Microsoft exec says Apple's iPhone isn't fit for business

By Justin Mann on April 20, 2007, 6:44 PM
There's one sure way for a company to earn the ire of another company, and that's to refer to their products as “irrelevant”. Then again, Microsoft and Apple are already poles apart. Lately, a Microsoft's exec gripe with Apple is the iPhone, which he said will not be a good fit for business users. The reason? It's a closed device that will not support Microsoft Office. While Apple certainly has little to no incentive to support Microsoft's software, a good point is made. Many mobiles run Windows and have support for Microsoft applications such as mobile Office, and the majority of mobiles at the very least are open-ended platforms that can be developed for by nearly anyone. That should be important to Apple, because the biggest market for PDAs is at the business and enterprise levels, which Chris Sorenson thinks they will have a tough time entering:

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.
Apple isn't commenting. Perhaps Apple's goals are different. Perhaps they don't want to break into the corporate market. Maybe their goal is to convince much more casual or recreational users, like college students or enthusiasts, that a PDA will bring them so much more usefulness than a cell can. After all, supposedly there are already millions of people willing to invest into the expensive device.

User Comments: 2

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michaelper22 said:
From my knowledge, Apple plans to have a Dashboard feature similartot hat of the full OS X's version, which will allow for the inclusion of some type of thrid-party apps. Obviously it won't be as extentsive as Microsoft's platform, but it is still worth a look.
tbanting said:
Having used a Microsoft smartphone for a number of months:- 1) I use it for making and taking calls2) I use it to view my emails3) I use it occasionally to look at the web4) I use it extensively for calendar and contacts integration with outlook I do not compose or view Word documents, PowerPoint or spreadsheets. (The screen is too small to do anything effectively) It would be useful to have specific applications such as perhaps or CRM data but again the keyboard and input entry seems restrictive. I don't see DHL or FedEx using smart phones yet. low memory, short battery life when running applications, and security issues are key inhibitors. Apple call it an "iPhone"- surely the clue is in the name, they do not call it an "iDevice" ;-) I think Microsoft will have a hard time convincing people to leave the laptop at home because you can do everything on a Windows Mobile device!I look forward to Google's developments in this area. Open Source that integrates to Office and Outlook? Well that will really challenge Microsoft's stagnant growth over the past 3 years in the "entertainment and devices" segment!
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