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MacBytes
Apr 19, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Category: Microsoft
Link: Microsoft: iPhone lacks business savvy (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20070419143310)
Description:: Apple's soon-to-be-launched iPhone will be irrelevant to business users because it is a "closed device" and does not support Microsoft Office, a senior executive with the software giant said this week.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

bartelby
Apr 19, 2007, 01:34 PM
Wow! M$ are really going all out to talk ******** about Apple at the moment aren't they?

Anyone would think they were worried or something!:rolleyes:

Chaszmyr
Apr 19, 2007, 01:38 PM
I agree, at least with the Office support, but i'd be willing o bet that Apple will add .doc support.

aristobrat
Apr 19, 2007, 01:44 PM
Description:: Apple's soon-to-be-launched iPhone will be irrelevant to business users because it is a "closed device" and does not support Microsoft Office, a senior executive with the software giant said this week.
That could be a serious problem if Apple had intended the market for the iPhone to be business users. :eek: :rolleyes:

JNB
Apr 19, 2007, 01:45 PM
Gee, that's funny. I'm a business user and I'm getting one as soon as humanly possible.

It's Microsoft that's become irrelevant to me.

Arrogant pigs.

bartelby
Apr 19, 2007, 01:47 PM
Gee, that's funny. I'm a business user and I'm getting one as soon as humanly possible.

It's Microsoft that's become irrelevant to me.

Arrogant pigs.

They just seem to be attempting to smear every Apple product in the hope that M$ fanboys will actually believe them.
Talk about throwing your toys out the pram!

I'm so glad I didn't go ahead and get a new mobile phone with an M$ OS.
As you say "Arrogant pigs"

tutubibi
Apr 19, 2007, 01:50 PM
If this comment was coming from RIM or somebody else, it would be much more credible. But I agree that iPhone is not a business phone. That world is ruled by RIM and it will stay like that for quite some time. Symbian is also OK, SE P910 is one of the best "business" phones ever.

Windows Mobile is the ultimate piece of ...., what a pity that so many nice phones (in a hardware sense) suffers from that horrible OS.

TheSlush
Apr 19, 2007, 01:51 PM
When contacted, an Apple Australia representative said: "I am not interested in commenting."

LOL :D

Silencio
Apr 19, 2007, 01:52 PM
Microsoft shouldn't be one to talk about Office support on mobile devices, seeing as how a third party application (Dataviz' Documents To Go) totally blows away Microsoft's own implementation in Windows Mobile.

I would not be surprised at all to see Dataviz amongst the third party developers that Apple allows into its walled garden.

More pure FUD from Microsoft. They seem to be slinging a lot more of it lately. Think they're scared? :D

Eraserhead
Apr 19, 2007, 01:55 PM
My response to Microsoft

72780


Gee, that's funny. I'm a business user and I'm getting one as soon as humanly possible.

It's Microsoft that's become irrelevant to me.

Arrogant pigs.

Why they have to go on and on about how Apple's products will fail is getting more than a little boring, I suppose Apple does the same with the OS to an extent but still...

bartelby
Apr 19, 2007, 01:57 PM
Why they have to go on and on about how Apple's products will fail is getting more than a little boring, I suppose Apple does the same with the OS, but still...

But the big difference is Apple actually know what they're talking about and they're right about M$ products!

Leoff
Apr 19, 2007, 02:03 PM
Translation:

"We saw the iPhone and immediately crapped our pants. This thing is gonna kill us."

Rocketman
Apr 19, 2007, 02:07 PM
What they are basicly saying is:

"We were first to market as compared to Apple (but not Palm, RIM, Symbian, others), and as compared to Apple's currently unreleased product, we have a better market penetration after almost ONE year in release and a "consistent user interface".

So since they were able to get these statements, as limited as they are, "just in time", I wonder how they will look in say 3-4 months?

Apple adoption rates dominant
Apple Consistent user interface
Apple Works great on all MS-Office files
Apple announces limited but widely popular 3rd party apps

Rocketman

:D

Sdashiki
Apr 19, 2007, 02:09 PM
Um, how can a software company, ahem an electronics company, ahem a bloated conglomerate who has no iPhone like device in the pipeline, even have a say?

cough, someones, cough, mad!

/coughing from the smoke being blown up my bum!

Some_Big_Spoon
Apr 19, 2007, 02:17 PM
"Hi. We're Microsoft, and we're scared sh**tless."

Why not work with Apple to make it enterprise friendly, instead of bitching? They'd make more money, and they might actually make a good solution. Simply accept that the iPhone will be huge, and corner the market on enterprise apps for it. What's the problem?

e-coli
Apr 19, 2007, 02:18 PM
The inability for the iPhone to use or open Word, PPT, or Excel files is no big deal. Who the heck wants to run those apps on a 4 inch screen? The big kicker is Outlook and the ability to sync with enterprise servers (Exchange servers). This is an enormous drawback and will keep the iPhone out of the enterprise market.

I work at a totally Apple-dominated corporation, and even we're not getting the iPhone because they don't work with Exchange. Sad Apple isn't willing to swallow some pride and admit the world operates, at least for the time being, on MS enterprise software.

NAG
Apr 19, 2007, 02:21 PM
After a long work day, on the way home all I want to do is enter data into my excel spreadsheets.

sartinsauce
Apr 19, 2007, 02:24 PM
Quick, somebody save this article. Five years from now, when Apple has virtually wiped Windows Mobile from the face of the Earth we can reload this article and thread and laugh like we do with Thread 500.

Eraserhead
Apr 19, 2007, 02:27 PM
I work at a totally Apple-dominated corporation, and even we're not getting the iPhone because they don't work with Exchange. Sad Apple isn't willing to swallow some pride and admit the world operates, at least for the time being, on MS enterprise software.

From the Keynote I thought it did work with exchange :confused:.

Max Payne
Apr 19, 2007, 02:31 PM
When will they introduce the ZunePhone? Oh yeah, after the iPhone succeeds.

KingofAwesome
Apr 19, 2007, 02:33 PM
I really don't see how it would be a big deal if the iPhone doesn't dominate the business world. Apple products are the fun products that people use when they get out of work. The other smartphones are what people have to use when they are at work. If you wanted to spend the next five minutes doing something you enjoy doing and you are staring at an iPhone next to the smartphone you use for your job, which one are you going to pick up?

