Enterprises to Windows Phone: Drop dead

Microsoft may dominate enterprise software, but that's far from the case with Windows Phone. A new report finds that Windows Phone accounts for a mere 1% of mobile market share among enterprises. How much longer can Microsoft prop up the struggling operating system?

The latest bad news for Windows Phone comes from Good Technology‘s  Mobility Index Report, which was gleaned from mobility use in 5,000 enterprises. The report found that from April through June of this year, only 1% of all device activations in enterprises were for Windows Phone hardware. iOS smartphones and tablets accounted for 67%, and Android smartphones and tablets accounted for 32%.


When it comes to app activations in enterprises, Windows Phone did even worse: The number was so low it couldn't be measured. iOS apps made up 88% of the total, and Android 12% of the total.

That's especially disturbing, because the report found that the most-used type of mobile app in enterprises is document editing. Microsoft Office dominates desktop and laptop document-creation and editing. That Microsoft has no foothold in mobile document editing could be an initial disturbing sign of competitors eating away at Office.

The report didn't detail which document-editing apps were most popular, so there's a chance that things can be better than they look when it comes to apps, and that Office for iPad could be heavily used. However, a Computerworld article notes that Office for iPad has not taken off as much as people expected. Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, told the website that since the launch of Office for iPad in March:

"The additional subscriptions [to Office 365 Home] look like, at most, two or three hundred thousand. The exact number is not important. What is, is that it's not a million new users."

The Good Technology report is just the latest in a long line of recent bad news for Windows Phone. Strategy Analytics' latest report shows Windows Phone with only a 2.7% worldwide market share in the second quarter of this year, down from 3.8% the previous year. Even more disturbing is that total sales dropped to 8 million in the quarter, compared to 8.9 million in the quarter a year ago. That drop came even though total smartphone sales have surged 27% in the last year.

The Good Technology report notes that the 1% enterprise market share between April and June was the same as it's been for the last five quarters. And the Strategy Analytics report shows that its market share has been dropping among consumers.

If Microsoft continues along the same path, Windows Phone will die a long, slow death. Microsoft clearly needs to do something drastic if it's going to save the operating system. At the moment, though, there's no such move in clear sight.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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