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Microsoft also says it plans to be #1 in the enterprise wireless market

While it's still working to crystallize its new devices unit's plan for upcoming Windows Phone releases and adjust its marketing message for the platform, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is already making bold predictions for the future.  In London this week, it held an event called "Business Transformed" looking to sell business on Windows Phone 8.1 and give them a peek of what's to come.
Microsoft's Windows Phone UK director Leila Martine laid out her vision of how Microsoft can beat out Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android and Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iOS in the business sector.  Microsoft sees the enterprise wireless devices market as a crucial sector for its growth, as it's perhaps the most universally embraced enterprise workstation and server vendor.  And with BlackBerry, Ltd. (TSE:BB) currently riding into the sunset, the fittest challenger looks poised to inherit a lucrative series of enterprise device contracts.
Speaking to the UK publication Mobile News, Ms. Martine said that iOS trails Windows Phone in price and choice, while Android trails it in security.  She comments:

Our ambition is to be number one in the business market and my ambition is to achieve that within the next year.  We want to be taking share from across the board.

When you think of Apple, how many CEOs and CIOs really want to pay for their employees to use an expensive premium device when they can choose from a full range of devices?  With Android, Apple and BlackBerry, there are continued concerns about the fragmentation of the ecosystem, the segmentation of the experience and also the level of malware.

Leila Martine
Leila Martine, Microsoft's Windows Phone UK director [Image Source: Mobile News UK]

Windows Phone currently sits in third place in the global smartphone market.  In January 2014, one survey -- Kantar Worldpanel ComTech -- indicated Microsoft had risen to an 11.5 percent stake of new smartphone sales, however its inevitably rocky integration of Nokia Devices has depressed that stake slightly to 9.5 percent.
Ms. Martine acknowledged to the UK publication that Windows Phone 8.1 rolled out a bit slow, but she vowed that Microsoft would spend heavily to push the platform higher, now that Windows Phone 8.1 devices are at last shipping to customers.  She states:

The industry is hyper-competitive, the growth is slowing down and that is putting a lot of pressure on manufacturers.  The fact that we were the fastest growing OS last year gives us a really good platform to build on our momentum.

In the next year, Ms. Martine says Microsoft is also targeting twenty percent global share in the market -- a number which would likely propel it past Apple.

Source: Mobile News UK

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The importance of apps.
By drycrust3 on 6/18/2014 12:54:12 PM , Rating: 3
Speaking to the UK publication Mobile News, Ms. Martine said that iOS trails Windows Phone in price and choice, while Android trails it in security.

A point which Martine overlooks is that most smartphone users have a list of "must have" apps, apps that they simply cannot do without. If those apps, or good equivalents, aren't available for the Windows Phone x phone then it won't be on the shopping list.

RE: The importance of apps.
By kleinma on 6/18/2014 12:58:36 PM , Rating: 4
Trying to win over businesses to adopt Windows Phone for their employee issued smartphones is not going to be dependent on apps. Any legit company who issues phones to employees would be smart to lock them out of installing apps at all, iOS, Android, or Windows Phone.

RE: The importance of apps.
By Rukkian on 6/18/2014 2:30:43 PM , Rating: 3
I think many companies are going the route that my company is, and allowing many different devices (a byod policy is in the works), and then using a product which segments the phone (and the user's personal data) from work data via a secure app. Our company uses one from Good technology, which works on IOS and android (possibly win phone, not sure).

They don't really care what you install on the phone, as it is separate from the corp data, and is unsupported. We have the option to wipe, reset passwords, etc on the fly inside the app.

To me this is a better approach as many people already have a personal phone, and very few are happy carrying around another device just to get work email.

RE: The importance of apps.
By YearOfTheDingo on 6/18/2014 3:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
The absence of apps on the WinPhone platform is an advantage in a way. It keeps you from wasting time on utterly pointless activities (say, Star Trek trivia).

RE: The importance of apps.
By Aloonatic on 6/18/2014 5:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
Absence of nonsense apps, you're right, they don't matter, or matter very little really but they do add a little more "fun" to the experience for some I think.

However, I think that the OP is correct when Windows phone either lacks certain apps or is always the last to the party for more "grown up" apps. Examples I'd give are (for the UK at least) are apps from the BBC where iOS and Android (usually in that order) are always first, or for products like my Pebble smart watch where I don't think that there's an official release for Windows phone at all. I'm not sure what it's like in the USA (or elsewhere) but in the UK its not uncommon to see adverts on TV where a shop or bank or whoever show an iOS and Android logo for the app for their store, with no MS/Windows phone logo to be seen.

And that's where MS are really failing. I really like Windows Phone, I have for a long time but I'm not going to shift over until I'm confident that I wont be left waiting all the time (although in reality you always are, but you know that you'll be waiting longer with WP) or be left with no app at all.

How MS get over this? Companies already (probably) struggle enough to support 2 operating systems, so how MS are going to get them to support another OS version of their app, quickly and reliably, is beyond me. It may be possible with large companies (such as the BBC and the like) but a lot of apps are from small companies that tend to pop-up from nowhere, who are going to want to get to the most people as soon as possible and have limited resources. So why are they going to choose to support the small market that is WP and how are MS going to be able to target them to try to convince them to support WP, even if there is a chance that MS might be able to talk them around?

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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