If Apple is planning on focusing on making devices we enjoy using in our free time, I think they'll have a larger market to address than the people who need to access their Exchange account and Excel spreadsheets.

Like the iPod, I believe the iPhone can start out as a luxury toy and gradually gain more market share over the next few years. I'd certainly like to have a phone that I enjoy, rather than my RAZR (although part of my problem is Verizon's "you can't do anything with your phone" strategy).

EDIT: Now that I think about it, they are going to miss out on the people who need MS Office on their phones and use one phone for business/personal. However, we don't know how much of that demographic would want to switch phones/carriers and we don't even know if it will be normal for that demographic to have two phones in the future.

jonharris200
Apr 19, 2007, 02:34 PM
Quick, somebody save this article. Five years from now, when Apple has virtually wiped Windows Mobile from the face of the Earth we can reload this article and thread and laugh like we do with Thread 500.
We do love that thread! vvv

bartelby
Apr 19, 2007, 02:35 PM
Like the iPod, I believe the iPhone can start out as a luxury toy and gradually gain more market share over the next few years. I'd certainly like to have a phone that I enjoy, rather than my RAZR (although part of my problem is Verizon's "you can't do anything with your phone" strategy).

Exactly!
Nearly everyone said the iPod was very nice but, but over priced and who would need to carry around 1,000 songs?

Look what happened. I feel the iPhone will follow the same path.

sjo
Apr 19, 2007, 02:36 PM
Quick, somebody save this article. Five years from now, when Apple has virtually wiped Windows Mobile from the face of the Earth we can reload this article and thread and laugh like we do with Thread 500.

Apple doesn't need to do that, Windows Mobile already is (and always has been) irrelevant niche product :)

The ruling mobile OS is Symbian, Linux having some potential as well.

Ars Diaboli
Apr 19, 2007, 02:36 PM
Just think, it could get to the point that is supports all file formats. It is already supposed to support pdf format and there was a very good comment that who wants to edit an excel file on such a small screen.

However, who wouldn't want someone to email you on your iPhone and you dock with your laptop and sync over the file and work on it and send it back. That would be great! However, memory would get to be a problem, especially if it was a large file. I am not sure, but I don't think the Blackberry's have that capability to they?

Of course, it would take a stronger version of OSX rather than a stripped down version, don't you think?

And I wonder if some of the 'secret' features on Leopard will incorporate some of these features, blurring the operating system (no need for Parallel's desktop!!!) requirements. Will these migrate to the iPhone OSX?

ortuno2k
Apr 19, 2007, 02:37 PM
Why am I surprised?

Microsoft always has to add their two cents, like approve everyone's products.

WHO CARES about what Microsoft thinks?

RichP
Apr 19, 2007, 02:58 PM
iPhone is like the iPod was 6 years ago. Its going to bring the "Smartphone" to the masses. Its going to put much more useable mobile internet in peoples hands.

Its current competition is more of the smart/enterprise phones, but in reality its targetting a different audience.

And windows mobile.. I cant believe what a slow POS it is.

tutubibi
Apr 19, 2007, 03:00 PM
WHO CARES about what Microsoft thinks?

You would be suprised to find out how many people in the business world are interested in what Microsoft thinks. Believe it or not, MS is actually very credible in their world. They do jokes about Windows but they also do buy Windows machines in the end :mad:

On the other hand, they like to listen to what Steve and Apple have to say but there is always that "consumerish" feeling when they discuss it afterwards. And iPhone is consumerish, so MS is somewhat right in their comments.

Silencio
Apr 19, 2007, 03:02 PM
Just think, it could get to the point that is supports all file formats. It is already supposed to support pdf format and there was a very good comment that who wants to edit an excel file on such a small screen.

However, who wouldn't want someone to email you on your iPhone and you dock with your laptop and sync over the file and work on it and send it back. That would be great! However, memory would get to be a problem, especially if it was a large file. I am not sure, but I don't think the Blackberry's have that capability to they?

I use Documents To Go 9 all the time on my Palm Tungsten T3 (320x480 resolution with the screen slid out to the fully open position and the virtual keypad hidden). The Excel and Word modules are very useable at that resolution, and .doc and .xls files don't really take up that much space: I'm in no danger of filling up my 1GB SD card any time soon, and we all know the iPhone will have 4GB or 8GB of space to fill up.

It shouldn't be hard to do that stuff at all if Apple deems it important and partners with Dataviz to do it.

As for Exchange support: the iPhone should support connecting to an Exchange server over IMAP. Exchange's standard MAPI format is a completely closed and proprietary protocol that Microsoft isn't sharing with Apple (or anyone else?).

The dominance of Exchange is a big problem. It doesn't play nice with others, and I imagine most companies are unhappy paying Microsoft's exorbitant CAL license fees. Leopard Server with its iCal Server, based on open standard protocols and not weighed down by costly per-user licensing fees, is Apple's first real shot at displacing Exchange in smaller companies. I'm hoping a combination of that along with some interoperable server choices on the Linux side will really put the heat on Exchange, but that's a whole other thread.

jettredmont
Apr 19, 2007, 03:12 PM
As a high-falutin' business user, I have to say I can't remember the last time I accessed any .doc or .xls file on the 240x240 screen of my Treo 700w. I think it was two days after getting it, when I realized the screen was just way too small to read anything more involved than simple text and gave up on that dream.

On the iPhone? Maybe office docs would be less painful than a bamboo splinter under my toenail, but I'm not so sure. Office documents are very heavily geared towards large screens, and unless someone does to them what Apple has done to web pages with the iPhone, I'm afraid they won't be coming with me on my trips except as a stack of papers or in my laptop.

From the folks I know, the non-phonecall uses for smartphones include:
1. Calendaring (syncing to their desktop calendar systems)
2. Address book syncing
3. Note management and syncing

and then, to a much lesser degree:
1. Sometimes accessing web sites to find directions, etc
2. Checking for urgent email messages (I find it easier to have an applescript run based on a mail rule which sends an SMS to my phone with the first bit of a message I've been waiting for, but that's just me!)

I cant remember the last time I've seen anyone try to read a Microsoft Office document on their phone, and I know at least a dozen people with phones "capable" of displaying them.

In other words, I call FUD. On Microsoft. I know, who'd'a thunk it?

