Indeed, things are looking bleak
If you’re someone who recently thought to yourself, “Windows 10 for mobile… yeah, good one,” you’re not alone. Microsoft’s market share in this space is woeful, dropping as low as <1% this year. As such, to the average mobile slinger, the release of Microsoft 10 mobile probably seems unimportant – trivial even. The vast majority of people gets around with their heads bowed to Android and iOS anyway. But ever since it acquired and obliterated Nokia, Microsoft has been desperate to regain its stake in the mobile landscape.
Thankfully, the company takes a certain solace in this: businesses like Windows 10, and many can’t operate without it. Despite its dismal mobile presence right now, our bet is that MS in this space will come into its own by 2018. How? As soon as it assumes the mobile leadership for enterprise, tables will turn.
Even Apple can’t upstage it
Apple has dominated the tech landscape (and our minds) for the last 10 years, and yet Microsoft still represents 88 per cent of the personal computer market. If Apple hasn’t yet knocked MS off its throne, nobody will. This fact alone means the company is in no danger, despite its failings in mobile. Everyone needs a computer, alongside their tablets and laptops, and so it remains that Microsoft. Can’t. Die.
The company is in an admirable position, whereby what it offers is both sought after and vital for business operations. It’s a tiny example, but just look to the Office Suite (and more recently products such as Azure and SharePoint). A huge number of businesses would be at a loss without it. The latest product looking to make itself essential is Continuum, which enables one to use their Windows 10 mobile phone like a PC.
A phone with PC-like power
“Continuum for phones lets you connect your Windows 10 Mobile device to a monitor, keyboard, and/or mouse using a Continuum-compatible accessory to operate your phone like a PC. Apps scale smoothly to the larger screen of a monitor and unveil additional navigation and content that is typically viewed on a standard PC screen,” the company explains. To put it succinctly, those who live and work by their PCs will appreciate a phone that’s as powerful as a computer, and allows seamless shifting and capabilities between the two.
“We know business customers want a very, very secure phone that’s incredibly good at calendar management, at e-mail, at productivity, and Skype for Business, et cetera,” says Microsoft chief marketing officer Chris Capossela. The solution Microsoft is shooting for has many facets.
“The OS maintains Windows position as the way to go for organizations that need to deploy and manage systems for large workforces.” It will also position Windows as the go-to for organisations that require system management across large workforces.
Microsoft has strong relations with OEMs: manufacturers that have been looking for a product like Continuum, and organizations that need Microsoft 10 to deploy and manage systems for large workforces. Every step of the way, Windows’ success has been in building good tools that have ensured it remains necessary for operations to work smoothly and efficiently.
Even to the iOS devotee, Elite x3 is a blast
The Elite x3 Windows 10 smartphone, which is about to launch, will be the highest end Windows phone ever made. As discussed, it will be targeted at corporate customers, since it’s intended as a triple-threat device – handheld, laptop and desk machine (with the Windows 10 OS, switching between devices is seamless, as settings, data, and access rights sync up as you swap about).
Let it be known, I’ve tested this product and even as a heavy iOS user, the Elite x3 is a blast. Here’s what it’s got going for it: It’s a winner on business mobility, so corporates can use it as they would a PC, by connecting to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. The result is that wherever you are never impinges on what you need to get done. Similarly, if you’re required for a conference call, stereo speakers, noise cancellation and a powerful front-facing camera help your cause.
Security is of utmost importance to business folk and this phone has enterprise-grade security in the form of Iris scanning and biometric sensors for strong authentication (to come in the next Windows 10 update). Your IT admin can enforce policies for accessing corporate data and resources. Furthermore, pre-installed Microsoft Office 356 means no need to download it as on Android and iOS. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote are consistent across all device types, making working on the same documents with coworkers a cinch.
No devices? No marketshare.
When it comes to mobile, there’s a new ecosystem coming to fruition. Microsoft killed Nokia by acquiring it and failing hopelessly. This expensive experiment means that MS is now seeking out its way back into the mobile market. It goes without saying: you can’t have a sizeable marketshare with no product, which is the state MS currently finds itself in. Basically, the HP Elite is its sole offering. In the last year, no other new products entered the market. Thus as soon as more new devices are launched, Microsoft’s mobile marketshare will grow. There is talk of a Microsoft Surface Phone scheduled for 2017 and it’s slated to be the most secure and productivity-focused phone on offer. With its features being indispensable to organisations, Windows 10 will surely become mobile leader for businesses. Watch this space.
–John Karp, BeMyApp
If you’re an app publisher, join the HP Continuum Accelerator. The program will help you make your app Continuum-compatible, with €5K awarded to the best apps. Apply here.