they've just watched it walk out the door.

As far as I can tell, this Windows Phone 7 Series is all about the consumer - which is fine. That is a huge market and one Microsoft should be trying to compete in.

But as far as I could tell (disclaimer: I haven't used Windows Mobile day to day since 2007), one of the strong points of Windows Mobile was its ability to perform as a business machine. That appears to be gone now.

The previous phones all had the ability to natively connect to Exchange, had solid VPN clients and even ran some of those crazy .Net or old Sharepoint websites that only work on IE. Porting an App to a Windows Mobile Phone from .Net wasn't that hard either and there are lots of those running around global businesses.

On that note, something else for the IT Directors out there: This is a whole new OS so those WinMob 6 apps aren't likely to work on Windows Phone 7. It also won't hit stores until the end of the year - that is like nine months away -- if everything goes accoridng to plan, which isn't always the case with Microsoft OS release dates.

What are those people who relied on Windows Mobile to make their credit card processing units going to do with this roadmap? Or what about factory floor workers who use this platform? Will Microsoft continue to support Windows Mobile 6.x (now called "Classic") for much longer? Microsoft says it will but you have to wonder.

Windows Phone Series 7 is such a departure from traditional Windows Mobile that it might as well be another company's OS. In fact, compared to Windows Phone 7 Series videos that have been revealed so far, even the iPhone seems "more Enterprise."

This story, "Windows Phone 7 Series Is All About the Consumer" was originally published by Computerworld.

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