Windows Phone 7: the enterprise application glitch

Businesses that only use the basic applications that come with a mobile should not be too deterred by a lack of support for 6.5 applications. After all, the new phones come with the usual work features including Outlook, Office and Explorer.

Those that use specialist software, or that write their own applications, will need a strategy for supporting their users in the future. One option is to set up a team testing and developing for Windows Phone 7. However, if companies are going to go to the trouble of doing that, they might also want to look at other platforms, including the iPhone and Android.

But there could be another option: virtualisation. Both Citrix and VMWare are developing software that can virtualise a mobile operating system. On paper, at least, that will allow companies to run older applications, on older operating systems, on the latest kit.

Perhaps it would have made sense for Microsoft to licence such technologies and ship it with Windows Phone 7, just as Windows 7 supports older versions of the OS through Virtual PC. It would certainly give companies with large mobile workforces using Windows Mobile one headache fewer to worry about.

Stephen Pritchard is a contributing editor at IT PRO.

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