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Windows Phone piques CIO interest says analyst

End-to-end Redmond might just be the easy way to an in-house app store

Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8

Windows Phones may not be setting sales charts afire, but CIOs like the look of 'em, according to new research from analyst outfit Frost & Sullivan.

The Australia 2013 Enterprise Mobility Report, discussed today at CeBit Australia by the firm's head of ICT research Audrey William, asked a small sample of CIOs (227 to be precise) what operating system they think users will want in the next 12 to 18 months.

Forty one percent nominated Apple's iOS and 23 per cent picked Android.

Just six per cent nominated BlackBerry's offering, which won't be welcome news for the resurgent company.

Microsoft scored 21 per cent approval, a number way ahead of its market share.

William said, on the basis of chats with a handful of CIOs, that the appeal of Windows phone is integration with the rest of Microsoft universe. “One CIO said it makes sense to go all the way with Microsoft,” she said. “They already use nearly everything Microsoft.”

William's theories are based on a small sample, both for the survey and for the conclusion about end-to-end Microsoft being a desirable arrangement for enterprise mobility. But her theory that a homogenous operating system fleet has appeal for managers was backed up by other findings that said CIOs worry about complexity introducing complexity and compromising security.

Going against an all-Microsoft scenario is her belief that creating corporate app stores is fraught with danger because users have become accustomed to just-in-time installation of software at the time they need it.

“I think the challengs with an internal app store us what apps do you provide,” William said. “Will it be enough? Will it make the employee satisfied? There are so many consumer apps that employees love to use. You can build the app store and employees may not be happy with what's in there.”

With the Windows Market not yet matching the app population of its rivals, employee satisfaction may prove difficult. But Microsoft surely won't be shy of doing whatever it takes to mobilise its software so that enterprise app stores can bring the likes of SharePoint into handsets, if that's something business customers see as valuable.

William said CIOs are aware of the likes of VMWare's Horizon Suite and BlackBerry's Balance, suggesting there is interest in and demand for tools to create and curate corporate app stores. ®

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