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Microsoft Businesses Apple

Microsoft Says iPhone Is Irrelevant To Business 435

Posted by Zonk
from the is-it-not-supposed-to-be dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Microsoft exec has turned attack dog, lashing out at Apple's iPhone by saying the device isn't good for business. Why? Because the iPhone is 'a closed device that you cannot install applications on.' Specifically, he's talking about Microsoft Office. 'While the entry of the iPhone (with its cut-down version of Mac OS X) into this market offers new options for consumers, Sorenson believes user familiarity with the Windows Mobile interface — and the ease with which companies can buy and develop applications for the platform — will sustain its increasing popularity and help keep the iPhone out of the lucrative corporate market.'"
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Microsoft Says iPhone Is Irrelevant To Business

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  • Jealousy and Fear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:12PM (#18818041)
    Yeah, because I always use my telephone to write Word documents. You can bet that if Microsoft is trying to cut this down, it means a threat to Microsoft. And this early too -- the product does not even ship until June. How does Microsoft know what the iPhone can and cannot do?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985)
      Simple answer: They don't.

      OTOH, they do know that the more iPhones that get bought, the less they'll make in 'doze-based cell phone OS sales ...and in the same market niches where Microsoft makes it's own money when it comes to the things.

      /P

    • But it's certainly useful to be able to read word and pdf documents when you are on the go. I've maybe done it once or twice, but it's been a huge timesaver.

      A couple of years ago people were wondering why you'd ever want your email on a phone, now there's a large segment of the business market who couldn't live without it.

      I think he's right, Windows CE is a good platform for business stuff and if the iPhone is modelled on the mac then it'll be a great platform for consumers.

      The bad news for apple is that th
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RalphBNumbers (655475)
      The really silly part is that there's no good reason the iPhone shouldn't support Word .doc files.

      Apple already has .doc file support (both old-style and XML-based) in the default text editor that ships with OSX. I don't see why they wouldn't use that same code in the iPhone, which basically runs OSX with a more phone-appropriate set of interface widgets, to allow viewing and rudimentary editing of Word .docs.
  • by robkill (259732) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:12PM (#18818043)
    It used to be "What's good for General Motors is good for the USA."

    I guess now it should be:

    "What's good for Microsoft is good for business."
    • by matt me (850665)
      "What's good for M&M enterprises is good for the country."
    • People always leave out the rest of the quote - Whats good for America is good for GM.

      Of course, it's a lot less sinister when taken in toto. (Or out of toto for that matter.)
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:13PM (#18818047)
    Microsoft complaining about a company locking competitors out? that's rich...
    • Ya...I was thinking it would be like Exxon saying non-gas powered cars are not suited to business users
    • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:51PM (#18818493) Homepage Journal

      Microsoft complaining about a company locking competitors out? that's rich...

      On the contrary, this is why Microsoft is dominant and Apple is tiny little niche player. Microsoft has ALWAYS generously courted developers for their platforms. They understand that they can't do it all... a vibrant third-party market means more people by Microsoft's platform. Why do you think there's no such thing as the "Microsoft PC"?

      Apple has always been incredibly hostile to third parties.

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

        by AusIV (950840) on Friday April 20, 2007 @08:48PM (#18819585)

        They understand that they can't do it all... a vibrant third-party market means more people by Microsoft's platform.

        Have you not seen Microsoft try and completely dominate everything remotely related to computers? They pretty much wiped the floor with alternative Office Suites. They started focusing on web browsers, and for a while pages were built solely with IE in mind. They've created unnecessary media formats where good alternatives were readily available. And what the hell are they doing with a search engine? It's never made sense to me that the company who makes an OS also needs to make a search engine. Then you've got the Zune, the XBox, a number of devices that run Windows Mobile. In server space they have web servers, mail servers, etc. The only thing remotely related to computers that I haven't seen Microsoft try to dominate is CAD software.

        There may be a wide variety of third party software and hardware, but it's not because microsoft has just yielded the field.

        • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 4e617474 (945414) on Friday April 20, 2007 @10:45PM (#18820451)

          They understand that they can't do it all... a vibrant third-party market means more people by Microsoft's platform.

          The only thing remotely related to computers that I haven't seen Microsoft try to dominate is CAD software.
          There may be a wide variety of third party software and hardware, but it's not because microsoft has just yielded the field.

          Stop. You're both right. Microsoft plays nice for a while, lets a lot of other players take all the risk of innovating to see what products keep their platform valuable, waits for the hard work of perfecting the design to be over, watches to see what features have the most to do with market appeal, and then swoops in with their version - shoddy, but universal to the platform. No sane IT department would want to vet IE as a safe and desirable application, but they don't have much choice ("I can't get on the Internet!" "What happens when you try?" "I can't. It's missing!" "What?" "The Internet! The blue 'E'! I think a virus ate it!"). Not many web application developers would want to code for IE, but it's a safe design assumption. They can't very well tell a potential corporate customer "To use all the features, you'd want to get Firefox or Opera", the company already has web filtering and proxy software, not to mention Windows group policies, that are only capable of locking down IE. Release some CRM software that doesn't suck (please, pretty please do that) and watch how quickly you get "embraced".

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:14PM (#18818057) Journal
    ...or something very similar to the iPhone coming out by MSFT in the next few months...

    'course, a more likely explanation is that MSFT already has a cell phone OS biz they'd rather keep protected from such things as competition, no?

    IOW: Nothing to see here, move along... :)

    /P

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kiddailey (165202)
      You must be living under a rock ;) :D

      http://news.google.com/news?q=zune%20phone [google.com]
    • by bjourne (1034822)
      As usual when it comes to the mobile phone market, it is all about the OPERATORS. If the OPERATORS doesn't like your phone, you can go home. Mobile phone manufacturers are dependent upon operators to sell their phones at a subsidized price which they recoup on expensive pricing plans. That is how the "buy a new phone for $1" scheme works. Only a small percentage of all phones are not sold through an operator.

      So, if you want your phone to succeed, you must get the operators to like it. But what operators h
      • 1) At the end of the day, operators can say whatever they want, but in reality they prolly couldn't care less so long as they can transfer all the heavy tech support to someone else (like, say, Apple) when/if things go wonky, and the level 1 tech script doesn't fix it (see also Blackberry. As example: When T-Mobile doesn't know what to do with it after asking if you've reset the critter and re-did the Enterprise Activation on it, they pass you straight on to RIM's tech support).

        2) Vodafone can 'declare' w

    • ...and their decision to make a "ZunePhone".
      Industry analysts just figured out how much lipstick they'd have to put on this pig...

  • by jratcliffe (208809) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:15PM (#18818067)
    Irrelevant? No. Limited in its appeal to mobile corporate users? Yes. Without the ability to install custom apps on it, the chance that the iPhone will be a popular choice for mobile corporate users does seem pretty slim. That being said, I hardly think Apple cares, it's not their target market anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Higaran (835598)
      What is their target audience with the IPhone, the people that but $600 phones are 99% corporate users. The high end phone market which means phone $400 or above is less than 1% of phone users. So I agree to what the MS guy said, which is basically,"what average phone user will buy this thing?" Most people don't spend more than $200 on a phone, I just did but it was a blackberry, otherwise I was considering a $350 model, because it had windows mobile on it and office mobile. Thats because I run a compa
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by foniksonik (573572)
        Parents buy their kids $500/$600 iPods right? (hint... they do) So what's the difference... the parents get to spend $600 on a phone/iPod and can a) save money by not getting their kid the latest iPod and the latest phone or b) spend a little more on the phone aspect of it but gain a lot of capability (mapping, web browser, etc) for their kid.. we're talking 14 yr olds here not 5 yr olds in any case. And hey, throw a calculator, an agenda and bookmarks to wikipedia and you just might get away with not buyin
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mr_matticus (928346)

        What is their target audience with the IPhone, the people that but $600 phones are 99% corporate users. The high end phone market which means phone $400 or above is less than 1% of phone users. [...]Most people don't spend more than $200 on a phone, I just did but it was a blackberry, otherwise I was considering a $350 model, because it had windows mobile on it and office mobile.

