1. bilzkh's Avatar
    Given the big push on pushing productivity at Microsoft, I find it odd that there's no Windows Phone device that actually makes productivity its main focus. For example, one can safely say that photography is a focus of Windows Phone given PureView and the big catalogue of photo editing apps. At one point there was even a focus on mobile gaming thanks to Xbox Live, though now that focus seems to be more anarchic (i.e. dependent on he games provided by Gameloft et al, hardware integration by 3rd parties, etc) than directed by Microsoft.

    So how is it that we're lacking a productivity-focused Windows Phone?

    I am talking about a Windows Phone device with an active digitizer and stylus for inking, i.e. being to take hand-written notes, draw diagrams, give annotations, etc. I am talking about a Windows Phone with the screen real-estate to let one view Word and Excel documents in their full glory (or at least very close). Don't get me wrong, WP already includes a number of productivity-friendly features, e.g. Miracast for screen sharing and presentations, the ability to sort and find specific files, a personal assistant, etc, but it isn't complete.

    As one can see with the Lumia 1020, 1520 or 930/Icon, it takes 1 or 2 big features to define a phone as "the photography" device, i.e. the PureView camera system. In the case of a productivity phone, it could be the active digitizer and pen for writing alongside 6-7 inch screen.

    Sure, this may effectively put this specific device in the 'phablet' territory, but with Office Gemini and the gradual convergence of RT and WP, that might not be a bad idea. Imagine the business potential of such a device, especially when app suites such as Office, Salesforce, Citrix and BBM are put into the mix. Granted Microsoft still has some more work to do in raising WP's enterprise focus (so as to make WP truly leaps and bounds ahead of the competition), but now is the time to offer a true productivity-focused series of devices.

    In fact, Microsoft could take an even more radical approach by resurrecting the two-screen idea. Imagine, a foldable device that has two active screens, one serving as the viewer and the other taking on the role of a virtual keyboard, or calculator pad or area for another 'window'. If desired one could unfold the device to 180 degrees and 'connect' the two screens together, forming a larger screen for use as a full tablet. If given HID support (i.e. BT keyboard and mouse), this could be a powerful idea. This could be the Courier or Surface Phone.
    07-27-2014 11:07 PM
  2. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    That actually sounds like a good concept in theory, but I'm not sure how well it would work in practice.

    BlackBerry tried to market its BB10 devices as being good for getting things done, and the plan completed backfired. The majority of businesses are adopting BYOD. Most employees who choose a device in a BYOD program do not just consider what is good for work. Since these persons are also using their devices outside of work, they're more interested in the "fun" features, as long as they're also able to get their work emails and other work related stuff too. The work aspect is secondary when someone is in a BYOD program. As long as it's good enough for work and has all the fun features, they'd rather pick that device instead of something terrific for work but lacking fun features.
    07-27-2014 11:57 PM
  3. hotphil's Avatar
    Not sure what "work" features would, well, work better on a phone. Note taking's one, but I don't know many businesses (other than me) that use things like OneNote. And when I take notes, it's on a tablet.
    For the people I do business with, they only want their email and the ability to view (rather than work on) documents/workbooks. If they want to "do" work, they use a bigger screen.
    One area that could be interesting is the increase in unified communications. If WP could better integrate with Lync and third-party VOIP providers, that might help the push into the enterprise.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-28-2014 12:14 AM
  4. bilzkh's Avatar
    That actually sounds like a good concept in theory, but I'm not sure how well it would work in practice.

    BlackBerry tried to market its BB10 devices as being good for getting things done, and the plan completed backfired. The majority of businesses are adopting BYOD. Most employees who choose a device in a BYOD program do not just consider what is good for work. Since these persons are also using their devices outside of work, they're more interested in the "fun" features, as long as they're also able to get their work emails and other work related stuff too. The work aspect is secondary when someone is in a BYOD program. As long as it's good enough for work and has all the fun features, they'd rather pick that device instead of something terrific for work but lacking fun features.
    If I came across the Galaxy Note when it was merely a concept, I might have put it down on the grounds that (1) it was too large, (2) no one uses styli anymore, (3) no one takes hand-written notes or doodles or sketches, (4) professionals prefer iPhones, etc, etc. Lo and behold, the market reaction demonstrated otherwise. I think we're weighing far too much on what we think people wouldn't like, we won't know for sure until the market is actually engaged with a tangible product.