JNB
Apr 19, 2007, 03:19 PM
2. Checking for urgent email messages (I find it easier to have an applescript run based on a mail rule which sends an SMS to my phone with the first bit of a message I've been waiting for, but that's just me!)

You think you could PM or email me that script? I'm tired of the insane custom Outlook rules I set up & maintain to forward stuff to my Treo, and even then, it's coming from "me" so it's not really all that useful.

Some_Big_Spoon
Apr 19, 2007, 03:29 PM
No?!?? FUD from M$?? I'll give anyone $20 via paypal is there isn't a Word doc viewer on iPhone launch day. Bookmark this post.

In other words, I call FUD. On Microsoft. I know, who'd'a thunk it?

Gasu E.
Apr 19, 2007, 03:35 PM
Read the article. This is just some provincial factotum talking about the needs of the Australian market.

Extensive market research has conclusively demonstrated that for a product to be successful in Australia, specific local requirements must be met:

- It must be head-initializable: A user must be able to start up the product by banging it on his forehead

- The product must be operable after drinking six cans of Foster's

- The product must fit in the user's tucker-bag, even if a jumbuck is already stuffed in

- If thrown in the air directly away from the user, the product must return safely to the user's hand

- An after-market of third-party accessories must be available, including little dangling corks

I could go on...

Rodimus Prime
Apr 19, 2007, 03:41 PM
I think a big thing the iPhone needs to make sure it plays nice with is outlook because it is a numbers game and a vast majority of people who buy the iPhone will be using Windows.

A huge thing the iPhone going to need to do is play nice with Outlook. It does not matter it works great with iCal. iCal is not on PCs and what ever apple would include in software for the PC to get that type of function would be crap compared to outlook on the PC. Besides any one who really would use that software is more than likely already using outlook for everything and is not going to change.

But M$ has a huge point as it is currently set up the iPhone does not have a hope or a pray of breaking into the business market but then again apple never has really targeted that market. Apple tends to target the consumers while M$ targets business.

swingerofbirch
Apr 19, 2007, 03:54 PM
The iPhone is in my mind superior to other products in displaying multimedia, which I think is what most end-consumers care about. I don't know if Apple ever claimed that this was a business phone? Why would you want to use Microsoft Office on a phone?

nagromme
Apr 19, 2007, 04:03 PM
No?!?? FUD from M$?? I'll give anyone $20 via paypal is there isn't a Word doc viewer on iPhone launch day. Bookmark this post.

The article wasn't just about a Word doc viewer, but still--$20 seems like a lot. You have taken something of a risk, considering that OS X will open Word docs right out of the box, into TextEdit. It's not full-featured, but it's something Apple already has, and it has opened every .doc (and I get a TON) that my clients have ever sent me. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see it on the iPhone.

afd
Apr 19, 2007, 04:10 PM
Quick, somebody save this article. Five years from now, when Apple has virtually wiped Windows Mobile from the face of the Earth we can reload this article and thread and laugh like we do with Thread 500.
What's thread 500?

Eraserhead
Apr 19, 2007, 05:19 PM
What's thread 500?

Thread 500
(http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=500)

SPUY767
Apr 19, 2007, 05:44 PM
What's thread 500?

Basically a thread of all the iPod Naysayers.

Silencio
Apr 19, 2007, 05:44 PM
Read the article. This is just some provincial factotum talking about the needs of the Australian market.

Extensive market research has conclusively demonstrated that for a product to be successful in Australia, specific local requirements must be met:

- The product must be operable after drinking six cans of Foster's

Do any actual Aussies drink Foster's? Not that I've ever seen. I'd say six schooners of VB, but I'm not doing Microsoft's market reseach for them! :D

MacbookSwitcher
Apr 19, 2007, 05:45 PM
The article is right. The iPhone will not sell to business users, as it does not sync with Microsoft Exchange or Blackberry servers, it does not have a keyboard, and it cannot view or edit MS Office docs.

However, the question, is does it need to sell to business users. Apple has taken a calculated risk that it can bypass the business market alltogether and make this a hit purely from the consumer market.

Let's see if they're right.

killmoms
Apr 19, 2007, 05:50 PM
No?!?? FUD from M$?? I'll give anyone $20 via paypal is there isn't a Word doc viewer on iPhone launch day. Bookmark this post.

Sweet, $20? You'll be getting a PM from me once I have my iPhone in my hot little hands come June. :D

mags631
Apr 19, 2007, 06:02 PM
"However, it's a closed device that you cannot install applications on, and there's no support for Office documents. If you're an enterprise and want to roll out a line of business applications, it's just not an option. Even using it as a heavy messaging device will be a challenge," the executive added.

I use my Cingular SmartPhone for (in priority order):

1) Making phone calls
2) Checking which day of the week some date is
3) Taking the odd low-quality snapshot of something (un)interesting
4) Playing the breakers game

I don't use it for Word or Excel. And the one time I sync'd my email to it, I decided the detriment to my eyes in scanning such small text wasn't worth it.

MacbookSwitcher
Apr 19, 2007, 06:07 PM
I use my Cingular SmartPhone for (in priority order):

1) Making phone calls
2) Checking which day of the week some date is
3) Taking the odd low-quality snapshot of something (un)interesting
4) Playing the breakers game

I don't use it for Word or Excel. And the one time I sync'd my email to it, I decided the detriment to my eyes in scanning such small text wasn't worth it.

If that is your usage profile, then you are by definition not a business user, and this argument does not apply to you. They are talking about business users.

JNB
Apr 19, 2007, 06:14 PM
Do any actual Aussies drink Foster's?

Only expats. Last time I was there, everybody was drinking Swan. As my friends from Oz say about Coors, it's like making love in a canoe...

mags631
Apr 19, 2007, 06:17 PM
If that is your usage profile, then you are by definition not a business user, and this argument does not apply to you. They are talking about business users.

I disagree, I am a business user. Sorry. I don't walk around with a cell phone for fun.

dsnort
Apr 19, 2007, 06:31 PM
If that is your usage profile, then you are by definition not a business user, ...

Whose definition? I use my phone for business, in fact, I couldn't do my job without it.

My phone is a communications device, to keep me in touch when I'm away from the office. If it can make calls, send and receive email, and keep my calender and contacts handy, great.

