The release of the iPhone in 2007 opened the floodgates for smartphone adoption within enterprises. Though Windows Mobile and Blackberry were significant players before the arrival of the iPhone, Apple’s entry into the market led to the development of an ecosystem around application development and delivery. The arrival and adoption of the iPhone has significantly dented Microsoft’s dominance in the mobile market. After three years of development and missteps, Microsoft has decided to completely revamp their mobile strategy by releasing a new smartphone platform, Windows Phone 7 (WP7). Unlike previous editions of Windows Mobile, which unsuccessfully aimed to bring the Windows experience to the mobile device, WP7 takes a consumer-first approach. The goal for the platform is to deliver a compelling user-experience, while providing developers the capability to leverage their existing toolset to build enterprise applications. Microsoft has publicly stated its commitment to regularly update its mobile offering, and the platform is expected to evolve as a top notch competitor to iOS and Android in the near future.
Microsoft’s commitment to the platform has encouraged many IT organizations to revisit their mobile device strategy. Most large firms have clear mobile device management policies and strictly control access to their network. Companies streamline their mobility infrastructure by consolidating service providers, standardizing mobile hardware, and clearly segmenting their user-base based on their access needs and corporate roles. However the end user’s experience with their devices is an important factor to consider when driving an enterprise mobile strategy. Though security and standardization are critical, it is important to balance those requirements with a focus on the usability of these devices. Therefore, an ideal mobile device strategy would be to pick a single device that would provide all the features that an end-user would need while complying with the corporate mobile device policies. However, the reality is that different devices are used to satisfy various user roles in the organization.
In this White Paper, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of the WP7 platform and identify the top five reasons to consider the platform. As a “version one” product there are some platform limitations, which may limit the adoption of WP7 in your enterprise. We will also explore the top five reasons to wait before taking the plunge with WP7.
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