    As for BlackBerry 10. I think it failed to catch on because it was too narrow from an ecosystem perspective, not from a device perspective. To me the market seems to have some tolerance for productivity-focused devices (i.e. an element of an ecosystem) so long as the ecosystem adequately covers consumption. I never said the entire Windows Phone system should be geared towards productivity, but that we need specific hardware to cater for productivity needs.

    As for BYOD, honestly, I haven't come across a workplace that is completely BYOD. Even in the last place I worked for, i.e. an NGO with a limited overhead, management and executives still had company-issued phones, and that too BB10! It's the same at the place I currently work for, except certain junior level staff are required to pick up a company issued phone. Sure, provision isn't as big as it used to be, but it's still there, and as phones themselves become more commoditized (how long until a quad-core, 720p, 1GB smartphone is $100?), the barrier for provision is getting thinner. Some businesses are definitely weighing the benefits of providing phones over the cost of having to adapt a person's property for work.

    Just think about how companies still issue computers for work, despite the fact that almost everyone who works for them already owns a personal computer. What's hilarious is that at my current workplace, most of my coworkers personally own a MacBook, but at work they're required to use Windows 8.1 powered ultrabooks (without touchscreen no less).

    Not sure what "work" features would, well, work better on a phone. Note taking's one, but I don't know many businesses (other than me) that use things like OneNote. And when I take notes, it's on a tablet.
    For the people I do business with, they only want their email and the ability to view (rather than work on) documents/workbooks. If they want to "do" work, they use a bigger screen.
    One area that could be interesting is the increase in unified communications. If WP could better integrate with Lync and third-party VOIP providers, that might help the push into the enterprise.
    Many may not be using OneNote, but I guarantee you many employees in most companies are still taking notes by hand. What I am seeing at work, more and more, is people using Galaxy Note phones and tablets (along with Surface Pro, btw) for hand-writing notes. The idea that one's hand-written notes can be stored away safely and accessible from any of their devices is a powerful thought, much better than having to keep track of all that paper or those messy notebooks. Microsoft can sell OneNote on that basis, but it needs more devices - tablets and phones - with pen capability. A 6.5 inch Windows Phone with the pen as well as touch Office would be a fine showcase for that idea.
    07-28-2014 12:58 AM
  5. pgg101's Avatar
    BYOD is not the solution for everything either as policies vary from one company to another. As an example, my employer (bank) only issues corporate owned BB10. BYOD exists, but you literally pay for everything including the monthly bill...no reimbursement. We only allow iPhones OS 6+ and things like Siri are disabled. Samsung phones are being tested for what seems like forever, and no WP being considered at all.

    Needless to say, I'm happy with my corporate issued BB10...it's fast, great virtual keyboard, email, and FREE! I haven't seen a single employee signing up for BYOD...a free BB10 is better than a BYOD iPhone.

    Posted via the WPC App for Android on BlackBerry Z30
    07-28-2014 05:58 AM
  6. Kebero's Avatar
    I used to work in enterprise. Now I work for an MSP that serves the SMB market and it's completely different from what everyone here describes.

    Not only do you generally not see phones provided by the employer, but you also don't see much in the way of a BYOD policy.
    07-28-2014 06:10 AM

Similar Threads

  1. WhatsApp push notification stop working.
    By 12ColourPencils in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-29-2014, 07:22 PM
  2. "Phone" app is destroying my battery
    By Marconis4 in forum Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 07-29-2014, 03:51 PM
  3. iOS power user switching to Windows Phone 8.1
    By Paul Lindqvist in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-28-2014, 11:55 AM
  4. How to sell a Windows Phone on 8.1 Preview ?
    By WPCentral Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-28-2014, 11:15 AM
  5. Follow Indian celebrities with the new Follo app for Windows Phone
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-27-2014, 07:00 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD