On Wednesday, Microsoft and Nokia announced an alliance to bring enterprise software to smartphones. The move is an explicit targeting of RIM’s core business and dominance in the smartphone market.
The alliance looks good on paper with Microsoft Office representing the vast majority of office software, and Nokia representing the majority of global handsets. Nokia’s VP, Robert Andersson, has already started calling out RIM.
“This is giving some of our competitors — let’s spell it out, RIM — a run for their money,” said Nokia executive vice-president Robert Andersson, in a telephone interview. “I don’t think BlackBerry has seen the kind of competition we can provide them now.”
The alliance will make Microsoft Office readily available on Nokia devices and provide greater integration of Microsoft products into Nokia devices.
So what does this mean for BlackBerry? Well it isn’t obvious just yet. Microsoft products are already easily viewed on a BlackBerry, and there are a host of options for users creating, editing and sharing Microsoft products from their BlackBerry device. So far, the alliance is boasting that the Nokia E-Series will now be imbued with the following features:
- The ability to view, edit, create and share Office documents on more devices in more places with mobile-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneNote
- Enterprise instant messaging and presence, and optimized conferencing and collaboration experience with Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile
- Mobile access to intranet and extranet portals built on Microsoft SharePoint Server
- Enterprise device management with Microsoft System Center
The number of organizations that use the E-Series device is relatively small in North America and the above features are easily implemented in organizations that use BlackBerry. While there may be some cost savings on the software side for organizations, it isn’t enough incentive for an organization to change their entire device structure.