Windows Mobile: Alive and well -- and suitable for business
Having discussed the progress of the iPhone in the enterprise last month, I thought that this month I would take a look at a longtime player, Windows Mobile, and see how it stacks up against the competition these days. And next month, I hope to have some comments on the new Palm Pre and how it fares for business use.
It was a long time coming, but Microsoft finally unveiled the update to Windows Mobile, called Windows Mobile 6.5, at Mobile World Congress. It's a nice update of the core user interface. Windows Mobile already was able to compete from a technical perspective, but now it has a UI to match. The question remains, though: Is this release too little and too late for Microsoft?
Windows Mobile started life in 1996 as Windows CE and first appeared on a clamshell device from Casio. Over time, it has become a stable platform that appeals to both enterprises and consumers, who are able to choose among devices from several vendors and carriers around the world. Some 20 million devices running Windows Mobile were sold last year, and yet there's still a lot of negative buzz about the platform. Bloggers, analysts and journalists have all questioned its future (with many of them continuing to call for that mythical creature, a Microsoft-created phone). But Version 6.5 addresses many of the concerns, and the platform retains strong support from OEMs, factors that will help drive business adoption further over the next 18 months.
Make no mistake, the Windows Mobile UI is not as flashy or fluid as the iPhone's, but it certainly stacks up well against offerings from other vendors. The latest UI enhancements, in tandem with hardware innovation from licensees HTC, Sony Ericsson and LG, puts a little chrome on the UI. It's not perfect, but the core of the product works quite well, and nothing can beat it for synchronization with Exchange -- it's not only a cinch; it's also cost-effective, as pointed out in study after study looking at total cost of ownership.
Microsoft is touting a richer browsing experience with 6.5, which is true enough, but let's not get too caught up on that. Most Web sites simply aren't designed to be read on the small screen, and miniature renditions of sites like The New York Times make for great demos but lousy usability. E-mail, the main mobile activity for smartphone business users, works just fine, though, and not just in conjunction with Exchange; it also works well with multiple e-mail accounts supporting IMAP and POP.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts