Microsoft to Make Leaps in the Mobile Enterprise

Apple, Google, Microsoft and BlackBerry bear down for the great mobile enterprise race in 2013. Here are the results from an exclusive survey on mobile app deployment plans for all mobile platforms. The winners and losers may surprise you.

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Fri, March 29, 2013
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As the dominant mobile enterprise player with the biggest app store and the largest percentage of developers, Apple seems to be sitting in the catbird seat. The danger is complacency and lack of innovation. Think: Microsoft during its reign on the desktop.

Today, iOS is looking long in the tooth. Microsoft and BlackBerry have more advanced operating systems. Samsung has shown innovation advancing the Android OS. Where art thou, Apple? iPhone and iPad apps don't talk to each other, don't share data. In comparison, Windows Phone 8 supports inter-app communication, which makes for a fluid user experience.

"If Apple does not innovate on the OS, it may impact enterprise acceptance and continued commitment to deploy apps on the Apple platform," Borg says.

Storm Clouds Over BlackBerry

And then there's BlackBerry. The Aberdeen survey showed a paltry 6 percent of respondents plan to develop apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook over the next 12 months, with only 15 percent currently deployed. On the BlackBerry smartphone, 5 percent plan to develop apps, with 49 percent currently deployed.

"This data does not speak optimistically for BlackBerry's outlook," Borg says. "There are definitely storm clouds over Canada."

Borg does expect the smartphone number to creep up given the release of BlackBerry 10, which appears to be a solid product, but not by much. Meanwhile, the PlayBook outlook is looking worse, as BlackBerry hasn't announced anything of significance with it.

The problem, of course, is that BlackBerry has lost its credibility. It didn't keep its promises, in terms of timeframe delivery. BlackBerry 10 was delayed time and again until its launch earlier this year. The result is that businesses—once, BlackBerry's biggest advocate—have all but abandoned the platform.

"From the data perspective, BlackBerry has significant challenges in 2013," Borg says. "There's a loss of momentum and a lack of confidence in their future from end-users. In addition, BlackBerry has isolated itself from advocates, including analysts. How this all will play out in 2013 remains to be seen."

Tom Kaneshige covers Apple, BYOD and Consumerization of IT for CIO.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. Email Tom at tkaneshige@cio.com

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