Microsoft took the wraps off its new Windows Phone 7 at the Tech.Ed user conference on the Gold Coast last week, touting Office suite capabilities as key to helping it catch up to rivals.
The device will be Microsoft’s long-awaited attempt to make an impact in the smartphone market, in which it has lagged behind, and to provide some competition for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android after its previous attempts failed dismally.
Telstra’s director of device management and operations, Richard Fink, who took part in designing the device’s first application, TelstraOne Hub, said that people wanted more simplicity.
“It brings your work and your life together quite well with your email, your contacts and social networking, as well as some entertainment, and with your work stuff around SharePoint, One Note and the Microsoft Office stuff.
“I think the integration in your email is actually very strong with the Exchange integration, so I think from an enterprise and a business perspective it’s a platform that goes all the way from consumer to enterprise,” Fink said.
The phone runs the Microsoft Office suite “out of the box” with One Note, PowerPoint, Word , Excel and also support for SharePoint.
According to Microsoft program manager, Peter Torr, the phone is designed for email on the go with Exchange giving users access to delete, unflag, mark unread, and move mail between folders while being offline, something Torr claims is not offered by other platforms.
With PowerPoint you can run through a presentation on the phone, edit slides, and save and email the presentation, while SharePoint potentially enables the user to sync documents back and forth from their SharePoint at the office.
However, Torr could not yet comment on security for the device, leaving a substantial question mark hanging over whether it will be fully adopted into the enterprise.
Despite the hype around the first app for the device, the ‘unmetered’ TelstraOne Hub, its availability will be limited to Telstra customers and its relevance to the enterprise is minimal if any.
The app mirrors the “live tile” design, matching the rest of the phone, but is “just lifestyle stuff” like news and weather.