April 19, 2007 10:13 AM PDT

Microsoft: iPhone lacks business savvy

Apple's soon-to-be-launched iPhone will be irrelevant to business users because it is a "closed device" and does not support Microsoft Office, a senior executive with the software giant said this week.

"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.

Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system is already running on 140 phone models, while Apple's iPhone is not expected to hit the U.S. market until June, and Australia in 2008. The Windows mobile devices have picked up a significant portion of the converged device market, although they are up against the dominance of Nokia and its Symbian OS, Research In Motion and its BlackBerry software, and decreasingly, Palm.

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.

Windows Mobile was released in May 2005, but it wasn't until early 2006 that devices based on the operating system had become widely available to Australian buyers. By contrast, devices running the latest edition of Windows Mobile, version 6 (WM6) will be on the Australian market before the end of the month--beating Microsoft's own projections that the platform would ship in the third calendar quarter.

While the iPhone will focus on integrating phone, Internet browsing and iPod features such as music, WM6 adds enterprise-targeted features such as better synchronization of data between mobile devices and office servers.

"With 3G we see Australians wanting more bandwidth on devices than ever before. There's a growing trend toward 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.

When contacted, an Apple Australia representative said: "I am not interested in commenting."

David Braue of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

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line of business, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Apple iPhone, Australia, Apple Computer

72 comments

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Microsoft just doesn't get it.
Every response to Apple's stuff is the same "Apple doesn't
understand, it's not what business users want, bladdah
bladdah".

But that is PRECISELY why Apple is successful - they think and
design outside of the box... they shun the norm and really work
out new ways to do things.

Microsoft will never get it.
Posted by Lethality (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They innovate by not including an office app?
You people amaze me. Actually. Microsoft said Apple doesn't stand a chance in the enterprise market because it lacks an Office app and you can't put non-Apple apps on it. And guess what? Microsoft's right. Apple hasn't in the past 15 years released a product that would be successful with the businesses. If you're businessman, you're not going to shell out 500$ for a smartphone that can't do office or connect with Outlook servers.
Posted by moocna (11 comments )
Link Flag
So Apple gave Microsoft an iPhone to test?
No its just fud. ignore it.

Microsuck dosnt know didley about the iPhone. I might actually support office for all we know.. other phones. (palm garnet and symbian do)
Posted by Solaris_User (267 comments )
Link Flag
You just don't get it.
Every response to Microsoft's stuff is the same too: "If it's good, we invented it already; if it's bad, we don't have it because our products are perfect".

That is precisely why Apple is unsuccessful (where is Apple successful besides with an MP3 player that only sells because it's Windows-compatible?) - they and design and forget the features. I guess discarding the most used office suite is a great way of shunning the norm and really work out new ways to do things.

Apple will never lead.
Posted by Fil0403 (1303 comments )
Link Flag
Web Apps will work fine who cares about MS Apps
Why would anyone want to view Office App documents when the
DATA can be presented by any well written web app.

The DATA is what matters not the application that holds it.

This device will allow unprecedented access to web based
standards compliant applications. If designed properly, these
apps should easily be able to present any kind of data to the
user.

Does Google's spreadsheet need Excel to run?

Apps running on iPhone have NO NEED for MS Apps.

No wonder the 'executive' did not use his name to deride the
iPhone.
Posted by JB_Smith (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
FUD
Pure and simple.

Some of the things business users need and that come with the
iPhone:
Real web browsing.
Visual voicemail that works like email.
Email.
Calendars, to do lists, contact lists, etc.
Google Maps.
A decent camera.
A usable interface!
Posted by Macsaresafer (802 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Absolutely correct
A Smart Phone is meant for professionals and business users.

An iPhone is meant for entertainment purposes.

The two should not be compared to each other as they have very little in common. Business users will use the SmartPhone and people who want to listen to music will use the iPhone.

It's pretty simple, really.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
Absolutely correct
A Smart Phone is meant for professionals and business users.

An iPhone is meant for entertainment purposes.