        Oh come on. I'm a professional user (and an owner of a Windows Mobile phone, which I like a lot), but I absolutely abhor Office mobile, and so does everyone else I know.

        You can't do jack shit with it aside from preview badly-formatted versions of presentations, spreadsheets, and documents. You can't edit anything on it in the way of fonts or any formatting beyond a basic bulletin board editor (bold/italic/center/left/color/etc.). As soon as you save anything, you destroy the document. Except for sen

    • by BuR4N (512430)
      "Without the ability to install custom apps on it, the chance that the iPhone will be a popular choice for mobile corporate users does seem pretty slim."

      I might be totaly wrong, but from what I've read you can install software on the darn thing, its just that the software needs to be approved in someway by Apple. So while you probably cant run your latest home made epic, you will be able to install and use approved software, not manufactured by Apple.
      • Sounds a heck of a lot like DRM. Though again, the problem may not be Apple as much as their industry partners requesting it.

        Maybe the DRM on the iPhone would suit Apple just fine if they get a dominant position in the market (like it does with iTunes/iPod), and they have the bonus that they can pass the blame to others for their practices.

        Hard to say who is requiring it to be locked down, and even whether it will even be locked down, at this point. But the complaint that it is more locked down than an MS
    • by eclectic4 (665330)
      You are exactly right. Apple won't care, it's not their target market (obviously), and enough people will buy an iPhone to make this segment largely unseen by Apple. Opening it up will also cause Apple's support for the thing to increase dramatically, something I'm sure they also won't miss.

      I for one use my phone for business, taking pictures, sending them via email, etc... all of which the iPhone will be able to do, and very nicely so I will be purchasing one. Besides, most of the business people I know u
    • by nurb432 (527695)
      Lack of custom apps.. You could just about say that about the early blackberries too, and look how far they have infiltrated the corporate world.

      Very few people i have ever met have used anything but what was shipped on theirs.
  • Blackberry made it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gral (697468) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <37rracsk>> on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:15PM (#18818079) Homepage
    And I haven't seen MS Office on the device. It runs Java, which is not Microsoft owned as well. Business is addicted to the things so much they are referred to as crackberries. The blackberry blackout was BIG news, so it seems to be prominent.

    I think they are being a little delusional.
    • A BlackBerry can read Word and Excel attachments, as well as PDFs, so they do have functionality along these lines.
    • by ErMaC (131019)
      Of course Blackberry requires a Microsoft Exchange backend - so it's very very closely tied to a lucrative Microsoft platform.
      • by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:45PM (#18818397) Homepage
        It doesn't require exchange, it is capable of interfacing with lotus notes and novell groupwise as well...
        There is also a consumer oriented version which can access any imap server, but this version is intentionally crippled.
        Also, the "enterprise server" only runs on windows, so your still tied in... I wonder if this will change now that microsoft are competing head on with blackberry, after all it would be incredibly stupid of them to have their primary product dependant on their biggest competitor.
  • Who exactly.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by budword (680846) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:16PM (#18818089)
    has ever edited a .doc on their phone ? Is there some secret sub-class of ubber biz user who works on biz docs on his phone ? I'm a geek and I've never even thought of it. Porn, well, ya. Work on that merger ? No.
    • I've used the built-in Word and Excel on my Sprint PocketPC [sprint.com] (Audiovox 6700) to view documents and spreadsheets either emailed to me or that I surfed to using the built-in version of Internet Explorer on the phone. Oh, and I've had the phone for 18 months, so it's not new-fangled.

      If the iPhone can't accept installed applications (e.g. a future OpenOffice Mobile for Microsoft haters), I'm shocked and disappointed.

