Microsoft Looks Beyond iPhone to Big Picture

Loraine Lawson

Today, I'd like to talk about something completely different: the integration of devices.


With the iPhone set to ship on June 29, IT experts and analysts alike have their backs raised like an angry cat, hissing about how IT just has to say no to the iPhone.


IT Business Edge blogger Rob Enderle took a stand against business adoption -- especially while the iPhone is new and in its first version.


Gartner is in favor of IT embracing consumer technologies - just not the iPhone, as the IT research firm warned in a recent research report.


And there have been numerous articles - including a piece from the Wall Street Journal Online - warning that business users won't embrace the iPhone, despite AT&T's marketing efforts.


Much of the discussion includes the criticism that the iPhone won't play well with Exchange.


I don't know what's going to happen to the iPhone. And there's certainly enough being written as-is without me chiming in.


But what you may have missed in all the ire over the iPhone is Microsoft's recent announcements on integrating embedded devices, smartphones and, ultimately, all mediums of communications.


Most of the article previews Microsoft's plans to better integrate its Windows Embedded platforms with corporate infrastructures. Keep reading, though, and you'll see the latest version of Microsoft's Windows Mobile software for smartphones works more closely with Exchange 2007 and Windows Live services.


This week, Microsoft also announced its "Unified Communications Product Road Map," which will integrate voice, data, mobile, IM, et al into one single identity for end users. Of course, the catch is you'll need to use solutions from Microsoft partners.


And the rumor from ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley is that even the iPhone will be equipped - now or soon - to integrate with Microsoft's Exchange Server.


So, worry about the iPhone if you must. But try to tap your inner Microsoft and stay focused on the big integration picture.

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