The two should not be compared to each other as they have very little in common. Business users will use the SmartPhone and people who want to listen to music will use the iPhone.

It's pretty simple, really.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
Not a fan of Windows Mobile
I won't comment on this "press release" of an article.

I have to support ~80 Windows Mobile users in the field. The best I
can say for it is it's a buggy piece of junk. It hangs, crashes, pops
up obnoxious messages, etc. In short, it is a Microsoft product.
Posted by sbwinn (216 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No MS Office, no MS Office viruses
I like the no MS Office 'issue', it drastically reduces security threats to the device.
Posted by Microsoft_Facts (109 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Plus, there's nothing to stop users from
running Google Office on the full web browser!

I think what the MS executive meant to say was that MS isn't ready
for the iPhone to eat into their business.
Posted by Macsaresafer (802 comments )
Link Flag
there is tho..
there are office compatible apps on the garnet palms and symbian phones.
Posted by Solaris_User (267 comments )
Link Flag
HAHAHAHAHA
I have a Windows mobile phone and it's the worst phone I have ever owned. I have never found it necessary to view a word doc on it... and when I tried reading my outlook email on it, the "push" software that runs on my PC interferes with outlook. Microsoft needs to just shut their traps...
Posted by labcondave (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Amen, I have had 3 phones like this
Yes, I agree, I have had 3 Windows mobile smart phones and there
were all just terrible in the end.

I know use a New Blackberry Pearl and I really dislike it more each
day.

I will try an iPhone and am really hoping Apple hits a home run with
it. I am so tired of junk phones.
Posted by dansterpower (2511 comments )
Link Flag
iPhone - Apple's Next Newton?
It will be interesting to how iPhone performs under real-world conditions. It looks pretty, but the substance of its design is pretty unimpressive.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
unimpressive to whom?
Most of what I've seen and read contradicts your statement.
Posted by ciparis (41 comments )
Link Flag
So, because MS botched Vista....
Many of you on here know I make no bones about my disdain for Microsoft and Apple, but please...this quote from Microsoft is just silly. I think they fear a Windows Mobile competitor, if it wasn't already obvious.

If I were Jobs, i'd say, "Hey, just 'cause you botched Vista, doesn't mean we're Microsoft." Vista is truly a pretty goliath of DRM. Whatever Apple is, at least DRM on Mac starts and ends w/ FairPlay--this DRM thing w/ Vista is absolutely ridiculous.

Microsoft, should keep it's trap shut and make a Windows Mobile that's half as stable as they claim it is, put it on a descent device, and do battle in the free market.
Posted by close5828 (230 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hm
Yet another person who doesn't understand DRM in Vista...

It is for SUPPORT only, it does not automatically encrypt your files, it doesn't prevent access from them, it does what YOU want to them.

Newsflash if Mac or Linux (most likely won't happen as the average user won't touch Linux as its still not user friendly) wants to be able to watch movies, music or any other kind of media that has drm built into it will need to include software to view it. MS did the same thing in XP where except you had to download it in order to be able to view certain types of media with drm in it.

MS is right though many many business use outlook and office apps so the iphone isn't going to be a big seller there, MS concentrates a lot of their business in the enterprise dept.

Windows Mobile 6 should be out soon which is supposed to be a vast improvement over 5 but we'll see.
Posted by krushyou (92 comments )
Link Flag
Exactly... More CNET FUD
They're talking about a product that hasn't even been released.
It's been showed only a handful of times. They're also forgetting
about one important factor: Apple's relationship with Google.
I'm willing to bet Apple has a few tricks up it's sleeve in regards
to office applications. As for Windows, it sucks on PCs, why
would I want it on my phone? Cellular phone operating systems
and UIs have always been complete junk. I think Apple will be
the first one to get it right, and with their very first phone. Go
figure. It will succeed, and for the same reason that the iPod
was a huge success. They took a look at all of the problems
with existing hardware and software and systematically pounded
them out, one by one.
Posted by mhersh (78 comments )
Reply Link Flag
second shoe
Google is the first shoe to drop. The second is Apple's growing
relationship with Cisco the co-owners of the iPhone trademark.
They are talking up a storm about making iPhone work with
business networks.
That Jobs boy is not stupid!
Posted by Ian Kirkland (48 comments )
Link Flag
"Even using it as a heavy messaging device will be a challenge," - O,RLY?
Gee, why would Microsoft go out of their way to disparage a
competitor that has repeatedly shown the audacity to succeed in
the marketplace without Microsoft's software on board? I wonder.
Posted by ciparis (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Priceless!
<nt>
Posted by kentonr (25 comments )
Link Flag
because its not a "buisness savey" as our suck*** windows mobile software.
Windows Mobile is awful.