    • by SoopahMan (706062)
      I actually do this on a regular basis - Outlook Mobile can receive Word docs in email, I can edit them and make changes right on my phone and send them off. It's useful for basic document editing, like sending off an invoice or fixing up documentation. Having an entire laptop with you can be cumbersome, but it's nice to pass otherwise bored time waiting for this or that by getting some work done by opening up your phone for a few minutes.

      If you had a phone that could do this, and tied Outlook to your main e
    • by Monx (742514)
      I've read and modified both Word and Excel docs on my Treo 650. I'd rather not have to, but it's nice to be able to tell someone to just send you a file for revision on your PDA rather than having to find an actual computer .

      I'm a loyal Apple customer with three Macs at the moment. I've been using Macs since the System 4 days.

      The iPhone is a joke. The early pda phones lacked keyboards. I've had three such phones. The lack made them a pain to use as a phone. Try using a touch screen for navigating a touch-to
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by johneee (626549)
      Create? Hardly ever. Review? All the freakin' time.

      In fact, if the Blackberries couldn't read docs and presentations none of the managers around my place would ever get around to approving any of my stuff. It's absolutely critical if they're going to be used in the corporate world at large to be able to read word documents, power point presentations, and to a much lesser extent pdfs and excel spreadsheets. Edit? Well, people can probably get by that. It must also connect to either exchange or the other
  • ...just how many iPods were sold to this "Lucrative Corporate Environment" compared to the, by comparison, non-Lucrative Public?
    • by snuf23 (182335)
      Well at least one. We use an iPod shuffle to play music on hold for our phone system ever since the cd player died.
  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flanksteak (69032) * on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:16PM (#18818095) Homepage

    keep the iPhone out of the lucrative corporate market

    So?

    Apple doesn't target large business/enterprise markets. They never have. Their products are always marketed as tools for empowering individuals. If you didn't know better and could only guess from reviewing their advertising, you might think that businesses don't use personal computers. Often in these cases they behave more like a consumer electronics company rather than a PC maker.

    Apple has never shipped HP or Dell level volumes and they've never seemed interested in trying. They get waiting lists for some of their products as it is.

    Adding enterprise app accessibility would only introduce bugs, increase complexity, and reduce the overall user-friendlyness of the device, none of which would be Apple's fault (and I'm not even a fanboi). Besides, can anyone imagine Jobs up on stage at some show, introducing the latest email or ERP integration piece? No one drools over that kind of stuff.

    It's clear that part of Apple's rep for simplicity is due to the avoidance of the products and systems that can't be made simple. Enterprise apps are necessary and useful, but their deployment and use are a clusterfuck and probably always will be. Apple can't change that, so why take the downside?

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:33PM (#18818947) Journal

      Apple doesn't target large business/enterprise markets. They never have. Their products are always marketed as tools for empowering individuals.
      According to Wikipedia, Apple has been selling enterprise oriented hardware since 1996, with the Xserve lineup being introduced in 2002.

      http://www.apple.com/itpro/ [apple.com]
      Here's just some of their headlines from the news box:

      Apple Takes on Exchange Server
      Apple's Open Calendar Server vs. Microsoft Exchange
      Xserve Review
      Apple's Xserve Gives an Enterprise Alternative

      http://www.apple.com/itpro/solutions.html [apple.com]
      Need Help Configuring Apple Solutions?
      Contact Apple Consulting Services for comprehensive onsite consulting and enterprise-oriented services.

      One of Apple's big enterprise selling points always has been interoperability with MS & UNIX products.
    • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by king-manic (409855) on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:51PM (#18819097)
      Apple doesn't target large business/enterprise markets. They never have. Their products are always marketed as tools for empowering individuals. If you didn't know better and could only guess from reviewing their advertising, you might think that businesses don't use personal computers. Often in these cases they behave more like a consumer electronics company rather than a PC maker.

