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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 7, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Microsoft: Our new phone is for business, plus app store news

It’s a tough day for Microsoft to be talking up its new Windows Phone 7 platform, but Paul Bryan, a senior director on its mobile communications business, gave it a shot on the official Windows blog.

In a post keyed to Microsoft’s TechEd conference in New Orleans this week, Bryan explained the company’s portfolio of phones and how the WP7 devices coming out later this year are aimed largely at business users.

This kind of thing won’t sway the people who can’t wait for an iPhone 4, but it may help corporate IT buyers and developers thinking about if and how Microsoft phones fit into their plans.

A few excerpts from Bryan’s post:

“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.”

The customer:

“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.”

But the phones won’t look like tiny Windows PCs:

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.

The Windows lineup, and why some companies may still want Windows 6.5:

“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.”

A companion post today provides new details of Windows Phone Marketplace, Microsoft’s response to the iTunes App Store and Android Market.

It said developers will pay an annual registration fee of $99 that allows unlimited paid app submissions and five submissions of free apps, after which each one is $19.99.

Microsoft’s also giving developers 70 percent of the revenue from their apps and providing services such as a push notification service and a trial API for offering trial versions of apps to customers.

Comments | Topics: apps, developers, iphone

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