Windows Phone 7 Means Business

Windows Phone 7 Means Business

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Microsoft’s annual TechEd Conference started today and we’re taking this opportunity to share more about what Windows Phone 7 means to business through keynotes, sessions and product demonstrations. I thought I’d take a few minutes to share an overview of what attendees are hearing.

Many of us interact with digital content on several screens throughout the day and have growing expectations for the range of capabilities and quality of experiences available to us wherever we go. In business, people increasingly expect more than a palm-size workstation from their phones. At Microsoft, we recognized that in order to meet customer needs and significantly improve the mobile experience for end users we had to redefine the role our software and services play in delivering rich experiences that are uniquely mobile. By adding Windows Phone 7 to our portfolio, Microsoft is well positioned to address the needs of customers with active personal and business lives who desire a single device that delivers rich end-to-end experiences and navigates seamlessly between work and play. Demand for Smartphones that play as hard as they work is fueling the continued growth for new devices, with IDC projecting 31% growth in Smartphone units in 2010 and another 22% in 2011.

More than 90% of our target customers for Windows Phone use their Smartphone for business purposes and 61% use their phones equally or more for business than personal use. This is why we designed Windows Phone 7 to combine a smart new user interface with familiar tools such as PowerPoint, OneNote, Word, Excel and SharePoint into a single integrated experience via the Office hub. Integrating these business capabilities along with rich email, calendar and contacts into a mobile platform that supports compelling business applications enables increased productivity. Windows Phone 7 is designed to excel at the business scenarios most commonly used. This means Windows Phone 7 will appeal to a larger number of people working in businesses of all sizes, creating a more versatile and accessible productivity tool as well as a larger market opportunity for application developers and system integrators.

What hasn’t changed is our ability to deliver a great user experience while reducing complexity by enabling business organizations to utilize their existing IT investments like Exchange and Exchange ActiveSync to support Windows Phone access to enterprise assets such as corporate email. Exchange remains an industry standard with an annual growth rate of 11% and an expected install base of 347 million mailboxes by 2013 (Microsoft Exchange Server and Outlook Market Analysis, 2009 – 2013, The Radicati Group, March 2009). With Windows Phone 7, rather than attempting to replicate the experience of the desktop, we focused on delivering end-user experiences that are uniquely optimized for the phone through tighter integration with Exchange and Office, the addition of SharePoint and our Silverlight development platform for delivering new user experiences.

We’ve designed an Office hub that is both engaging and familiar to the more than 500 million people worldwide who already use Microsoft Office, while introducing a new level of integration with SharePoint, which grew by more than 20% last year alone. We’re looking at people and productivity in a new and different way from anything in the market today, as evidenced by our focus on smart design and integrated experiences. We’re delivering a fresh take on the business functions that people care about most; email, calendar, collaboration and keeping up with colleagues and contacts.

The vast majority of individuals make their own personal decision regarding which Smartphone to purchase. Given this, we often hear from IT professionals that their most important considerations for Smartphones are that they are phones people want and that they meet the organization’s IT needs– enabling them to increase usage and productivity. Organizations are interested in investments they have already made (e.g. Exchange, SharePoint, Office). Windows Phone 7 enables the IT support most organizations need without the need for additional infrastructure.
Specifically, Windows Phone 7:

  • Is built from the ground up using industry best practices in secure software development (Secure Development Lifecycle).
  • Deeply Integrates email, calendar and contacts with Exchange Server enabling rich, seamless email and calendar management to enhance productivity.
  • Integrates with SharePoint through the SharePoint Workspace client, enabling enhanced collaboration through offline document access and syncing.
  • Helps protect corporate information by securing the device through PINs and passwords. Information is further protected by not allowing access to data via PC tethering or support for removable SD cards. In addition, Windows Phone 7 supports IT managed EAS policies such as Require Password, Password Strength, Remote Wipe and Reset to Factory Settings with multiple failed unlock attempts.
  • Helps ensure data reliability and integrity through application sandboxing and managed code. Windows Phone 7 ensures communications channels between applications cannot be opened and critical system resources cannot be accessed. Most malware threats are introduced through the browser. IE Mobile helps ensure that malicious code cannot be launched from web sites, thus reducing this threat.
  • Provides certification and verification of applications and content through Windows Phone Marketplace, further enhancing security.
  • Enables secure data transmission through 128 or 256 Bit SSL Encryption.
  • Supports secure access to on-premise applications and network resources using Forefront Universal Access Gateway (UAG).
  • Is future ready with cloud / services integration. Through the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Microsoft offers hosted Exchange and SharePoint services. Windows Phone 7 will support mobile access to BPOS from Outlook Mobile and the Office Hub.

