Microsoft Senior Director Stella Chernyak has revealed to V3.co.uk that hundreds of businesses are currently testing Windows Phone 8.1 for mass-deployment.
"Since unveiling it we’ve had an unbelievable amount of enthusiasm from enterprises for Windows Phone 8.1. Several hundred customers are participating in our enterprise adoption programme," she said.
She went on to say that she expects to deploy millions of Windows Phones to these employees over the next few months.
"Several hundred in enterprise is a significant number and they are all Fortune 500-type customers. Our projection is to deploy [Windows Phones] to several million seats [individual employees] in the next few months."
She credited the success not to Windows Phone 8.1 being an extremely enterprise-friendly OS (though it is), but due to being a great consumer phone.
"A great enterprise phone starts by being a great phone for everyone. To achieve this with Windows Phone 8.1 we did a lot of things to improve the user interface and make it more customisable," Chernyak said. "We also added our Cortana voice assistant. These additions mean companies will see more Windows Phone 8.1 devices coming in as employees’ personal devices.”
Regarding the new enterprise-friendly features of the OS, she said:
"On top of this we’re also supporting enterprises’ core needs by offering an open device management platform. This means any vendor can build a solution to manage Windows Phone 8.1. We’ve already had many do this and there are currently solutions from MobileIron and Airwatch in beta."
Chernyak also notes Windows Phone 8.1’s new ‘Universal Application’ development model was another key factor that will boost enterprise interest in Windows Phone 8.1.
"With Windows Phone 8.1 we’re delivering a converged platform where 90 percent of APIs on it are also consistent with Windows," she said. "This means people can write an application once and run it across our phones and tablets. This is another thing businesses really want and have requested from us."
According to some reports Windows Phone has as much as 20% of the enterprise smartphone market in UK. With Microsoft now itself being a massive Windows Phone OEM who can sell Windows Phones along with their copies of Office and Windows Server, could Windows Phone’s salvation be mass penetration in business? Let us know below.