I don't know anyone who spends anytime at all doing documents on a PDA or Smartphone, it's too annoying and difficult to use. Better to whip out the old laptop for those.

Only expats. Last time I was there, everybody was drinking Swan.

I know a few Ozzies, none of them seem to hold Fosters in much regard. ( I was going to say "none of them seem too high on Fosters", but there's no use in lobbing softballs to this crowd!)

Cooknn
Apr 19, 2007, 06:55 PM
I own a BlackBerry and it will be hard to pry it from my hand. That said, my 17 year old will be getting an iPhone as soon as it hits the streets. I'll get plenty of hands on experience to determine if it's right for me. I'm sure it will be at some point.

Techguy172
Apr 19, 2007, 07:35 PM
Microsoft is scared?? there are scared of a company that only has 5% market share

Iphone is not a business phone it just an ipod with a big screen seriously smartphones are for office people who want to do work on the go.

Iphone won't become big for two reasons RIM and windows Because no matter how much your people don't like them they still are the largest software company in the world.

In my opinon apple isn't large enough to compete in all these
markets there loosing focus on what is important like leopard for example there putting the leopard developers on the Iphone instead of leopard which obviously shows that they don't have the capacity to do all this I mean what is going to make them more money leopard or Iphone.

However someone like Microsoft doesn't worry about going into all the market because they have all the employees to do so. So next time your going to judge Microsoft maybe you should think how respected they are in the business world and how they came up with office and all the other buisness apps microsoft is highly respected in the business world.

Remember that.

Now im not bashing mac or apple im just speaking the truth, Iphone is not a smartphone.

Yvan256
Apr 19, 2007, 08:00 PM
It's Microsoft that's become irrelevant to me.

Micro-who?

;)

JNB
Apr 19, 2007, 09:31 PM
Microsoft is scared?? there are scared of a company that only has 5% market share

Iphone is not a business phone it just an ipod with a big screen seriously smartphones are for office people who want to do work on the go.

Iphone won't become big for two reasons RIM and windows Because no matter how much your people don't like them they still are the largest software company in the world.

In my opinon apple isn't large enough to compete in all these
markets there loosing focus on what is important like leopard for example there putting the leopard developers on the Iphone instead of leopard which obviously shows that they don't have the capacity to do all this I mean what is going to make them more money leopard or Iphone.

However someone like Microsoft doesn't worry about going into all the market because they have all the employees to do so. So next time your going to judge Microsoft maybe you should think how respected they are in the business world and how they came up with office and all the other buisness apps microsoft is highly respected in the business world.

Remember that.

Now im not bashing mac or apple im just speaking the truth, Iphone is not a smartphone.

Oh, where do I begin?

I was going to write a point-by-point response, but this inconceivably incompetent trolling just makes me laugh.

I'm going to have a glass of wine. Have a good night, sport.

CalCanuck
Apr 19, 2007, 11:20 PM
I read an article on macworld.co.uk to the effect that Apple and Cisco are working together to make the iPhone enterprise ready (or something to that effect) but the site appears to be down now.

http://www.macworld.co.uk/business/news/index.cfm?newsid=17788

If that is truly the case then the iPhone may be more of a business capable device by the time it launches.

CalCanuck
Apr 19, 2007, 11:53 PM
Microsoft is scared?? there are scared of a company that only has 5% market share

Iphone is not a business phone it just an ipod with a big screen seriously smartphones are for office people who want to do work on the go.

Iphone won't become big for two reasons RIM and windows Because no matter how much your people don't like them they still are the largest software company in the world.

In my opinon apple isn't large enough to compete in all these
markets there loosing focus on what is important like leopard for example there putting the leopard developers on the Iphone instead of leopard which obviously shows that they don't have the capacity to do all this I mean what is going to make them more money leopard or Iphone.

However someone like Microsoft doesn't worry about going into all the market because they have all the employees to do so. So next time your going to judge Microsoft maybe you should think how respected they are in the business world and how they came up with office and all the other buisness apps microsoft is highly respected in the business world.

Remember that.

Now im not bashing mac or apple im just speaking the truth, Iphone is not a smartphone.


If I'm not mistaken I believe Apple commissioned Microsoft to develop business applications and Excel was first released on the Macintosh shortly after it's release in 1984. And, the first truely WYSIWYG and successful version of Word also appeared on the Macintosh. So, you have Apple to thank for paying Microsoft to develop your beloved Office applications. Just saying...

hulugu
Apr 20, 2007, 03:20 AM
As a high-falutin' business user, I have to say I can't remember the last time I accessed any .doc or .xls file on the 240x240 screen of my Treo 700w. I think it was two days after getting it, when I realized the screen was just way too small to read anything more involved than simple text and gave up on that dream....

From the folks I know, the non-phonecall uses for smartphones include:
1. Calendaring (syncing to their desktop calendar systems)
2. Address book syncing
3. Note management and syncing

and then, to a much lesser degree:
1. Sometimes accessing web sites to find directions, etc
2. Checking for urgent email messages (I find it easier to have an applescript run based on a mail rule which sends an SMS to my phone with the first bit of a message I've been waiting for, but that's just me!)

I cant remember the last time I've seen anyone try to read a Microsoft Office document on their phone, and I know at least a dozen people with phones "capable" of displaying them.

In other words, I call FUD. On Microsoft. I know, who'd'a thunk it?

If that is your usage profile, then you are by definition not a business user, and this argument does not apply to you. They are talking about business users.

Macbook, who are you to define what a business user needs? Obviously, lots of 'business users' are Blackberry-addicts who must have access to whole Microsoft suite. However, unsurprisingly, the needs of users are widely varied. Microsoft (and you) claim to be the judge of business tastes and that's a mistake, not everybody needs or wants to sync to Outlook—there are some businesses that (gasp) don't even use Outlook—and some people don't find working on an excel spreadsheet even necessary.

Now, the iPhone will not be a major hit with business users, but was the RAZR? Or the iPod? Does the business user define every communications product?

As an aside, I've noticed a large number of college students using Treos. Are they buying them to read word documents, or are they using them as communications devices, and furthermore, couldn't the iPhone capture this nascent market?