      Empowering individuals? please tell me your a shill because if a real person speaks like that then the marketroids have won and we're all doomed to annihalation through mass stupidity.
  • Not FOR business. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:17PM (#18818099) Homepage
    What would you rather sell? 1 iPhone to every business person, or 1 iPhone to 1 out of every 100 Mr. Joe Public? I would rather sell to the Joe Public market because of the sheer volume of sales. The target market of the iPhone is not to kill the blackberry - yet. It is to go after the market that the Razr has. And since it is essentially a pocket PC, if there is demand, then maybe other apps could be installed with later revisions.

    Apple is not stupid, they did their market research for this thing and know exactly what features Joe Public wants, not what Mr. Jack Business or Mr. Slashdot Nerdling wants. They want to woo the Joe Publics, and I strongly suspect that they will.

    I think MS is complaining because they know that the iPhone is going to destroy the Zune, and they have nothing to compete with it. Not only that, once enough Joe Public's get a hold of these things, there market for WinCE will be under fire - and then their market for Office on such devices. Apple is smart, they are picking their battles. They are not even trying to compete with the business market at this point. They are targeting a totally different segment, and MS is scared that they will win.

    Think of the changes in the marketplace, if everyone owns an iPhone in the public space, and becomes accustomed to using OS X on their handheld... What sort of PC will Joe Public consider buying after using a OS X device? I suspect more iMac's will fly off the shelves after the iPhone becomes established. I think Microsoft is seriously afraid of losing the mobile market, the DRM/Music Market, and eventually the desktop market. And the iPhone is the device that will drive in that wedge.
  • by pak9rabid (1011935) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:17PM (#18818111)
    Apple says Vista is irrelevant for business...
  • When you can't... (Score:2, Interesting)

    ...compete you attack
  • Seriously, Apple are not in the traditional 'business' market - as in: the pinstripe suit brigade. They make XServes, and cool 8-core workstations, but these are mainly for the creative crowd doing video/audio editing.

    The iPhone is targetted at the same demographic the iPod was - people with sufficient disposable income to purchase a premium product, and who care about the "spit-and-polish" that only Apple seem to apply liberally.

    The "closed" nature seems to be a bit over-blown too. Just because jo(e)-rando
  • What kind of weenie it going to try to edit PPT/Excel/Word documents on a Goddamn cell phone? And this is a killer shortcoming? It barely freaking works on a regular computer. Not running MS Office is a feature, not a bug.

            Brett

           
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:30PM (#18818243)
    Maybe so, but is iPhone really targetting the corporate market, at least initially? Nothing I've seen has suggested that. Why say that your product is better than someone who isn't even targetting in the market you are referring to? Maybe because you've got no advantage over your real competition?
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:34PM (#18818291)
    Check out Apples' parody-tastic new product.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzBmHY3URWs [youtube.com]
  • Didn't MS say the same thing about Linux? Seriously, didn't they?
    • Didn't MS say the same thing about Linux? Seriously, didn't they?


      I'd be mildly surprised if MS has criticized Linux for being a closed device you can't install applications on, but, yeah, the rest of the criticisms (which all seem to boil down to "its not Windows and all users are used to Windows and want more of it") have been used against Linux.
    • by dpete4552 (310481)
      They said Linux is irrelevant to business customers because it's a closed system that doesn't allow you to install custom applications on it?

      Uh, no, they didn't. Not even close. Seriously.
  • by Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:36PM (#18818313)
    Go take a look at the ads for the iphone on Apple's site. Here's what you WON'T hear:

    MIKE: I need to call Chet ask him about that spreadsheet ::touches picture of guy wearing a blue tie::
    CHET: My phone is ringing! ::clicks picture of guy wearing red tie:: Hi Mike, I've got that spreadsheet you were waiting on.
    MIKE:Great, let's call Sue and look at the powerpoint!
    CHET: As long as it has plenty of bar graphs!

    See for yourself. Apple doesn't give a flying flip about the suit, at least not while they are at work. Their ads are filled with attractive youngsters talking about meeting up for bike riding and whitewater rafting! They don't CARE about the business market.
  • MS and PDA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:39PM (#18818343) Homepage Journal
    One issue with the original PDA, and grew as the PDA became more powerful, was the idea that it would not run MS Office. At this point, most business people who would use the PDA knew nothing but MS Office, with automagically formated test and close file specification. All I heard was the PDA was not appropriate because it would not run MS Word.

