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Mitch Irsfeld

TechNet Flash, Volume 13, Issue 13 - June 15, 2011
TechNet Flash Editor's Note from Mitch Irsfeld

Windows Phone 7: The Platform for a Mobile Workforce

Windows Phone 7 is already an IT-friendly platform, built with business users in mind, and it's about to get better with new capabilities to integrate with Microsoft cloud platforms and services. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 team revealed many of the new capabilities for the upcoming Windows Phone codenamed "Mango" during the recent Tech·Ed 2011 conference, and we summarized those features in the TechNet Edge video Why Windows Phone in the Enterprise.

Hear why new productivity capabilities such as Lync integration, server search, conversation view, and pinnable email folders make it easier to perform the tasks we've come to rely on in a connected corporate environment. In short, the Windows Phone 7 home screen is made for at-a-glance access to a wide range of data sources, instead of forcing the user into application navigation; simply pin critical services to Home and go.

Meanwhile, new management capabilities are on the way with System Center Configuration Manger 2012, such as complex (alpha-numeric) password support, information rights management support for protecting emails and Office documents, support for access to hidden Wi-Fi networks, and Exchange Active Sync management capabilities. In TechNet Magazine, Josh Hoffman looks at What's New in Windows Phone 7 for IT Pros with a focus on new data protection and user productivity features coming in the "Mango" release.

Moreover, IT organizations will be able to deploy their own applications only to their employees via the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Speaking of those internal applications, your in-house developers have a lot to be excited about in Windows Phone "Mango." Industry publication Network World recently talked to Windows Phone developers about their experience with the "Mango" beta in Developers find a lot to love in Windows Phone 7 Mango, and about how the new APIs add power and ease app development.

If you are deploying cloud services, get the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7, which includes Visual Studio project templates for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Azure, class libraries optimized for use on the phone, sample applications, and documentation.

You don't have to wait for "Mango" to understand how to integrate the technologies that businesses already use while helping to support corporate security and management requirements. You can download the Windows Phone 7 Guides for IT Professionals to learn how to integrate and support Windows Phone 7 in your organization. Then read How Microsoft Deployed Windows Phone to Employees, coordinating with multiple organizations, including the Exchange Server, networking, and support teams.

One of the most compelling applications for Windows Phone "Mango" is Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft's cloud subscription service, currently in beta release (and due for general release later this month), which provides access to colleagues and business information through the cloud with your smartphone. Alan Meeus describes in his Windows Phone for IT Pros blog post how quick and easy it will be to connect to Office 365 with Windows Phone Mango.

When selecting a smart phone platform to support business users, look at how well it integrates with existing Windows infrastructures and how well it supports current collaboration needs. Then think about the productivity and collaboration possibilities powered by the cloud, and Windows Phone 7 codenamed "Mango" is clearly the platform for the mobile workforce.

Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

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