MacbookSwitcher
Apr 20, 2007, 04:16 AM
Macbook, who are you to define what a business user needs? Obviously, lots of 'business users' are Blackberry-addicts who must have access to whole Microsoft suite. However, unsurprisingly, the needs of users are widely varied. Microsoft (and you) claim to be the judge of business tastes and that's a mistake, not everybody needs or wants to sync to Outlook—there are some businesses that (gasp) don't even use Outlook—and some people don't find working on an excel spreadsheet even necessary.

Now, the iPhone will not be a major hit with business users, but was the RAZR? Or the iPod? Does the business user define every communications product?

As an aside, I've noticed a large number of college students using Treos. Are they buying them to read word documents, or are they using them as communications devices, and furthermore, couldn't the iPhone capture this nascent market?

There is a such thing as a business user. And business user do things like sync to Microsoft Exchange or Blackberry, and view excel or word docs on their phone. I am a very light "business" user, and even I do these things regularly on my Treo.

If a person does not do these things, then they have no business calling themselves a business user (no pun intended). These are the very things that define a "business user".

That being said, as I clearly stated in my original post, Apple is saying they can win without selling to the business market. I'm not sure how convinced I am, but only time will tell.

It seems like alot of people here automatically turn off logic and reason as soon as someone says anything that is not 100% pro-Apple. It's amazing reading some of the broken reasoning here by hardcore fanboys. (Heck, I am a big Apple user myself)

poppe
Apr 20, 2007, 04:29 AM
I just got my first taste of Blackberry and the Peryl... and I am not really starting to take an eye for blackberry... Man that thing was sleek and user friendly. Hope the iPhone is as good as it seems cause when the iPhone 2.0 comes out I'll be hitting that up.

hulugu
Apr 20, 2007, 04:40 AM
There is a such thing as a business user. And business user do things like sync to Microsoft Exchange or Blackberry, and view excel or word docs on their phone. I am a very light "business" user, and even I do these things regularly on my Treo.

If a person does not do these things, then they have no business calling themselves a business user (no pun intended). These are the very things that define a "business user".

That being said, as I clearly stated in my original post, Apple is saying they can win without selling to the business market. I'm not sure how convinced I am, but only time will tell.

It seems like alot of people here automatically turn off logic and reason as soon as someone says anything that is not 100% pro-Apple. It's amazing reading some of the broken reasoning here by hardcore fanboys. (Heck, I am a big Apple user myself)

I'm just confused by your definition of a business user. You are assuming that unless someone uses Exchange, a Blackberry, and views word documents on their phone they are not a "business" user. This seems like a flawed definition, narrowed by a series of assumptions as to be nearly useless. Maybe the problem is the implied assumption that unless you are an "enterprise" user (big company, lots of people, Exchange servers, and the rest that usually comes with it) you are not a business and that assumption is a mistake. Small and medium-sized businesses need smartphones, but they don't need or even have Exchange.

Furthermore, I think you've dodged my point, which is does the business user actually drive the sales of phones? Maybe smartphones, certainly RIM's Blackberry, but can a market exist beyond the average crackberry user? Of course it can, and Apple could seize this portion of the smartphone market without one person giving up their Blackberry.

Finally, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from using an ad hominem attack such as the one at the end of your post. I know it's useful (and fashionable) to throw "Apple zealot" around when someone disagrees with you, but it fails to add weight to your argument. If the iPhone were about to be released by Motorola, my argument would be the same (although tempered possibly by the fact that Motorola makes crappy phones;) ).

MacbookSwitcher
Apr 20, 2007, 05:50 AM
I'm just confused by your definition of a business user. You are assuming that unless someone uses Exchange, a Blackberry, and views word documents on their phone they are not a "business" user. This seems like a flawed definition, narrowed by a series of assumptions as to be nearly useless. Maybe the problem is the implied assumption that unless you are an "enterprise" user (big company, lots of people, Exchange servers, and the rest that usually comes with it) you are not a business and that assumption is a mistake. Small and medium-sized businesses need smartphones, but they don't need or even have Exchange.

Furthermore, I think you've dodged my point, which is does the business user actually drive the sales of phones? Maybe smartphones, certainly RIM's Blackberry, but can a market exist beyond the average crackberry user? Of course it can, and Apple could seize this portion of the smartphone market without one person giving up their Blackberry.

Finally, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from using an ad hominem attack such as the one at the end of your post. I know it's useful (and fashionable) to throw "Apple zealot" around when someone disagrees with you, but it fails to add weight to your argument. If the iPhone were about to be released by Motorola, my argument would be the same (although tempered possibly by the fact that Motorola makes crappy phones;) ).

First, I have twice addressed the point of whether or not the iPhone can be a success without getting business users. Basically, the problem with this is that smartphones have high profit margins, where as basic phones do not. Motorola has reached dominance in the basic phone space, but they are not making any money. This means Apple has to create a new market: gettting people who usually spend less than $50 on phones (i.e. non-business users), to shell out $300+ on a phone that is not a smartphone. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's a huge challenge. People willing to spend that much expect the features that usually come on phone that expensive, such as email sync compability, ability to view office docs, a good keyboard for writing emails and SMS, and to a lesser degree third-party app support.

Second, there is in fact a definition for "business user". The profile of a business user (this is the things he does with his device) is different than the profile of a consumer. Any marketing guy knows this. Some of the things business users do on phones are check email and view office docs, for example. I can't believe people don't get this basic point.

Which leads me to my final point about "Apple fanboys": if the shoe fits, wear it. What I'm seeing here is people so fanatical that they can't even accept the basic and simple reality of the existence of "business users". Don't you see how that's clearly flawed? I'm as big of an Apple fan as anyone, but at the same time I can see reality. Come on.

drumforfun19
Apr 20, 2007, 09:07 AM
I remember when one of the MS big guy's was doing an interview and he said (refering to the iphone) "it doesn't even have a keyboard." and that's when I stopped listening to anything MS had to say.

macnews
Apr 20, 2007, 09:42 AM
First, MS just doesn't get it and I wonder if some posters on here get it as well. The term "business user" is changing. How we all use technology is changing and I think the iPhone, like the iPod, could be a driving force in that change.

Now, I am no fan of the iPhone. I don't think as it exists now is something I would need. I do think some of the technology will change how people use and expect to use a cell phone type device. I also think how Apple approached this - having some influence over cell phone carriers - may also change the so far standard dichotomy of cell companies dictating the functions on a cell phone.