Actually the most user friendly cell phone interface (and I have used everything) is Symbian.

Sony Ericsson M600i or P990i are great smart phones. RIM's phones are not so bad either, great with mail, although the BlackBerrys OS is rather limited on "other" functions.

Stay away from the Windows Mobile, IPaq, Blackjack, or others like E62, the Treo's or anything else.
Posted by Solaris_User (267 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE: Microsoft: iPhone lacks business savvy
It seems to me that MS is the one that doesn't "get it". For one
thing I don't recall Apple billing this phone for businesses. The
product is aimed at the consumer who wants something that
"just works". And the iPod has proven that it enough people start
buying and using a product any business interested in it will find
a way to make it work.

It seems a bit strange to me that a company that depends on
locking people into its products would have the nerve to point
fingers at another company. But then MS has always been good
at spin.
Posted by protagonistic (1868 comments )
Reply Link Flag
krusty283: Microsoft lacks user savvy.
M$ hasn't produced one interesting thing in the last 5 years.
Their criticisms of Apple and Google just indicate how woefully
behind they are on the creativity and usability curves. Basically,
Apple craps products that are better than ones that M$ spends
years of talent, money, and research trying to create and Google
has completely ran circles around M$ web initiatives. Microsoft
is L-A-M-E and relies on installed base and "user-lock" to
continue their profitable business ... they certainly aren't earning
their position any longer. They have become the 500lb gorilla
that has stopped taking risks and are allowing other companies
to market-test concepts before they jump in to the mix years
too late after the concept has been pre-proven by someone else.

Microsoft (and Dell too) need to understand something: The
world is flooded with tech devices these days. Have 'x' number
of features at 'x' price point is not what people want anymore.
People increasingly want something that takes the user
experience to the next level ... something that differentiates
itself from what has come before. Revolutionary products are
what drives the tech business and where the high profit margins
lay. Apple's iPhone might fail (as has some other Apple
products in the past) but it won't be for lack of business savvy ...
there are plenty of business people and even more "normal"
people who don't realistically go over spread sheets on their
freakin' cell phone on a regular basis ... does M$ really believe
that any significant portion of the business community is
actually doing complex spreadsheet manipulations on their
phones on a daily ?
Posted by krusty283 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what is he talking about????????????
MSFT is on it's way down big time. Vista is a flop and Leopard is not even out. Open Office is good enough for 85% of the people and Google Docs and Spreadsheets is growing.

No wonder MS is trying with FUD scare tactics. But the iphone - on available evidence - has everything thing a business user needs plus the consumer stuff and the style. If you then factor in that Apple is replacing MS in many firms and that the interaction with the PC is becoming pretty seamless then you can see why the MS guy is talking nonsense.
Posted by lamadd (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not Really
HP would tend to disagree with you as their sales have climbed with Vista being released.

A Flop? Vista is doing the same thing when XP came out.

"Why do I need that"

"I'll never buy XP"

"Its too expensive"

"It looks like something fisher price came out with"

Apple is replacing MS yet people are buying XP & Vista to put on their Mac...Yep, that'll hurt them.

Tiger has had numerous bugs found in it with multiple patches being released (not so bulletproof now are you?)

Most businesses use Lotus Notes or Outlook never seen anywhere where its Apple computers only or jobs requiring someone to know Apple's operating system and setting up a server.

