Windows Phone 8: Discount at your own risk

The contract on my current phone — a Motorola Droid X2 — is coming up in a couple months and I’m seriously considering getting one of the new Windows 8 phones.

Partially this is through process of elimination. Apple products are simply too trendy for me. Though I do make extensive use of an iPad, I’ve attached an extremely un-sexy Logitech keyboard to it. This removes all fashion from the product, but gives it the functionality I need: the ability to take notes during meetings.

I’ve had several Motorola phones and though I’ve been very happy with them, I feel that I’ve seen everything Android has to offer through the next generation of products.

Google has been concentrating on tablets, anyway.

That leaves me with the Windows phones. The reviews coming from non-fanboy sources has been positive. Microsoft is building an interesting platform and has manufacturers lined up. Using existing development channels, Microsoft will have a critical mass of apps in their store to support users.

Some say Microsoft is coming too late to the party, but discounting Microsoft has always been dangerous. Over the last 30 years, the company has consistently shown an ability to compete: against Apple, Oracle, Google, Sun, etc.

The play for Microsoft in the current mobile space is Big IT. The CIOs on the Fortune 1000 are still looking for a replacement to Blackberry and RIM. They grudgingly allow iPhone on their network … not because the Apple platform fits their needs, but because they don’t have an alternative.

Apple has applied some spackle to iOS to address some of the larger security and control concerns, but it’s nowhere close to what RIM provided.

The Android ecosystem is too fragmented for Big IT to support. Each vendor has modified large swaths of Android in an attempt to differentiate themselves. This is great for individual consumers, but a huge burden to a company that has to support a thousand or more devices. Microsoft doesn’t have to deliver a ground breaking consumer experience; it just needs to be acceptable.

Yo, Blackberry/RIM:

If the mobile platform gives Big IT security and the control over devices it requires, large companies will migrate off RIM and onto Windows Phone. The life cycle of those deals is much longer (and much more profitable). If the new Windows 8 phones deliver as expected without major disruptions, this could mark the end of the Blackberry as device of choice for corporations.

Who knows, the next time my contract renews (in two years), Windows Phone may be too trendy for me … Probably not, but it is possible.

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