Aussie telcos prepare for Windows Phone 8 uptake

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Aussie telcos prepare for Windows Phone 8 uptake

Enterprise expected to embrace familiar Microsoft environment.

Australian telcos are preparing for ‘considerable’ enterprise adoption of new Windows Phone 8 devices, following Microsoft’s formal launch of the platform this morning.

The new mobile operating system replaces Windows Phone 7 and includes deeper integration with Microsoft's desktop OS refresh, Windows 8

Vodafone Hutchison Australia's head of enterprise sales Peter Kendall told iTnews he expected the platform to attract high levels of interest from enterprise customers due to their familiarity with Microsoft architecture.

“We believe that a considerable number of our enterprise customers are very interested in Windows Phone 8 because they see it as an effective way to move their existing mobile infrastructure into the Microsoft environment,” Kendall said.

According to Kendall, a “significant number” of enterprises had refrained from investing in competing mobie operating systems due to their highly-integrated Microsoft environments.

“Many enterprise customers have a high degree of confidence that Microsoft Windows Phone 8 will integrate well with their existing IT infrastructure,” he said.  

However, Kendall added that enterprise customers woud wait for the formal launch of Windows Phone 8 later today to properly evaluate the platform. 

The majority of Kendall's views were echoed by Telstra’s director of business mobility, Tim Webber, who saw “clear productivity opportunities” for Windows Phone 8 in the enterprise.  

“We’re expecting strong interest from enterprise customers in Windows Phone 8 [which] introduces some enhanced business features and the integration with other Microsoft products including Exchange and Office,” Webber said.

Webber said Telstra had a “good selection” of Windows Phone devices on its roadmap, though he declined to name specific models.

“Fleet purchasers [will now] be able to meet the needs of their entire workforce on the one operating system," he said.

Businesses onboard

Businesses that have already announced plans to adopt Windows Phone 8 include ING Direct Australia, McGrathNichol and Data#3

“I’d like to have Windows [Phone 8 smartphones] rolled out by the end of the year,” ING's CIO Andrew Henderson told iTnews.

“The obvious choice would be the Lumia devices, but we’ll have to see technically what lands, what’s available through our telecoms provider, and we’ll assess the fleet, then go.”

Data#3's managing director John Grant said that the company planned to roll out a combination of Windows 8 tablets, phones, laptops and desktop PCs to its employees in the coming months.

"The thing about Windows 8 is that you get the same interface and operating system environment from the phone through to the tablets, laptops and PCs. So I expect we'll be purchasing examples of all of these devices," Grant said. 

Windows Phone 8 launch devices

Nokia's flagship Lumia 920 will arrive in Australia on Telstra's 4G network, with its sister Lumia 820 to touch down with Optus Business and Vodafone.

The Nokia Lumia 920 has an Australian RRP of $829 and is available in black, white, red and yellow from Telstra. A grey version is also available at retail.

The Nokia Lumia 820 is available in black, white, red and yellow for an RRP of AUD $649. 

In a statement, Nokia Australia’s managing director, Steve Lewis, described a turning "industry tide" in favour of Microsoft Phone 8. 

“So many consumers and businesses have already made the switch to Nokia Lumia and with the new range, we believe many more will follow suit,” Lewis said.

Other Windows Phone 8 devices include the HTC 8SHTC 8X and Samsung Ativ S

The 4G-capable HTC 8X will launch on Telstra’s LTE network, and will also be available through Vodafone. The HTC 8S will be available through Telstra and Optus. Pricing has yet to be announced.

The Samsubng Ativ S will be available in early December exclusively through Optus and can be purchased outright for $799.

Microsoft is also rumoured to be working on a Windows Phone 8 device of its own to compliment its Surface tablet range. 

Stay tuned to iTnews for full details on pricing and availability, which will be announced later today.

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