So, he isn't talking nonsense as Mac Applications are not seen run through many big businesses. (if any at all, don't know as I have never worked anywhere or seen a mac in a workplace)
Posted by krushyou (92 comments )
Link Flag
Never have I ever seen...
...so many MS haters in on place. You guys are so pathetic. MS blasts Apple about their phone, so what???? Haven't you ever seen Apple's ads about the PC? Now those are so full of the truth! Preach it Steve!

I have a Windows Mobile phone and it works great. Push messenging is fantatsic (much better than the Blackberry blackhole)!!! Having Word & Excel in the field is nice for documentation on the fly. Built-in WiFi & bluetooth are just icing on the cake. And the best part is... IT JUST WORKS. No reboots, hacks, fiddling, or praying required.

While I have no doubt that the iPhone will be one heck of a phone and sexy as all-get-out there's no need for all of this BS MS bashing. Windows Mobile is a great platform.

Now quit your unwarrented bashing and go watch a Mac commercial...
Posted by kojacked (1129 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Open Your Eyes
How about a little reality check. Microsoft opened the door by
criticizing Apple's iPhone. I think if they are going to fire the first
shot, then they can take some criticism back -- and that is the
way it should be. Perfectly fair.

And while it's wonderful for you to have such a positive
experience with MS products, that does not mean MS is beyond
reproach. Millions of Windows users have very real problems
with MS and are have the right to complain about it. So don't
dish it if you can't take it!
Posted by montex66 (370 comments )
Link Flag
Get real !!
Windows mobile don't crash??? You have got to be kidding. Three of my co-workers use windows mobile on a daily basis, and each day at least one of them crashes... i don't have that problem..I got the Blackberry.
Posted by mrcrj (1 comment )
Link Flag
How about we wait for it to come out...
...before everyone craps their pants about it. It truly amazes me how just because Apple makes it, fanboys mess their trousers. Everything I have read makes it look like it is going to be a great device. But marketing is supposed to do that. I just hope they came up with a better scratch resistant surface this time. They really should have at least made it compatible with GoodLink, so that they could get some of that enterprise money.

And I think we could stop bashing Vista (ME part 2), as Vista does enough damage to itself by sucking so bad. Btw, my main laptop is a MacBook Pro and my home machine is a G4. AND NO IT DOESN'T JUST WORK. It mostly does, but sometimes it doesn't. They should really just say it works better than PCs, crashes less, and viruses aren't a problem (yet).
Posted by ZeroJCF (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This Guy Can't Tell Apple(iPhone) From Oranges!
Even if the iPhone does not intergrate The Office Suite programs you will still access all that through google's FREE online doc and spreadsheet program. I am sure apple will intergrate OFFICE just to stick it to Big Bad Bill.
Posted by J.Tiberius (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Ballmer said it best...
Ballmer : " how can business people text message a co-worker when the iPhone doesn't even have any buttons on it? No good for business."

Uhm...The screen is a touch screen Steve B. and the typing occurs with the keyboard GUI...

They just don't get it.

Plus, my current Palm Treo smart phone will open & read MS Office docs with third party software on the PALM OS. So...you don't need MS OS on the mobile device Steve.

Also, Bill Gates favorite toy, the Tablet PC, great idea for business acoording to Bill...no buttons, you just use the screen GUI.

Get a clue MS..."It's about the web, stupid."

Mobile devices that access the the web with a web browser can access DATA & CONTENT from the web with industry standard protocals ( like PDF, etc., etc.) not proprietary Windows software based items that require Windows to open them.

Finally, all we've seen about the iPhone is a prototype, you do not know exactly what it will be capable of until June. MAYBE Apple wants to get it on the market & then developers can add software to expand it? WWDC coming up very soon &
Jobs keynote will shed some light upon the full impact of the iPhone.

Shaking in their boots & spreading FUD & the iPhone not out of the gate yet...MAN, Redmond is worried.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Try it with cheeto fingers
You know exactly what Ballmer was saying even though you're trying to act like you don't. Know what else? He's right. Touch screens suck. They are nice for basic navigation but for actual typing??

About that Palm of yours..
First, you got the cheap one. The top end Treo runs Windows Mobile.
Second, you can work with .doc and .xls files but your changes are ephemeral until you get back to your PC (try changing something and mailing it back from your phone).
Third, YOU are running a qwerty keyboard so lay off of Ballmer.

Palm was the king of handhelds and now it runs an MS OS. Redmond isn't worried in the slightest. They're too busy innovating.

About the Windows Mobile Palm Treo...
Yeah, yea "it's about the web stupid" you say? It surfs the web just fine.
It does those "industry standard formats" like PDFs too. (note: PDF ain't a protocol)
Unlike your version of the Treo the Windows Mobile version can flip-screen so it's much more pleasant surfing and reading those PDFs.

Oh and lastly..
Windows Mobile has done touch screen keyboards for ages. But just like Ballmer said, nobody wants the feature. Spare us the accusations of FUD when you're doing it yourself.
Posted by smilin:) (889 comments )
Link Flag
Windows Mobile is Possessed
I have a Motorola Q. I am on my 4th Q. I thought the problem was
the Q. I now believe is Windows Mobile 5 for Smart Phones. Talk
about an oxy moron - smart phones! If the iPhone works like a
phone it will be more business savvy than anything Microsoft has
come out with. It is not uncommon for my Q, with no interaction
from me, to switch from headset to speakerphone, to phone and
back to headset - making a business call extremely difficult. Is it
the OS or the device?
Posted by houdini2 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The more they open their mouth...
100 million iPods sold. How many did businesses buy? Maybe 5? How many Zunes have they sold? MS ought to fire every mouthpiece there that is stupid enough to speak negatively about Apple. Moron is the word of the day!
Posted by mikele11111 (166 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Maybe its target market is a different one
All of the observations are correct, it does not run Office related applications, and it is because its target market is not the corporate office; but all of these declarations on the iPhone by Microsoft and the vapourware that Microsoft might launch a Zune Phone tells me that they feel and see a threat in the iPhone.
Modifying the interface to make it office worthy is just a couple of clicks away.
Posted by frank bruce (92 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If Microsoft says it's bad it must be good for the competition
iPhone lacks business savvy? Microsoft's antics are so pathetic.
Posted by Schratboy (122 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ok.... Sure....
1) I don't think I would be happy with "real" 2G web browsing. Good luck and tell that to the business users surfin' on EV-DO and HSDPA networks.
2) What business user would care about visual voicemail?
3) I would love to see the iPhone compete with Blackberry email. Let me know when that happens.
4) Calendars, Contacts, To-Do Lists, oh my! Already been around for 10 years on a Palm. Nice innovation Apple.
5) Google Maps...Wow. Might be useful but I sure wouldn't use it.
6) Decent camera?? Wow again. I sure see business users taking pictures every day. Oh look let's take a picture of myself!
7) Usable interfeace. Already been around on a Blackberry and Palm for years. Sorry again Apple.

Best of all. There is actually tangible buttons on Blackberrys and Treos! What a concept!

Your post was pure FUD.
Posted by whizkid454 (157 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OK, but your's is FUD
Almost everything that you have mentioned has been done for
years and mostly on the Newton ((4) Calendars, Contacts, To-Do
Lists, oh my! Already been around for 10 years on a Palm. Nice
innovation Apple, 7) Usable interfeace (do you mean interface)
A recent comparison test between the Newton and new cePDA , I
beleave that the Newton won
You should check your facts before making any comments
Posted by Sniche (108 comments )
Link Flag
How Ironic
This from the company that brought you a brown digital music player that rhymes with "prune" and squirts music to strangers. This from the company that has caused billions of dollars of wasted productivity due to its buggy software, flawed updates, and security with more holes than swiss cheese. The ONLY thing Microsoft has going for it is market share, and that's a pretty limited definition of "business savvy."
Posted by Xenu7-214951314497503184010868 (153 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes! they are feeling the heat, and is just spring!
why would I care to open word document when I can open the
whole web?
this guy haven't notice times have changed.
Posted by 1happyman (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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