Windows Phone 7 is a new platform that we will continue to improve and evolve. We needed to restart in order to build the right foundation for the future. We are delivering a great business phone that improves productivity by taking a fresh approach to the most common Smartphone business usage scenarios such as email, calendar, contacts and collaboration. At the same time, with support for Silverlight, XNA and the full suite of development and design tools from Visual Studio 2010 to Expressions, Windows Phone 7 provides a rich, efficient and familiar development platform that also meets the IT needs of many organizations with support for the most common EAS policies for management.

We understand that migrating from Windows Mobile 6.1 or 6.5 to Windows Phone 7 will take effort. However, many customers we have spoken with thus far have told us that these are steps they are willing to take in order to achieve a new level of usability and productivity.

Windows Phone 7 is the newest addition to the Windows Phone portfolio that includes Windows Mobile 6.5, more specialized CE based devices for ruggedized or task-worker scenarios, and the new KIN phones targeted at social communicators. We understand that while Windows Phone 7 will bring a new level of business productivity to a broader range of customers than we’ve ever reached before, for more highly managed corporate scenarios or where customers have made significant investments in applications on Windows Mobile 6.X, Windows Mobile 6.5 may remain the best choice in the near-term. We’ll continue gathering feedback from customers and steadily evolve the new Windows Phone 7 platform to enable additional scenarios and capabilities for all customers. Business customers can prepare for Windows Phone 7 by reviewing the Business IT Resources at Windowsphone.com/business.

P. S

See Brandon Watson’s post on the Windows Phone 7 Developer blog for an update on Windows Phone Marketplace.

14 Comments
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  • Sheeds
    205 Posts

    As posted on your other (MAY 2011) blogpost:

    I heard your interview last week over at the WP7DEVPodcast and got inspired to write up a story re: your renewed business emphasis with Mango (and the Technet Case Study on the MS deployment on WP7):

    WP7 for the Enterprise; MS leading by example. | Sheeds' Blog http://bit.ly/mnmLOK  :)

    Mot sure if you will see the MAY post (being a while ago). Cheers.

  • Internet tethering to my laptop was something I only used quite rarely however the functionality was always available via my WM6.1 device. I now have an HTC 7 Mozart WP7 device (in Australia) and the lack of tethering is starting to become an issue, reason being I've now got an ExoPC slate which is awesome and would be fantastic if I could tether or broadcast WiFi from my WP7 device to get internet access on.

    That the functionality was available in WM, and is available on iFruit, Android & Raspberry is a bit of a slap in the face to users. Would love an update on when MS is intending to roll out this functionality.

  • any news on the tethering support being brought back in? I am waiting for over 2 months now to purchase my Win7 phone, although this one feature not being available  probably kills my appetite to pursue...

  • "One of the major changes is that only one 3rd party application will be able to be run at a time.  This is better for the user (saves battery), and keeps confusion to a minimum."----I find this rather sad, I think the user should decide what is better for them.   So it limits confusion?  Have we become some dumb we couldn't figure it out?  I think many of us will not get this phone because we are too smart for it.  No full Multitasking, not copy and paste, no guarantee of Flash or HTML 5 support.  It's looking like the Epic 4G is the next phone in my future.  Maybe by Windows Phone 8, the OS will have grown up.

  • Mark
    6 Posts

    Please, please, please have a Remote Desktop application.  I would say the biggest business tool I could use would be remote desktop.  I am constantly needing to check in on servers or remote into my work machine and kick off some tasks or whatever.  The old windows mobile OS supported remote desktop.. I really hope Windows Phone 7 does as well.

  • Ulf
    1 Posts

    Many business Apps need redundance for data collection during lost connection. Are there any plans for SqlCe for WP7?

