Microsoft's sleeper smartphone announcement: Live ID from your phone

Microsoft's sleeper smartphone announcement: Live ID from your phone

Summary: Microsoft is touting as its big CTIA Wireless announcement a new management product for businesses who want to bulk-provision their Windows Mobile smartphones. But to me, the more interesting announcement from Microsoft is that the company is now allowing users to sign up for Windows Live IDs from their cell phones, not just their PCs.

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Microsoft still isn't ready to talk about the next major releases of its Windows Mobile operating system ("Photon," a k a Windows Mobile 6.X and/or Windows Mobile 7). Microsoft’s sleeper smartphone announcement: Live ID from your phone

Instead, at this week's CTIA Wireless show, Microsoft is touting as its big announcement a new management product aimed at business users who want to do bulk provisioning of Windows Mobile smartphones. The new product, System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, sounds like it will be ready to ship around the time the next mystery release of Windows Mobile hits. SCMDM will allow admins to set up Windows Mobile devices over the air and set group policies for specific individuals and groups inside of a company.

To me, however, the more interesting CTIA-timed announcement from Microsoft is that the company is now allowing users to sign up for Windows Live IDs from their cell phones, not just their PCs. With more and more users, especially overseas in developing nations using their mobile devices as their main/only "computers," the move makes a lot of sense.

Phil Holden, director of Microsoft’s Online Services Group Mobile Services, explained the background of the Windows Live ID announcement:

"As we look at our customers today its clear that almost all of the folks that use our services on the mobile phone first started to use them on a PC, be that messenger, hotmail, spaces etc. As they started to rely on the services they started to use them on the mobile phone.  They can sign-in using the same account, with the same contact store and it just worked on the mobile phone like it should. For countries where the PC is the primary computing device that's great, however for folks that don't have access to a PC everyday, often going days without a visit to an Internet Cafe they were out of luck.   Not much point in creating an email account when you could only get to it once every week, stick with sms as your primary way to chat with your friends....

"Moving forward this sign-up will be integrated into our client based services like Windows Live for Nokia so for customers that go and purchase a Nokia device later this year they will be able to create an account directly on the phone."

Microsoft's latest move with Windows Live ID is just one more step toward Microsoft fulfilling the Windows Live Core mission of enabling users to synchronize their contacts, settings, photos, e-mail, documents, music and video across all their computing devices.

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Mobility, Operating Systems, Smartphones, Software, 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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8 comments
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  • MS should also work on ...

    ... making sure that Windows Mobile's interface is better and slicker than the iPhone.
    P. Douglas
    • Good luck on that one

      M$ products are as cool as a summers day at the equator.
      DarthRidiculous
      • IOW...

        ... they are smokin' - thanks for acknowledging that.
        Confused by religion
      • Mad TV's Version of Steve Job's iPhone Announcement

        See [url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=xgZKjJt-TkU]here[/url].
        P. Douglas
    • Comparison of Windows Mobile and iPhone Interfaces

      See [url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=2ww4xatwrNs]here[/url].
      P. Douglas
    • WM6 may not be slick as the iPhone...

      but it definitely does a whole lot more functions. And it's not THAT difficult to use. Even my mom can use it.

      Wait until WinMo Photon comes out. It's suppose to be real easy to use, and look similar to that of Windows Media Center UI.

      And it will still do a ton of functions.
      quikboy
  • And now for highly targeted advertising

    From an advertsing viewpoint, this will open up a whole host of re-targeting opportunities following a user...
    See my comments on: http://deandonaldson.wordpress.com/2007/10/31/microsofts-idea-to-track-a-moving-target/
    deandonaldson
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