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July 12, 2010

Bullish on a Different Kind of Phone

Today I’m at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington D.C., meeting with our partners and talking about the capabilities that Windows Phone 7 offers for creating mobile solutions and applications to help them grow their business.

I’m really energized by the conversations I’m having with partners at this year’s conference. I’m seeing some really exciting solutions coming together for Windows Phone 7 as partners from around the globe apply their unique skills to build compelling experiences for our mutual customers.

With a focus on end users, we designed an entirely different kind of phone experience and platform for partners to build on. Windows Phone 7 supports the needs of organizations in new ways and excels at a broad range of tasks that people do most frequently, which means it will be appealing to more people than previous versions. We incorporated software and services from across the company and integrated them into a rich set of experiences called hubs including People, Office, Marketplace, Pictures, Music and Video, and Games. Windows Phone 7 also delivers a powerful application platform for people to create compelling new experiences.

The net result is new opportunities for systems integrators and people creating applications to get into or to expand their businesses, such as:

  • Creating compelling mobile solutions and services for businesses
  • Providing unique experiences through mobile applications

In a session at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, I note that there is a billion dollar opportunity in smartphones. After the conference, you can access my presentation entitled “Windows Phone Partner Opportunity” on demand from Digital WPC.

If you’re interested in growing your mobile practice, here are the top things you can do.

Create Compelling Mobile Solutions and Services for Businesses

Businesses are progressively mobilizing their workforce to help them be more productive, creating opportunity for new services and solutions. Integration with popular Microsoft offerings like SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, Microsoft Office and Business Productivity Online Suite helps people communicate and collaborate through their smartphone, PC or the browser.

Windows Phone 7 uniquely enables collaboration through the SharePoint Workspace client, empowering people to download, edit and synchronize documents with their phone so that their teams always have a current document to work from. The overall services opportunity for Microsoft partners and developers with SharePoint is $5.6 billion today and will grow to over $6.7 billion in FY12. With SharePoint Workspace client and a rich Office hub experience that includes access to the mobile versions of OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel and Word for viewing and editing documents, Windows Phone 7 offers a unique way for partners to deliver value to their customers and to grow their services business.

Windows Phone 7 was also designed to help organizations make the most efficient use of resources by enabling IT departments to use familiar tools and existing infrastructure to manage phones and to help meet corporate security and management needs.

Provide Unique Experiences Through Mobile Applications

We’ve invested heavily to deliver a significant step forward for developers and designers, with a new application platform, world-class tools, and an application store, the Windows Phone Marketplace. This system enables the quick and efficient creation of compelling applications and easy distribution to every Windows Phone 7 user.

People creating applications for Windows Phone 7 have access to a powerful and familiar arsenal of tools–Silverlight, the XNA Framework, Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend. These tools, combined with a strong set of web services enable quick and efficient development of compelling experiences for business and consumer use that can easily be extended from the phone to any screen. Best of all, these powerful tools are available free of charge, reducing development costs and making it an even more compelling proposition.

Today we announced the immediate availability of the beta version of the Windows Phone Developer Tools, which include all the tools necessary to start building new experiences now. Applications built with the beta version of the tools will be near ready to submit to the Windows Phone Marketplace. The tools will RTM later this summer, at which time final touches could be added with components announced previously such as Maps, Pivot or Panorama control. More information about the beta tools can be found here.

Aside from providing a great set of tools, the new design and integrated experiences in Windows Phone 7 provide an opportunity to create a fresh take on business applications—with richness on the client combined with the power of the cloud. The following picture is what a custom Silverlight-based productivity application might look like on Windows Phone 7. With a swipe, the user could switch between “Dashboard”, “Sales” and “Marketing” to access up to date business information.


All of these great applications will be delivered through the Windows Phone Marketplace, enabling partners to sell or distribute directly to customers. A clear advantage for developers and designers in the Windows Phone Marketplace is a structured yet open and transparent marketplace for applications. Additionally, we’ve recently lowered Marketplace fees, reduced administrative overhead and introduced private beta distribution for the better testing of applications.

We’re working closely with partners to help them learn more about the new Windows Phone 7. If you would like to get more information about opportunities with Windows Phone 7 or the Windows Phone Marketplace, you can find the latest resources at our web site: