by Al Sacco

Smartphones in the Enterprise: No Love for Windows Mobile?

Jun 05, 20083 mins
Data Center

Modern corporations looking to deploy enterprise smartphones have three main options when it comes to infrastructure, platforms and mobile operating systems, if security is a concern—and it should be: Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry, Microsoft Windows Mobile or a combination of both.

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During the past months of covering mobile and wireless technologies for, I’ve spent much of my time researching and writing about smartphones and related technologies. More specifically, I write about BlackBerrys. A lot. I squeeze some iPhone coverage in there. But Windows Mobile? Not so much, though I have penned the occasional Windows Mobile editorial.

Why? First of all, my readers, CIOs, IT executives and folks who want to become them, are largely BlackBerry users, so related coverage is valuable to them and their organizations. Secondly, as a result of the previous fact, BlackBerry how-tos, tips and tricks and tutorials turn a lot of digital pages, and let’s face it, we have to cover what’s popular. Finally, I’m a BlackBerry lover, a CrackBerry addict if you will, and as such, the world of RIM smartphones is my true area of expertise.

But as a number of readers have recently pointed out, many organizations use Windows Mobile and the Microsoft Exchange Server—either as standalone smartphone infrastructure or together with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES)–and I’m not doing them any favors by focusing (almost) solely on BlackBerry. I agree, and I’m going to make it a point to dedicate some time to Windows Mobile users and the IT issues that are keeping them up at night.

Beginning that effort, I want to take a moment to ask you folks, namely the CIOs who make mobile infrastructure spending decisions, smartphone administrators, and handheld techs, why your organization chose BlackBerry over Windows Mobile, vice versa, or both? And if you could do it all over again, would you go the other route?

I’m curious about the ease of software deployment, cost comparisons, scalability, the variety of available handsets and what that means to you and your users. Are your support techs spending more time on BlackBerry maintenance than any other mobile device, as a suggested by a recent CompTIA survey? From an enterprise standpoint, which mobile platform has the better associated application development environment? Which is more secure?

Please, share you experiences, thoughts, opinions, endorsements, warnings and lessons learned.

I’m all ears…