    I had no problem using my PDA for writing. I would enter it as plain text, and then format it in MS Word when I got the big computer. The PDA was to keep contacts and appointments, and jot down drafts. I saw no one complaining that theri franklin planner was inadequate because it did not include a typewriter. Same thing.

    I suspect the problem with the iPhone is that it is not going to fit in with the MS workcylce, specifically exchange. Of course blackberry is not a problem because I believe it does have an exchange component. Apple, OTOH, is just uses standard protocols, and does nothing special. Therefore, when the executives get their iPhones, which they will, it is conceivable that at some point MS will have to open up exchange. This means the MS should be scared because the iPhone is the thin end of the wedge. MS lucked out that the there were enough hacks to maintain the monopoly with the PDA threat, but they may not be so lucky with the phones. Just look at what the iPod is doing to the precious WMP formats.

  • red herring (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What they're really worried about is that the iPhone will integrate flawlessly with iCal and Address Book. While there are some 3rd party apps that try to do this, MS has nothing to offer cell phone users on this front. And it's actually pretty damn useful, as opposed to the 'not being able to install Word' bullshit.
  • With the iPhone, Apple is attempting to redefine parts of the mobile phone market, not take over certain segments of it. Sort of like throw something at the wall and see if it sticks. Every company does this. I think 10 million is a bit aggressive, but that's why I am a tech guy, not a marketer.

    Microsoft can continue to enjoy the business cell market for a while. If the iPhone proves to be successful with the personal market, then SJ will get more leverage to strongarm more networks to accept the "apple
  • Microsoft, in its Windows Mobile platform, also gives carriers the ability to prevent users from installing applications that have not been approved by the carrier - just like Apple presumably will. See Windows Mobile 5.0 Application Security [microsoft.com]. This is why many T-Mobile users can't install third-party applications on their MDA/SDA devices without unlocking them, which is no trivial task.

    The real solution here is to urge Congress and the FCC to force mobile phone carriers to allow users to purchase and conn
  • PC - "Hold on, let me calculate how much time you've wasted by releasing the Iphone".
  • by stefaanh (189270) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:49PM (#18818455)
    Please will all persons here that actually use MS Office on their PDA raise there hands please?

    Anybody else? ...

    Thank you sir, you may lower your hand.
    • by CurlyG (8268) on Friday April 20, 2007 @08:59PM (#18819677)
      *raises hand reluctantly*

      I've used it. It's one of the few things on WM 5.0 that actually works more or less as you'd expect it to. That said, it's really not terribly useful. I can't see any situation where it would be more useful than, say, an automatic Word-to-txt converter on the phone.

      begin sort-of on-topic rant:

      WM 5.0 has one of the worst interfaces I've ever seen on any computing device. Inconsistent from things like the "dismiss" button which swaps sides depending on the app you're dismissing, to the utterly abitrary selection of which functions have buttons on the bottom bar and which have nice big buttons in the main screen, to the random way you quit various applications - do I click the "OK" button, or the "X" in the top right, or the "close" text on the bottom bar - the answer is different with nearly every app. Or the fact it takes 7 clicks on tiny little menu items and icons with the stylus to find the task manager to switch between running applications. Some of our more impatient and less technical users were just rebooting their phones when they ran out of memory rather than navigating that maze each time.

      Then there's the flat out bugs and glitches (some of which I'm told will be fixed in some subsequent release... on a thousand dollar phone... which is a crucial business tool in my job... great, thanks, let me just bend over a bit more for you) like the way the hard buttons just stop working every so often (sometimes all of them, sometimes just one or two, like the "answer call" button). Or the screen which sometimes randomly fades to white. i.e., when you're on a call to a client and want to hang up, but the buttons don't work and the screen has gone white so you can't see where to click, the only way to hang up is to take the battery out. Prior to this I'd never seen a telephone handset that crashes and has to be rebooted.

