IT Managers, Relax! No iPhone Rival From Microsoft - InformationWeek

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1/9/2008
11:39 AM
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IT Managers, Relax! No iPhone Rival From Microsoft

With Bill Gates' announcement that Microsoft is not getting into the smartphone business, IT managers can breathe a sigh of relief. But they still have to contend with the iPhone and all the other gadgets their companies' users are increasingly bringing into the enterprise.

With Bill Gates' announcement that Microsoft is not getting into the smartphone business, IT managers can breathe a sigh of relief. But they still have to contend with the iPhone and all the other gadgets their companies' users are increasingly bringing into the enterprise.In an interview in Germany, Bill Gates said that Microsoft will not launch a product that competes directly with the iPhone.

It's good news for IT managers who have been scrambling to figure out how to deal with all the devices their companies' employees are insisting on using.

Other consumer technologies are also giving IT managers headaches but the iPhone is one of the biggest culprits and, according to most prognosticators, it's going to get worse.

Manufacturing Business Technology quotes Joe Hogan, VP of strategic outsourcing programs at Unisys, who says: "New consumer technologies such as the Apple iPhone are coming onto the market at a rapid pace, and employees increasingly want to use them for businessespecially in sales, customer service, and other revenue-generating functions."

What are an IT manager's options? Basically, to accept the inevitable and figure out how to deal with it.

Hogan thinks that in the coming year many companies "will add support for consumer technologies as part of their IT outsourcing agreements. Many will even provide the devices or subsidize employee purchases."

Despite the fact that researchers keep declaring that the iPhone is not ready for the enterprise, it seems that it has not only wormed it's way in, but it is also here to stay.

Writes Michael Rose on tuaw.com, the "Unofficial Apple Weblog": "Nobody expects IT to embrace the iPhone with both arms, but the tale of the numbers suggests that the warmth of the welcome may be irrelevant: the iPhone is here in a big way. With sales data suggesting that the iPhone has passed Windows Mobile in share, vendors like Visto promising full Exchange integration, and an SDK around the corner for blessed development, corporate technologists may have to settle for a policy of benign discontent as the shiny pretty things invade."

At least IT managers won't have to deal with whatever Microsoft could cook up -- for now.

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