Windows Phone 7 makes consumer king. But what about business?

“Customer is king,” says Andy Lees, president for mobile communications business at Microsoft, as he announces the launch of Windows Phone 7 – it’s new mobile operating system) at the ICA launch event in London. But as Microsoft talk a lot about the consumer, they’ve forgotten the business user.

Lees references the wealth of content written about Microsoft’s position in business in the run up to the launch. But perhaps the scepticism was justified?

Ashley Highfield, managing director of consumer & online for Microsoft UK, says Windows Phone 7 has put the consumer at the heart of everything, “Today is about the launch of Windows Phone 7 and is representative of a renewed focus on the consumer,” says Highfield.

But it’s not purely for the consumer, it’s for “productivity”, says Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman as he demos the Windows Phone 7. For instance, the Microsoft Office hub brings together OneNote, documents and SharePoint. But there’s a lot more attention paid to Xbox integration and the ability to have your avatar on your phone.

In a live link to the annoucement in New York, Steve Ballmer, says this is a different kind of Windows Phone, which is modern in all aspects: in hardware, design principles and how people use internet services.

Microsoft have made it clear that Windows Phone 7 is all about the consumer. Business users have not been overtly targeted this time round. Perhaps Microsoft is overlooking its loyal enterprise market. Or perhaps they’re relying on the ‘consumerisation of IT’ in some sort of reverse psychology strategy? 

Handsets from HTC – the HTC 7 Mozart – will be available running on Windows Phone 7 in the UK from 21st October.

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Maybe I don't understand, so enlighten me what this article means by "business user". The needs of most business users are met by email, office, and sharepoint integration. The ability to collaborate on documents and have the documents backed up in the company's sharepoint is supported. If any investigation was done at all, one would fine that even the "side loading" sorts of scenarios wanted by some business users are supported by writing sharepoint apps, which can appear to a particular company, or enterprise, without showing up on the Marketplace. Do some research before writing such an article, please. v/r -e
You’re right. There are some great features on Windows Phone 7, designed for enterprise use. What I found interesting was the shift of focus from enterprise towards the consumers for Microsoft - despite it being a phone that meets the needs of business users (email, Office and Sharepoint integration). While features such as Exchange and Sharepoint server integration and document sharing through Mobile Office were mentioned, features such as Xbox Live and Zune music store dominated Microsoft’s launch. It was only mentioned in a special ‘business session’ following the main launch that every Windows Phone 7 device will ship with Office on it. You make a good point about Sharepoint applications. There has been some criticism that enterprise might not be able to standardise on Windows Phone 7 devices, particularly if they rely on custom mobile applications. Microsoft have promised further announcements will be made regarding business applications later this year, though. Will you be getting a Windows Phone 7 device, then?