Talking About Windows Mobile

The AMITPRO meeting at The Arden Hotel, Solihull on Tuesday night was a busy affair, with our largest turnout to date and a number of different speakers giving presentations.

EDIT: Andy Parkes has a write-up of all the presentations at his blog.

One of those speakers was Emily Lambert from Microsoft. Emily is UK Marketing Manager for Windows Mobile and not only gave a good presentation on the values of the Windows Mobile platform, but was quite open and honest about the challenges facing Windows Mobile as a brand.

The groups feedback to Emily included the fact that as IT supplier to small businesses, it was difficult to engage the Mobile Providers directly about their products – or indeed to find anybody at Mobile Providers who knew what they were talking about! Mention "Small Business Server 2003" or "Push email" to a typical O2 or Orange sales rep and they’ll say with a puzzled look… "You mean a Blackberry?"

The subject of Blackberry came up more than once, with the general consensus being that the average businessman associates mobile working with Blackberry rather than Windows Mobile – and that a greater marketing push from Microsoft was needed for this to change. Emily explained the challenges facing her team in this specific area.

Emily also spoke about how Microsoft were taking steps to disseminate more information and "real world" practical advice on how to implement Windows Mobile in various scenarios through White Papers and on-line guides. Interestingly, Emily mentioned that one of the technical questions that she repeatedly hears asked is "How do I use a 3rd Party Certificate". Naturally, I couldn’t help but take that opportunity to place a comedic and (admittedly very) clumsy plug with my comedy partner Paul Dadge for this very blog, pointing out I wrote about Using 3rd Party Cerificates in depth a few months ago on Tubblog. You can read that posting here.

Thanks to Emily (and to her colleague Emma Cockburn of Microsoft) for taking the time to visit us at AMITPRO – it was an interesting presentation and made for a good topic to discuss amongst the group.

Naturally, in the bar after the meeting, members of AMITPRO were all acting uber-geeky and comparing Windows Mobile devices. My old T-Mobile MDA Vario II device may be aging a little now, but some of the software I run on this Windows Mobile 5 device peeked interest from my fellow SBSC’ers. That in mind, I’ll put together a few pointers on my favourite Windows Mobile applications in my next blog posting.

The next AMITPRO meeting is Tuesday 11th March, 2008. If you’re interested in attending, do feel to get in touch for more details!

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