Will Enterprises Adopt Windows Phone 7?

Microsoft spent this morning unveiling (and touting the benefits of) Windows Phone 7 at a press event in New York City. Our own Paul Thurrott iscovering the event live, and Engadget is putting up some great WP7 launch coverage as well.

Despite the undeniably strong Microsoft presence in the enterprise thanks to the ubiquitous Microsoft product stack -- namely the likes of Windows Server, Office, Windows 7, SharePoint, and SQL Server – Microsoft’s smartphone presence in the enterprise has floundered.

Need proof? Clint Boulton over at eWeek points to a r ecent report from Good Technology that indicates Android and Apple iOS devices were activated in the enterprise much more often than Windows Mobile devices, which collectively received a paltry 15% of “net new activations from June 2010 through September 2010.”

Microsoft has been noticeably mum about the benefits that Windows Phone 7 will provide to enterprise users, but the expectation is that Microsoft will eventually do all it can to make WP7 an easy choice for IT purchasing managers. Microsoft has already stressed that WP7 will be initially targeted at the consumer market, an approach that has worked with great success for Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android.

Despite some promising early previews, WP7 does face an uphill battle against the likes of the iPhone, Blackberry, and the multitudes of Android phones. At launch, WP7 will be missing a host of important features that competing smart phone platforms offer, namely flash support (Android), limited multitasking, no cut and paste functionality, no CDMA support, and a web browser based on the somewhat long-in-the-tooth Internet Explorer 7.

But Microsoft has historically been very good about entering a market as a laggard and eventually reaching parity with the market leaders, so time will be the judge of Microsoft’s efforts.

If you’re an IT purchasing manager contemplating the adoption of one (or multiple) smart phone platforms for your organization, what will you choose and why? Feel free to comment on this article or contact me on Twitter to get the discussion started.

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