Second, let's say MS's premise is correct in that business users will want to view office documents on their iPhones. Since it is running a version of OSX, perhaps iPhone users could just bypass MS altogether and just load Neo office on their iPhone. Again, porting off the advantage OSX is based on Unix I'm sure someone will find a way to load applications. If they don't, I highly doubt Apple will keep it closed forever. After all, if that is the one major thing limiting adoption, it likely won't take much to "flip the switch" to allow people to upload applications.

whooleytoo
Apr 20, 2007, 10:05 AM
Second, there is in fact a definition for "business user". The profile of a business user (this is the things he does with his device) is different than the profile of a consumer. Any marketing guy knows this. Some of the things business users do on phones are check email and view office docs, for example. I can't believe people don't get this basic point.

Which leads me to my final point about "Apple fanboys": if the shoe fits, wear it. What I'm seeing here is people so fanatical that they can't even accept the basic and simple reality of the existence of "business users". Don't you see how that's clearly flawed? I'm as big of an Apple fan as anyone, but at the same time I can see reality. Come on.

That's not fanboyism, it's a logical point.

The suggestion that if you don't want/need to view Office documents on the go, you can't be a business user is ridiculous - different business users have different needs. For many, all they need to do is make/receive calls, send/receive emails and browse webpages. Who's to say that's not a business user?

monke
Apr 20, 2007, 11:08 AM
I agree to a certain extent, but it sure sounds like MS is scared.

Apple needs to include programs that they have already established. They should add things like Pages Lite, Keynote Lite (Don't know how well that would run), and 'Numbers' Lite. All the iWork programs are amazing for their 'export' selection. If they could take most of that to the iPhone, it would be amazing.

JNB
Apr 20, 2007, 11:08 AM
I'm amazed at the number of iPhone doubters that can't seem to understand that their concept of a "business user" is mistaken, or at the very least, seriously flawed.

I think I qualify as a "business user"; I travel about 40 weeks a year, spending most of my time on planes, in airports, rental cars, hotels, restaurants, and meetings on campuses (I only mention the last because of the abundance of WiFi). I send and/or receive an absurd amount of email, use the bulk of the MS suite of productivity apps, and depend heavily on the web and web-enabled tools to accomplish my job. My on-peak business phone usage is around 1800 minutes a month, give or take.

I talk with other fellow business travellers about their tools & technology, and watch what and how they get through their day - I'm ALWAYS looking for a better way of doing things.

I've tried Treos, Blackberrys, separate Palms & phones, WinCE & WinMobile, DayTimers, you name it, since I started doing this particular thing a couple lifetimes ago.

What I have found, is that aside from the whole Crackberry thing (which is less about business need than obsession) is that the majority of the crap put on the so-called "smartphones" is just that. In my admittedly unscientific and casual polling of other business folk, the overwhelming majority not only don't know how to use most of the features & apps, they don't have any use for them. Word & Excel? Give me a break! Yeah, DataViz has a great product, but it's still like using a Mini to haul lumber.

What I and the majority of the folks I encounter (maybe not you, that's OK) need is pretty simple:


A reliable phone
An address book that natively syncs to the computer I carry everywhere.
Basic email capability. It's called rules & forwarding. I REALLY don't need Exchange syncing. Corporate baby announcements are a waste of my time. We just need to know what's there, and if it's that critical, we can actually call someone. Pounding out responses on a smartphone is insane. I've tried, believe me.
REAL web capability. I need web access on the run more than I need email. WAP bites, big-time.
A part-time keyboard. When half my phone real estate taking up what could be display area, it's of little use at that point. I've tried the sliders and the flippers, and they're mechanically horrid.
A standards-based broadband capability. EDGE? Who cares. Same for 3G, as far as I'm concerned (that one's nearing the end of its lifecycle. 4G is already being rolled out in Asia & Europe for testing). WiFi does it for me.
A video iPod is totally a bonus for me. I can replace my Nano, save a little room, watch some South Park or listen to Ozomatli.


Hey, your needs are different, I'm sure, but I think the naysayers and Ballmer are trying awfully desperately to convince themselves that this can't work, mainly because their head is stuck in a rut, utterly convinced that the mythical "business user" has to do things in one particular way (shades of the "1984" or "Lemmings" commercials?). Um, we didn't do it this way five or ten or twenty years ago, and we won't in five from now, either. It's called change.

Nope. I think the iPhone - as demo'ed and featured on Apple's site - is a much stronger business tool than the doubters think. If you want to see how well, just look me up, I'll be the guy in 1C taking care of business and smiling...

hulugu
Apr 20, 2007, 01:55 PM
...Second, there is in fact a definition for "business user". The profile of a business user (this is the things he does with his device) is different than the profile of a consumer. Any marketing guy knows this. Some of the things business users do on phones are check email and view office docs, for example. I can't believe people don't get this basic point.

Here's the thing, I get your point, I just disagree with it. I'm describing the wide variety of 'business' users which is nearly as varied as the number of businesses that exist in the United States alone. A real estate appraiser, a landscape architect, and a Fortune-500 salaryman all have different needs and uses and all of whom could constitute the nebulous term of "business user." Your argument is flawed because it relies upon a host of assumptions.

Also "any [body] knows this" is also a lame rhetorical device. Speaking of which:

Which leads me to my final point about "Apple fanboys": if the shoe fits, wear it. What I'm seeing here is people so fanatical that they can't even accept the basic and simple reality of the existence of "business users". Don't you see how that's clearly flawed? I'm as big of an Apple fan as anyone, but at the same time I can see reality. Come on.

Once again you've fallen into an ad hominem, which is to attack the person. Why don't you just call me retarded? It would have the same rhetorical effect, and frankly it doesn't belong in a friendly discussion; I'm tired of its use.

rockdog
Apr 20, 2007, 02:07 PM
Was there a point where Apple said that the business community was the intended target of the iPhone?

whooleytoo
Apr 20, 2007, 02:37 PM
Was there a point where Apple said that the business community was the intended target of the iPhone?

I don't think so.

Had the iPhone been announced for about - say - 200 euros/dollars, it would be viewed purely as a consumer phone. I'd imagine it's being viewed by the media as a business phone purely because of its price.