      These are the barest tip of the iceburg of the problems with these phones. They're totally unsuitable for business use or any other use where the phone needs to be relied upon. The idea of the makers of this toy dissing the as yet unreleased iPhone as irrelevant for business is hilarious.

      If you need a phone to impress your friends at the bar or to play solitare on the train home from work, a WM 5.0 device is perfect for you. If you actually need to rely on it as a phone, mobile data connection, and PDA, i.e., as a business tool... I'm not sure what your other options are, but loads of phones do PDA stuff now, and plenty can do email, and although admittedly Exchange calendering integration is well-implemented and handy in WM 5, if you can give that one feature up it is well worth doing so.

      These bloody things were pushed on us geeks by management and have been an unmitigated disaster from day 1. My immediate manager, not a particularly technical guy, implied I was some kind of Luddite when I expressed some doubts (fairly mild ones, as it turned out) prior to the rollout. We previously all had Nokia 8210i handsets and iBurst [iburst.com.au] PCMCIA cards for our laptops, which worked reliably and quickly about 95% of the time.

      I am *not* a blind MS hater. I use and deploy their products at work, and they're much better than they once were. But WM is simply crap in the very worst traditions of half-assed marketing-department-driven Microsoft dross.

      Apple would have to try pretty hard with the iPhone to make it any less relevant than Windows Mobile.

      *sigh* end rant. Sorry about that, WM 5.0 has made me quite bitter.
  • I just don't get the American (as in Continent) obsession with smartphones and being able to do office stuff on a mobile handheld device. Heck, this is not an obsession exlusive to business types, but average users who end up sub-utilizing it.

    Whenever someone talks about the next big portable thing over here, I remember just how unrealistically cool are cel phones in Japan, with vibrant and very hi-def screens, generous storage, nice messaging capabilites... But very few Japanese use smartphones. And boy
  • They were talking like that about google too. Hmmm, actually it was worse. They were laughing etc and such. Apparently they have learned a little bit from their mistakes.
  • Is overkill for a phone / pda anyway. So they dont have much room to speak on the design end of matters.

  • I am familiar with Windows Mobile interface and that's exactly why I'm drooling over iPhone.

  • that it had no value to business and that they wouldn't develop their own web browser. Then they saw how companies started to make money on the Internet and how popular Netscape had become, and how it posed a threat to their business model. So they developed Internet Explorer and Front Page as a web browser and a web page creator.

    Microsoft laughs at the iPhone now, but how long before Microsoft has the zPhone (Zune Phone) to complete with it?
  • He's right. Sorta. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... m ['nga' in gap]> on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:13PM (#18818737) Homepage Journal
    The iPhone is *irrelevant* for business. It's not a business device. You won't get an iPhone for business or, really, for any practical reason at all. Anyone who actually needs anything in the iPhone's feature list beyond actually making phone calls has already got a gadget that does whatever it is better than the iPhone ever will. Including being a music player (in which case that device is likely to be an iPod). And if that device isn't a phone, it's almost certainly better off for not being a phone - simply because even the optimistic estimates of bettery life Apple's listing on their website are profoundly unexciting (even the iPod shuffle beats them), and rumor has it that they're profoundly optimistic as well.

    Apple's market is the same as the market for things like the Motorola RAZR. I'm sure it will be sell well just from the cool factor, no matter how impractical it is.
  • by Angelwrath (125723) on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:17PM (#18818795)
    I'd like to suggest an axiom for writers:

    Ask a company about its competition, and they will trash the competition.

    Let's get serious here... asking Microsoft what it thinks of its competition? Such an interview has no value. The response will always be negative. Ask Microsoft about any of its competition, and the response will always be the same.
  • Step 1 (Score:5, Funny)

    by noewun (591275) on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:39PM (#18818989) Journal

    In the Microsoft playbook: say device is beneath your worry;

    Step 2: Attack device as imminent failure;

    Step 3: Watch as device becomes success;

    Step 4: Purchase company which produces device. If this is not possible;

    Step 5: Release half-assed version of device which fails on all levels except hype.

