MS eyes Windows Phone 8 in companies

2013-02-15 12:05
Windows Phone 8 drives this HTC smartphone. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Windows Phone 8 drives this HTC smartphone. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 may be a younger operating system compared to some rivals, but that hasn't stopped the company from challenging for the corporate market.

Microsoft has released several enterprise features in the operating system to encourage companies to switch to the software which was released in October 2012.

"The company is also positioning itself strongly with corporate IT departments by providing strong device management capabilities and additional capabilities to meet the security needs of many organisations, such as full device encryption," said Microsoft South Africa's Anthony Doherty.

The rise of employees bringing multiple devices to work has changed the corporate culture of mobile phone provisioning and impacted on IT security, especially with regard to intellectual property.

Managers often have to juggle a variety of mobile ecosystems to cater for employees integrating devices with company networks.


"We've deliberately made Windows Phone 8 easy to deploy and manage in a Windows infrastructure, so employees can communicate and contribute right out of the box. It integrates seamlessly with a wide range of Microsoft servers and services," said Doherty.

As a relatively new entrant to the market, Windows Phone 8 closely mirrors the Windows 8 desktop operating system, and Microsoft is racing to tout the integration of platforms as an easy way to deliver network and mobile integration.

The company's latest Office software offers a Sky Drive cloud service that lets users store documents in the internet cloud which allows instant access and modification to multiple authorised users.

"Windows Phone is the only phone on the market with Office Mobile and Outlook Mobile built in, and the cloud-based functionality of Office 365 means that any changes made to documents – like last-minute additions to that crucial PowerPoint presentation, for example - are automatically synced with existing versions on other devices," Microsoft said.

The mobile enterprise market is becoming competitive with big names in technology racing for a share of the estimated $1.6bn global market.

Computing giant IBM early in 2013 announced a range of software tools to manage mobile enterprise and BlackBerry has been on a charge with its BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 that supports multiple devices, including its new BlackBerry 10.

Microsoft may have the advantage in that the company has a history of its software being familiar in the corporate environment, and the increasing use of a smartphone ecosystem in companies may provide the opportunity to enter the market.

"With the number of devices already in the local market, we're now at a point where we are delivering smartphones that users want - with the capabilities that organisations need," said Doherty.

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