Rodimus Prime
Apr 20, 2007, 02:43 PM
Was there a point where Apple said that the business community was the intended target of the iPhone?

Exactly.
M$ is right the iPhone is not business savvy and fails big time in that area but at the same time Apple is not going after that market. They are targeting normal everyday users and that a completely different playing field. The current smart phones on the market target is business users and they are damn good at targeting them. Apple is being smart by not trying to make a phone to go head to head with those power houses. They are breaking into the market by targeting normal every day users and of couse they are know they of course have their fan boys who will buy what ever crap apple puts out and call it the best thing ever but they do not really count because they require work to get them to buy the stuff.
Apple main target is just normal consumers not business people and normal consumers want/need very different things than business. yes the iPhone sucks as a business phone but apple not trying to make the iPhone a business phone.
Just I think most people here are failing to see that point.

MacbookSwitcher
Apr 20, 2007, 02:50 PM
Exactly.
M$ is right the iPhone is not business savvy and fails big time in that area but at the same time Apple is not going after that market. They are targeting normal everyday users and that a completely different playing field. The current smart phones on the market target is business users and they are damn good at targeting them. Apple is being smart by not trying to make a phone to go head to head with those power houses. They are breaking into the market by targeting normal every day users and of couse they are know they of course have their fan boys who will buy what ever crap apple puts out and call it the best thing ever but they do not really count because they require work to get them to buy the stuff.
Apple main target is just normal consumers not business people and normal consumers want/need very different things than business. yes the iPhone sucks as a business phone but apple not trying to make the iPhone a business phone.
Just I think most people here are failing to see that point.

This is the smartest post I have read here so far, and says what I was trying to say.

Thank you! :)

nagromme
Apr 20, 2007, 03:01 PM
I posted this in another thread ( http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=298326 ) about another iPhone-bashing statement from Microsoft, but it applies here too:

People like to think a physical keyboard is better because that's what we use all day on computers. But we use BIG keyboards, big enough to TOUCH type without looking. (And that's good because unlike a handheld device, computer keyboards are often too far from the screen to see well while you work.)

But a tiny handheld keyboard is right in your line of sight, less than an inch from the screen, and too small for your desktop touch-typing habits to apply anyway.

So I'd say it comes down to preference--not a magic "rule" that physical keys are always better. Some will prefer one, some will prefer the other--and both take some time to get used to and be efficient with. Maybe the time to get used to the touchscreen is a little longer before you're efficient--I can't say.

Tactile feedback IS nice, but an iPhone has its own very clear visual feedback (and maybe audible too)--and you CAN feel when you touch the screen. It's not as though you won't know whether you pressed the virtual key or not. (Even physical keys don't always have a clear tactile click to tell you when you make the contact--some have a soft squishy feel.)

So, leaving aside personal preference (which nobody can judge until the iPhone is out there), and assuming we're comparing SMALL devices (in other words, the keys are tiny), I'll weigh the pros of physical vs. iPhone keys:

Pros of physical keys:

1. Many people like the familiar (though not computer-like) feel. Small keys vary a lot, sometimes arranged in awkward curves, and some have a very POOR feel, but at least it's a feel!

Pros of iPhone multitouch keys:

1. With tiny physical keys, they really ARE as small as they look: you must be careful not to hit the other keys located less than a finger-width away from the letter you want. But with virtual keys on an iPhone, you're MEANT to touch the keys around the one you want. The iPhone recognizes the key in the center of your press, ignoring the other contacts. In other words, each key on the iPhone is functionally much larger--and more effectively spaced away from its neighbors--than it appears! And therefore much easier to quickly hit the key you want and ONLY the key you want. You can get out of the habit of worrying about nearby keys.

2. iPhone's aggressive on-the-fly spell-check with easy auto-correction.

3. The iPhone keyboard can adapt (functionally and visibly) to different contexts. For instance, when entering a URL there's a big ".com" shortcut button.

4. Virtual keys can be used in both portrait and landscape orientations without bulky, fragile hinges and pivots. Apple has not announced whether they will implement landscape typing, but they could. (Resulting in bigger keys and a wider typing area--and only when you choose: your choice of two keyboard sizes vs. two sceen sizes at will.)

5. Physical keys force the device's screen to be MUCH smaller, all the time, and/or the device itself to be MUCH larger! That's a high price to pay. The iPhone is thinner and lighter than most "smart" phones, and yet fits a much larger, higher-res screen (and much larger storage).

6. Virtual keys can be more clearly labeled and less confusing. Because they don't have to display multiple functions per key (http://www.pdabuzz.com/Portals/0/TreoCloseUp.JPG) at all times. iPhone's punctuation labels appear when needed, for instance, leaving clean alphabet labels the rest of the time.

7. iPhone's scrolling is better, and allows you to move the insertion point with a touch instead of multiple button presses. These tasks are often part of typing. Some physical-keyboard devices do also have a touchscreen, but even those devices tend to use old-fashioned scrollbars (which shrink the screen view even more) instead of iPhone's intuitive 3-mode scrolling: drag to scroll precisely, flick to scroll fast, tap a letter on the right to jump through long lists. (And iPhone's scroll interface takes zero screen space--yet still has visible scrollbars that appear WHILE scrolling, just to show you where you are.)

8. Virtual keys don't get dirty, jammed, or become unreliable like physical keys. They don't break off, and they don't catch on your pocket or carry case.

9. Virtual keys are extremely easy to see in dark settings!

So... is the "nice feel" of a tiny physical keyboard worth giving up those benefits? For some people, yes. That's a personal call. But other people--even "business people" (like myself) will PREFER to type on an iPhone. Some people will need to view Word docs on the go (which the iPhone may or may not do--OS X already does via textEdit), or will need a different kind of Exchange support... but many CAN live without those things, for the sake of the iPhone's many benefits. Benefits that help business users as much as anyone--maybe more (like browsing REAL Web sites with auto-zooming).

Also note that the iPhone removes one DISadvantage of touchscreens: errors from stray touches due to holding the device. One benefit of Apple's multitouch technology is that it intelligently ignores those extra touches.

MacbookSwitcher
Apr 20, 2007, 04:23 PM
I posted this in another thread ( http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=298326 ) about another iPhone-bashing statement from Microsoft, but it applies here too:

People like to think a physical keyboard is better because that's what we use all day on computers. But we use BIG keyboards, big enough to TOUCH type without looking. (And that's good because unlike a handheld device, computer keyboards are often too far from the screen to see well while you work.)

