Microsoft Nokia Good Deal For SharePoint and Exchange

Nokia's 50%+ market share is great news for Microsoft hosted & enterprise server products

Reactions to yesterday's Microsoft / Nokia are interesting, ranging from Microsoft's given up on Windows Mobile to Blackberries have much the same features today. Here are some more salient views by Gartner's Nick Jones. But the real hint of what's behind this deal are in the "collaboration and Office experiences" comments mentioned by Microsoft. That means several things but it mostly means mobile devices tied into SharePoint and Exchange (along with System Center and Office Communications Server.) Most interesting. SharePoint syncronization and apps on your mobile phone.

I guess it must be "SharePoint week" as that seems to be what I'm writing about, but that's also what's on the lips of every Microsoft field person you talk to... SharePoint. It's Microsoft's big Ace that no one else can respond to in the market right now.

One thing many aren't talking about are cloud services that could connect mobile devices with Azure hosted Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange services.  (NWW's John Fontana is all over this one, btw.) I'd expect that to become an expanded part of this offering, giving some businesses even more reason to consider Microsoft hosted Office products. The timing of all this is pretty interesting too, given Office 2010 is in limited Technical Preview right now, giving Microsoft adequate time to integrate Nokia E Series and Symbian phone OS ties if that might be in the cards.

Again, we're seeing more apps being pushed to phone devices and supported through cloud services, something I believe is the future of software applications.

My only argument with Gartner analyst Nick Jones is that though Windows Mobile is woefully behind in the phone OS market, I don't believe Microsoft's going to give up on it quite yet. It's possible by the time Windows Mobile 7 comes out that the phone OS wars will have been won, but I seriously doubt it. Apple's doing well but not that well, Blackberry is still the king in business, and Google's Android is flittering around out there like most software "products" Google creates.

A real shakeout won't happen that fast and if Microsoft can give companies like Nokia a boost to increase competition with the iPhone and Android OS's, that keeps the opportunity open for Windows Mobile to do something interesting. Microsoft just has to remember that a SmartPhone OS isn't the Windows desktop experience on a tiny screen.

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