Why you shouldn't write off Windows 10 Mobile just yet

Android agony

The other advantage that Microsoft has is a realisation by big businesses that letting every employee carry their own smartphone is a pain. iPhones are okay because there are a finite number of versions, but Android is open to anyone who wants to make a handset which means there are a host of different screen sizes, features, OS versions, and so on.

"Companies have realised it costs a lot more to manage very different versions of phone OSes, hardware, etc, and it's easier just to roll out corporate phones on one platform," said Jeronimo. "Many companies are going back and giving employees the phone they want, or allowing them to choose between a set."

This change, which is happening over time and will likely continue in the future, is of huge benefit to Microsoft. The relationships it has so carefully nurtured with companies who will feel the pain of BYOD can be leveraged to sell handsets of a specific type, design, and software version.

Microsoft needs to use the 'fragmentation' card against its mobile rivals

Microsoft needs to use the 'fragmentation' card against its mobile rivals

Microsoft can go to a company which is frustrated by the process of supporting 30 different types of Android phone, or five types of iPhone, and say: "We have two handset types across the low- and high-ends which run Windows 10."

That, Microsoft should be hoping, is a compelling proposition, especially as company computers will soon be upgraded to Windows 10 and are running Office.

Universal solution

There is, of course, a lack of native apps on Windows 10 Mobile – including ones like Snapchat – but the Universal Windows Platform alleviates many of these problems.

Essentially, Microsoft managed to get Windows 10 fully unified across devices which means that apps developed for a PC, running Windows 10, work on a smartphone, tablet, or Xbox. Basically, any device that runs Windows 10.

This has meant that some big developers, like Uber, have produced a single Windows 10 app that is then available across multiple platforms, and Microsoft hopes others will do the same.

For enterprise, however, the number of popular apps is irrelevant (and fewer is most likely a good thing). What is relevant is that the company's software team can use one version of its software – and that's it. From here, it will run on a smartphone, PC, tablet, and so on.

Winning enterprise

Apple has also been pushing the iPhone into the workplace by partnering with IBM, Box, and others but its solution – beautifully designed enterprise apps – still requires hard work on the part of each individual company to bring its app onto iOS, not to mention that similar versions also have to be made for Android.

It's unlikely that 'winning' enterprise will yield the same kind of profits that selling phones to consumers does – as Apple discovered – but it will be some repayment for the time, money, and energy that Microsoft has consistently dedicated to Windows on smartphones over the years.

Selling the complete package – an operating system, productivity software, hardware (including the Surface), and infrastructure – is a very compelling offering, and Microsoft is uniquely positioned to do just that. The company best take full advantage of this fact.

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.