But a tiny handheld keyboard is right in your line of sight, less than an inch from the screen, and too small for your desktop touch-typing habits to apply anyway.

So I'd say it comes down to preference--not a magic "rule" that physical keys are always better. Some will prefer one, some will prefer the other--and both take some time to get used to and be efficient with. Maybe the time to get used to the touchscreen is a little longer before you're efficient--I can't say.

Tactile feedback IS nice, but an iPhone has its own very clear visual feedback (and maybe audible too)--and you CAN feel when you touch the screen. It's not as though you won't know whether you pressed the virtual key or not. (Even physical keys don't always have a clear tactile click to tell you when you make the contact--some have a soft squishy feel.)

So, leaving aside personal preference (which nobody can judge until the iPhone is out there), and assuming we're comparing SMALL devices (in other words, the keys are tiny), I'll weigh the pros of physical vs. iPhone keys:

Pros of physical keys:

...

Pros of iPhone multitouch keys:

....



There is one reasoning flaw in your long message: you did not assign weight to your attributes. Therefore, my simple retort is: tactile feedback is potentially worth more than all 9 (or more) of your touchscreen benefits combined.

nagromme
Apr 20, 2007, 04:40 PM
There is one reasoning flaw in your long message: you did not assign weight to your attributes. Therefore, my simple retort is: tactile feedback is potentially worth more than all 9 (or more) of your touchscreen benefits combined.

Actually, what I wrote agrees with you:

So... is the "nice feel" of a tiny physical keyboard worth giving up those benefits? For some people, yes. That's a personal call. But other people--even "business people" (like myself) will PREFER to type on an iPhone.

Absolutely, the tactile "potentially" worth more, as you say. And potentially not worth it, and different people will make different choices once they get their hands on both.

The reasoning flaw you make may be that you assume everyone will assign the same weights that YOU would personally. I didn't assign weights because I know and accept that it's a personal choice. I personally like a lot of the iPhone's features and don't demand old-style button keys. I'm sure many will agree. Many others will choose something else, and that's fine.

Tactile mini-keyboards are old and familiar--but sometimes something new comes along :)

You're not wrong to prefer tactile mini-keyboards, even if you still do once you give the iPhone an honest chance in person. I might prefer tactile myself once I try the iPhone! Thousands will prefer one way; thousands will prefer the other.

The point is, a tactile keyboard is not so universally superior to multitouch that business users won't consider anything more modern. They WILL consider, and often buy, the iPhone.

Of course, in choosing a product, the typing method is only ONE factor--and the iPhone has a whole lot more going for it. In fact, the typing advantages I've mentioned are minor compared to the iPhone benefits most people are aware of: the big screen, big storage, slim pocketable shape, and ease of use.

MacbookSwitcher
Apr 20, 2007, 05:26 PM
Actually, what I wrote agrees with you:

So... is the "nice feel" of a tiny physical keyboard worth giving up those benefits? For some people, yes. That's a personal call. But other people--even "business people" (like myself) will PREFER to type on an iPhone.

Absolutely, the tactile "potentially" worth more, as you say. And potentially not worth it, and different people will make different choices once they get their hands on both.

The reasoning flaw you make may be that you assume everyone will assign the same weights that YOU would personally. I didn't assign weights because I know and accept that it's a personal choice. I personally like a lot of the iPhone's features and don't demand old-style button keys. I'm sure many will agree. Many others will choose something else, and that's fine.

Tactile mini-keyboards are old and familiar--but sometimes something new comes along :)

You're not wrong to prefer tactile mini-keyboards, even if you still do once you give the iPhone an honest chance in person. I might prefer tactile myself once I try the iPhone! Thousands will prefer one way; thousands will prefer the other.

The point is, a tactile keyboard is not so universally superior to multitouch that business users won't consider anything more modern. They WILL consider, and often buy, the iPhone.

Of course, in choosing a product, the typing method is only ONE factor--and the iPhone has a whole lot more going for it. In fact, the typing advantages I've mentioned are minor compared to the iPhone benefits most people are aware of: the big screen, big storage, slim pocketable shape, and ease of use.

Fair enough. :)

I too am intensely curious to get my hands one to see how everything works. People I have talked who have used one are raving about it. But they are not exactly impartial :)

Silencio
Apr 20, 2007, 05:46 PM
JohnNotBeatle: Standing ovation! You totally nailed it with your last post. Couldn't have said it any better myself, that's for sure. The needs of "business users" are not monolithic, nor are they set in stone until the end of time.

My list of needs is pretty much the same as yours, though somewhere in the middle I'd add my own need for (primarily) read-only access to information in a variety of forms so I don't have to fish out my laptop to look up something like a router address, mail server settings, a shopping list, some PDF files or whatever. I'm mostly doing this with a combination of Documents To Go and the Palm Memos synced up to SOHO Notes.

As for the physical versus virtual keyboard argument: my current Palm device is a Tungsten T3. It doesn't have a physical keyboard, but it does have a small virtual keyboard and the screen of the device can be slid out to a full 320x480 resolution. I love having all the screen real estate and have no problems giving up a physical keyboard to get that extra 160x480 swath of pixels to play with. I'm a decent "typist" with the little stylus, though I wonder how much I'd like it if my T3 had wireless access and I was trying to hammer out emails and text messages. By all accounts, Apple's text input method looks far superior, but I guess I won't know for sure until I can get my hands on an iPhone.

I'm sure someone in the end will come up with a physical keyboard for the iPhone, connectable via Bluetooth or the Dock connector.

nagromme
Apr 20, 2007, 07:50 PM
I'm sure someone in the end will come up with a physical keyboard for the iPhone, connectable via Bluetooth or the Dock connector.

It'll be clamp-on, with mechanical water-filled fingertips to contact the screen :) There will be an accompanying Brazil-style (http://www.ahleman.com/Props/ElectriClerk.html) fresnel lens on a stalk to simulate a bigger screen.

Fair enough. :)

I too am intensely curious to get my hands one to see how everything works. People I have talked who have used one are raving about it. But they are not exactly impartial :)

You know people who have used an iPhone? You realize this makes you something of a celebrity in these parts :)