All the hype around the iPhone got me thinking about the smart phone space and lack of real channel players in what is sure to become the next important computing platform. Sure, some solution providers are outfitting customers with a BlackBerry server, but it would be a stretch to call Research In Motion a channel-friendly vendor.
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Which leaves me thinking about Microsoft. Where is Microsoft Mobile in all of this? Where are the ads about how bad the iPhone is at e-mail? Where is the huge drive to pair solution providers with wireless carriers to get Microsoft Mobile out there in a big way?
So when some of us at CMP Channel went to Redmond to visit the Microsoft channel team the week of the official iPhone launch, I had to believe that somewhere, someone in Redmond was paying attention to it.
So I asked. With all the talk of how the iPhone is going to change the mobile industry, where is Microsoft? Microsoft Mobile is not a leader, and now people expect Apple to dominate. What is Microsoft going to do about the iPhone?
Microsoft COO Kevin Turner fielded the question. "I think that that's fair," he said. "I think that certainly there's a lot of, as you said, hype and anticipation in the marketplace with iPhone. I think the response that we got with the Q, the response that we got with the Blackjack, there's a market for us. There is a home for us in that space."
All right. I will give Microsoft that. There have been some wins lately. Still, with the overwhelming dominance of Exchange and Outlook, why isn't Microsoft Mobile bigger? Why aren't countries suing Microsoft for its Mobile dominance? And why aren't VARs tied in to that dominance? I can't be the only one asking this question.
Turner agreed that there is ample opportunity in the enterprise space with Mobile. "We're cheaper, our stuff works better, and most people run Exchange anyway," he said. "It's a natural extension."
So, now is the time to bring out the heavy guns. Otherwise, the iPhone and the BlackBerry will control the market, and Microsoft Mobile will be relegated to Zune status.
What's your mobile strategy?
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