  • I'd be carefull (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Qbertino (265505) on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:49PM (#18819079)
    The PC wasn't for the corporate market either when it came out. It was considered and ment to be a toy.

    Apple is together with Google in offering Google Maps on the iPhone. I clearly remember the impressive presentation of that specific feature. It's bound to move toward a killer application for those offering Navigation systems. And before you can say 'MS Office sucks' we're likely to have Google Apps on mobile devices. And they definitely are a competion to anything MS in the mobile area.

    Do you people still remember Ami Pro, Lotus 123 and Windows 3.1? That was all we needed back then and with the browser apps we get exactly that. On top of a bazillion layers running them on a performance hog called JavaScript. But it's all we need. With phones running 500Mhz CPUs and Full Scale Browsers stripped down versions of expensive proprietary shrinkwrap applications are getting more harder to sell by the minute. And MS is feeling that right now.
  • You Know (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Friday April 20, 2007 @08:08PM (#18819243) Homepage Journal
    The iPhone integrated office suite doesn't even have to be good. It just has to suck slightly less than Office does. Apple gets their claws into you. They got the kids and an ever-growing number of adults with the iPod. The iPhone will subvert the CEOs and upper managers who currently force me to use Microsoft's crappy software at work. People will buy them because they're shiny. Then they'll say something like "Wow... this is actually an incredibly easy-to-use device! Maybe I'll check out an Apple computer..." Next thing you know, everyone in the family has one.
  • iPhone's suckage? (Score:3, Informative)

    by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwinNO@SPAMamiran.us> on Friday April 20, 2007 @09:37PM (#18819901) Homepage Journal
    I love Apple, and hate Microsoft, but IMHO, the iPhone has two big failings.

    1. No unsigned apps is a big one. This is really a damn shame, and limits the iPhone to a certain crowd (fashion-conscious blackberry users and Apple devotees).
    2. EDGE?! EDGE sucks. The latency is beyond terrible. Now that Cingular has UMTS, Sprint/Verizion have EVDO, and even T-mobile is going 3G, why would ANYONE consider a "nextgen" phone to be an EDGE-only phone. This is a *terrible* decision. As much as I love Apple, I would *never* trade in an EVDO capable PDA for an EDGE one; even if you paid me to take the EDGE one. EVDO (or any low-lataency 3G) changes the way you access the internet while mobile. With EDGE, you putter around slowly, and you don't use an EDGE device while driving about 50 mph, or riding the train. With EVDO, you're always online.

    As far as I'm concerned, #2 is damning. Especially now that Sprints super-cheapo SERO plans are avaliable to anyone in the know, there is no reason whatsoever to go with some crappy overpriced EDGE device, even if the UI is Nirvana (and given that its a first generation product, I'm skeptical). Don't look at the bandwidth numbers and think that your EDGE device is similar to a dialup; its not. It's more like a low bandwidth satellite connection, with roundtrip latencies approaching 2-3 seconds while the connection is maxed out (and given that its 128 kbps, thats not hard). EVDO, UMTS, and other 3G technologies blow the doors off this; both Sprint and Verizon sell PDAs and Phones that give you live streaming video, even from things like ORB and Slingbox.

    Don't go with EDGE. It sucks. I worked with an EDGE phone for a long time, and now that I've got EVDO (particularly Rev A) I would never, ever go back. Even at twice the price.
  • by nanosquid (1074949) on Saturday April 21, 2007 @12:10AM (#18821039)
    The iPhone has KHTML, and that's powerful enough to display Google Docs. So, it can load, display, and edit Microsoft Office files.
  • by toolz (2119) on Saturday April 21, 2007 @03:56AM (#18821967) Homepage Journal
    "One hundred and forty phone models already run Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system..."

    Now that's the most abusive utilization of the term "run" that I have ever seen.

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