1. macgyverated's Avatar
    MS has at times marketed their Windows Phone as a great solution for businesses. And I don't entirely disagree with that sentiment. I know as an IT professional I am much happier now having switched our entire operation to Windows Phone 3 years ago, than I was when we were a mixed iPhone/Android shop. My users are happier too.

    That being said, let me run something down for you that causes me a lot of frustration.

    I have roughly 4 dozen Windows Phones deployed to employees. Some of those are in the hands of upper management that I can trust to do the right things with them just because I ask them to. Namely avoid apps that may be dangerous or data hogs, and not use the devices to unnecessarily stream video and audio and run up our monthly cellular bill. Some are in the hands of sales people that must be baby-sat on a regular basis to ensure they do the right thing. But about 3 dozen of the rest are in the hands of a bunch of non-tech, non-English-speaking immigrants who work in construction and quite honestly can't be trusted to use the devices in the desired manner. Not due to any malicious intent, but because they understand so little of how the devices work that they don't understand simple concepts like the fact that the internet is not "installed" on the phone, or when they are using cellular data vs. when they are not.

    Now that I have set the stage for my environment and users. I'll tell you what irks me about what it takes to make sure my users don't go nuts with the phones.

    I have to have some kind of MDM (mobile device management) to control the phones and keep users from downloading unwanted apps and such.
    In effect, I have to have this so that I can lock the phones down and only "white list" certain allowed apps.

    Here's what it takes to do that:

    1) A Windows Phone Dev account at $99 annually. I don't create any apps at all, but I have to have a dev account.
    2) Having a Dev account allows me to get a Symantec certificate so that I can use MS Intune MDM. The Symantec cert costs me $299 annually.
    3) Once I have the two above, I can have an Intune account and attach my devices. This costs me $6 per month/per device. With 36 phones, that costs me $216 a month, or $2592 annually.
    4) So now I'm spending just a hair under $3000 annually just to keep to keep the technologically inept people I work with from downloading data hungry apps and games that they don't really need. And the real irony is that I'm doing all of this not just to keep the devices secure and stable, but to try and avoid spending a bunch of money on data overages.

    The real kicker is even with all of this, I still have to have all the devices attached to MS accounts that the users don't know the passwords to so that they can't go in there and monkey around with things and screw stuff up. And I also can't allow these users to easily download desired paid apps because their MS accounts are not tied to their personal credit cards or my corporate Amex. As the person who centrally manages all the company-owned-and-issued devices, I have no easy way to deploy desired paid apps to all or a subset of my users.

    Aside from the AppGap (which I hope will be remedied with the advent of universal apps) this is a large annual expanse and basically a pain in my backside to have to keep up with. I can see this being a big deterrent for SMB adoption of Windows Phone. If I didn't personally use and love Windows Phones so much, I probably wouldn't bother with it either. MS really needs to have some way to facilitate local use permissions like Android and iPhone have.
    WayCool likes this.
    12-28-2015 02:40 PM
  2. SteveNoza's Avatar
    If MS wants to serious about enterprise, they need to address things like this
    12-30-2015 09:41 AM
  3. dkediger's Avatar
    Being in IT myself, I think you're missing the forest for the trees a bit. You focus on $3000 a year to manage a subset of devices, but broken down per device (using your 36 device subset) that's under $100/device/year. That's pretty affordable management of any device. Of course we're not looking at your burdened salary or office expenses.

    Another way to look at it is what would an equivalent effort/solution cost if those 36 users had Android or iPhone? MDM is still an emerging discipline, particularly for the SMBs (judging by your mobile device count) of the world.

    Also, I haven't looked into it myself yet, but the Windows Store now has a "Business" section supposedly for this situation - to acquire and manage apps from the Windows Store on a business wide level rather than an individual account level.
    libra89 likes this.
    12-31-2015 10:07 AM
  4. dKp1977's Avatar
    Just a question.. Dev account $99 annually? I haven't been charged for mine in ages. I'm pretty sure they decreased the price to 9 bucks first and made it entirely free later on.
    12-31-2015 10:12 AM

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