Windows Mobile takes on BlackBerry and Symbian

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Windows Mobile takes on BlackBerry and Symbian

High-end customers turning to Microsoft, claims report.

Microsoft's Windows Mobile is poised to win high-end enterprise mobile customers from RIM and Symbian, a new report suggests. 

The Enterprise Mobile Strategies report from network consulting firm BRC compared the enterprise capabilities of technologies such as Linux, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile, and the offerings of major players such as Orange and Verizon

BRC concluded that, as enterprise mobile computing evolves to combine more personal computer capabilities on mobile handsets, a critical factor will be the number of tools available for extending corporate applications to mobiles.

Comprehensive packages are already available to access Lotus, various SAP offerings, Oracle CRM and Microsoft Office using Windows Mobile. 

This will encourage large corporations to go Microsoft for mobile, according to the report, while the proprietary nature of RIM's BlackBerry operating system will inhibit third-party developers.

Similarly, Symbian's software development kits are device dependent, thereby fragmenting application markets. Since new applications cannot readily run on Symbian devices, developers will be more attracted to Windows Mobile.

"RIM and Symbian have attracted millions of business users through personal information managers and email, but without middleware solutions they will lose them to Microsoft," said Jeff Ace, one of the report's authors.

"Developers look to the easiest system to place their wares. Windows Mobile is well marketed, targets the most lucrative market and hides the complexity of devices from users.

"Nokia has the marketing clout to attract developers, but seems reticent, while the natural attraction of Windows Mobile must be troubling device manufacturers."

The report maintained that to counter this challenge and stop more revenue share going to Microsoft, RIM will need a comprehensive toolset for accessing corporate middleware and Symbian should move to a device-independent development platform to attract innovative developers.

RIM announced last month that it will expand support for Windows Mobile-based devices with a new 'Virtual BlackBerry' software application suite.

The software will enable devices from third-party manufacturers to use BlackBerry software applications and services.
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