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    I almost got fired today because I missed an important phone conference.  My phone locked up, and it's still locked up.  I'm about to throw it against the wall.  This is like the third time it seems I'll have to Master Clear/Reset my device to factory settings.  Windows phones are wholly unreliable.  I'm getting an iPhone or Android device next month.  If Windows 7 is anything like this, it won't mean business at all.  Windows Mobile 6.5 sure as hell doesn't mean business.

    Not to mention I have hardly anything install on it, cause who in their right mind wants to target Windows Mobile devices?  What does exist is overpriced, because there is no competition in the WinMo App market, for the most part...

  • I completely agree that SharePoint access from mobile phones is going to be important going forward.  Today, this is possible from BlackBerry devices with SilverDust: silverdust.softartisans.com

  • Fed44
    17 Posts

    I don't really see why .Net should be a requirement at all. There are some things which are just way easier to do with the freedom of a native environment and stuff like GUIs are better to do with .Net.

    Also no multi-tasking is still a bit of a mistery to me I mean you should atleast be able to flag an application so that it can continue to run in the background. That is the very least and besides phones these days come with 1GHz snapdragon processors and that is now. Tomorrow there may be even more overkill processors who knows.... Also somehow I don't understand why PDAs are slowly almost turning into regular phones, kinda sad....(oh wait regular phones can have SD cards..., maybe they will remove the touch screen next who knows)

  • 7flavor, I am sorry that you feel that way about legacy apps, but I believe that the complete redesign will be better for the programmer from a design point of view.  One of the major changes is that only one 3rd party application will be able to be run at a time.  This is better for the user (saves battery), and keeps confusion to a minimum.  With that being said, legacy apps just could not conform to this new way of thinking.  This could be what Thomas Kuhn meant by a paradigm shift... Of course, you get XAML and XNA frameworks for jump starting on brand new capabilities that you couldn't do in 6.x, as well.  I welcome the change.

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    I would like native C++ apps and backward compatibility of WM 6.5 before I even consider Windows Phone 7. And SDXC card support as well. These were the best features of WM 6.5. Except for the UI, please bring back these best features of WM 6.5.

  • "...further protected by not allowing access to data via PC tethering or support for removable SD cards."  FAIL.  Lacking an extremely useful feature may technically make the product more secure, but it is a terrible design decision and you shouldn't be bragging about it.  I'm pretty sure if I released a computer with no way to have network connectivity, it would be secure as well, but it would be useless!  This is a situation that could easily be addressed by device security policy via ActiveSync.  Just like GPOs for Big Windows where you can disable access to removable storage, ActiveSync could disallow SD Cards and/or PC tethering.

    Windows Phone 6.5 is definitely my company's short-term strategy, but I am hard pressed to see any reason why I should deploy WP7 over Blackberry or Android when both are SO much more functional, flexible, and, well, "cool."  WP7's Metro looks like Windows 3.1 had a hangover.  Combine that with all the missing features that Windows Phone 6.5 (and the rest of the industry sans iPhone) has, and I don't see any compelling argument.  Certianly my users don't care about XBox/XNA.  Office looks nicer than previous versions of Office Mobile, but it's still a far cry from very affordable 3rd party solutions.

  • Vics
    2 Posts

    Bullseye, you are probably not keeping up with Windows Mobile, they do have full encryption of the device since 6.1 version, 6.5 also have it, you turn that on by a policy applied thru your ActiveSync. before 6.1 the encryption was only on the SD card and not on the phone itselft, but now is all over. Don't think it will get dropped on Phone 7.0 . The real question here is if the iOS 4.0 has more than one Exchange sync capabilities for the enterprise, WIndows Phone better have that too, since a lot of people on this new economy is contracting with many customers and would like to sync their phone with all different Exchange orgs just like the IPhone 4.0

  • I see talk of being "secure" however I don't see any details coming out about how the device is secured beyond EAS.  Is there going to be device level encryption by default?  This is becoming a driving factor in business due to changes in multi-state regulatory laws.  It's not good enough to have a password and a remote wipe capability - it must also include encryption of data at rest.  

    The iPhone didn't begin to include this until the 3Gs...I truly hope that Windows Phone has this from day 1.