The battle of rhetorics rages on, first it was Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer down-playing the launch of the iPhone and now its the turn of a senior executive with the software giant saying that the iPhone will be irrelevant to business users because it is a "closed device" and you guessed it right, it is because it will not support Microsoft office.
"It’s a great music phone, and I’m sure it will be fantastic and have an interesting user interface," Chris Sorenson, Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific head of smart-phone strategy, told press during a recent visit to Australia.
"However, it’s a closed device that you cannot install applications on, and there’s no support for Office documents. If you’re an enterprise and want to roll out a line of business applications, it’s just not an option. Even using it as a heavy messaging device will be a challenge," the executive added.
"If you’re an enterprise and want to roll out line of business applications, it’s just not an option," said Sorenson. "Even using it as a heavy messaging device will be a challenge." Sorenson also added that with Windows Mobile 6, Microsoft is bringing "more of what you can do on a PC, onto the devices. Manufacturers can innovate heavily in their designs, but keep that consistent [Windows] look and feel."
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. Microsoft is has already been battling against the dominance of Nokia and RIM in the converged device market.
While the iPhone will focus on integrating phone, Internet browsing and iPod features, WM6 adds enterprise-targeted features such as better synchronization of data between mobile devices and office servers.
"The market in Australia is demanding the newest and greatest mobile technology."
"With 3G we see Australians wanting more bandwidth on devices than ever before. There’s a growing trend towards smarter devices, and with WM6 we’ve tried to bring more of what you can do on a PC, onto the devices. Manufacturers can innovate heavily in their designs, but keep that consistent [Windows] look and feel," Sorenson said.
The only positive from these comments from Microsoft (which are usually hard to come by) is they did say that the iPhone will be a great music phone.