Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

Summary: Microsoft officials have said next-to-nothing about how Windows Phone 7 will meet business users' needs -- beyond promising a new Office Hub will be built into the platform. At the TechEd conference on June 7, however, officials got more granular about some of the other functionality that the company believes will prove that Microsoft hasn't abandoned its core enterprise base with the new phones that were designed to be consumer-centric

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Microsoft officials have said next-to-nothing about how Windows Phone 7 will meet business users' needs -- beyond promising a new Office Hub will be built into the platform.

At the TechEd conference on June 7, however, officials got more granular about some of the other functionality that the company believes will prove that Microsoft hasn't abandoned its core enterprise base with the new phones that were designed to be consumer-centric.

Office Hub will be the business center for all Windows Phone 7 customers' office documents. OneNote, Excel, Word and PowerPoint are all there. Every Windows Phone 7 user will get this Office suite, as it will be built into the phones.

Here are some of the other Windows Phone 7 features Microsoft is promoting as of interest to business users:

Integration of the forthcoming Office Hub with Exchange Server and SharePoint Server 2010. When Windows Phone 7 devices ship this holiday season, they'll be able to sync with Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2010 and the current version of Exchange Online (that is based on Exchange 2007). After that (no dates yet), Microsoft will enable syncing of the phones with 2010-enabled versions of Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. (Microsoft showed offline syncing of the SharePoint client that is on the phones during the morning keynote today). The secure connection is provided by Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG).

Microsoft is planning to add secure connectivity for other BPOS apps, including Communications Online, at some point. No dates for that yet. On the CRM front, Microsoft is going to allow developers who've created front-end client apps that connect to Dynamics CRM on the back end to offer their wares via the Marketplace. But Microsoft itself isn't going to be providing a Windows Phone 7 version of its CRM product.

There will be no IPSEC virtual private networking available for Windows Phone 7 devices. (This was available for Windows Mobile 6.x phones). Microsoft is providing, however, passwords, PINs, remote wipe, factory resettable settings and other security measures on top of the UAG connectivity, giving users an extra layer of secure connectivity, officials said.

Windows Phone Marketplace remains the one and only place where certified Windows Phone 7 apps will be available. But Microsoft will be providing a secure subsection of the Marketplace to developers who want to make beta versions of their apps available to a select group of testers. Microsoft is still evaluating when/if/how it will allow enterprises to distribute versions of their business applications to their own employees only; nothing new to say at this point.

Microsoft isn't changing its stance on requiring Windows Phone 7 applications to be written in managed code. If there are business applications that developers are having problems getting to work without native raw-socket access, Microsoft will work with those companies to try to find a workaround, officials said.

At TechEd, Microsoft also released a set of new Windows Phone Marketplace policies today. These include

Annual registration fee of $99 No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each Free registration to DreamSpark students A new optional push notification service for third-party developers A new optional Trial API, for developers who want to create try-then-buy apps The ability to publish to all available Marketplace markets though a new “worldwide distribution” option Support for free, paid, freemium (free with a paid upgrade path) and ad-funded models

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Software Development, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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51 comments
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  • Business users won't touch Windows Phone 7

    WP7 has too many shortcomings to be of any use in business. An Office app is completely useless when there is no system-wide Copy-And-Paste. WP7 has poor networking, only able to use the HTTP protocol, thus no true VoIP. The list goes on and on. It's a phone for teenagers, not business users.
    Vbitrate
    • Gee, Market Analyst, did anyone really expect

      an unbiased, view form you? The stuff you make up is laughable, at best. And here I thought DonnieBoy was scared, you come off as terrified! :)
      John Zern
      • Terrified?? Of a cell phone with a failed music player OS shoehorned in??

        Now that is funny. You can talk up the new Windows Mobile AFTER it is released. Still no guarantee it will be released this year, and the clock is ticking . . . . . .
        DonnieBoy
      • Oh, and talking terrified, if criticism implies you are terrified of

        something, then you guys must be scared stiff of Linux!!!!
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

        @John Zern Donniechild is scared but I don't think it is of the phones, as long as he has Google Goggles on
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • Where's the beef, John?

        @John Zern
        I don't see any Win7 phone. Where is it?

        :)
        ubiquitous one
      • <a href="http://www.tran33m.com/vb/f82.html">iphone</a>

        @John Zern The only reason to get one would be to try and find a way to hack them or crash them, and as such generally punish anyone that buys it for getting the device to spite the knowledge it can't be secured. Preferably from an Android phone so you don't get MS all over your fingers.
        frank dib
      • <a href="http://www.tran33m.com/vb/f81.html">blackberry</a>

        @John Zern It is s good thing that MS is directly handling updates instead of wireless carriers that never did a thing,
        frank dib
      • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

        Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was showing this phone codenamed ?Sea Ray? at a press event when his
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

        pleas for ?no pictures please? and for recording devices to be put away were ignored (lucky for us),
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

        which is how these images and brief video became available.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

        ?Sea Ray? has the same slim body with sharp edges, and curved Gorilla glass over the all-screen
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

        to iPhone or Google Phones, or WebOS Phones.
        angel tenan
      • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

        @John Zern That just can't be. Why, we've seen countless studies that prove that Linux is vastly more expensive, less reliable, etc. in the server room than Microsoft's offerings. These companies only think they're saving money.

        That, or they've figured out that someone is lying to them.

        Next thing you know, they might start wondering if the Received Wisdom might be wrong about the desktop, too.
        Arabalar
    • I doubt that even teenagers will buy it, unless it was dirt cheap compared

      to iPhone or Google Phones, or WebOS Phones.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

        @DonnieBoy

        I will ONLY get a Windows Phone 7, if someone gave it to me! Sad to say after four Windows phones, I am moving on to Android.

        @WoodyCollins
        @...
    • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

      @Market Analyst ... Really? How do you figure that any of what you just said is true? Well, OK, I'll give you the fact that no copy/paste is stupid, but they didn't say it won't get it... just it won't be there at launch. As for networking, please, Office, Exchange, and SharePoint are all any business user cares about, and it has those baked in (and from the demos they're there in a fantastically-usable form).

      As for VoIP, I fail to see how you've come to the conclusion you've stated is even remotely accurate. As a system administrator, I'll probably own one on opening day, but hey, if you don't want one, don't buy one.
      GoodThings2Life
      • Actually, didn't they say

        @GoodThings2Life

        There would be copy and paste, just in a different form?
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • So funny, NStalnecker arguing about cut and past on WP7 that is MONTHS from

        production, while Steve Jobs announces the amazing features of the next iPhone, that will be shipping by the end of the month.
        DonnieBoy
    • RE: Microsoft makes the business case for Windows Phone 7

      @Market Analyst Communiator 14 will make it to WP7 for sure and there you have your voip and lots more
      keoz