What does $15 buy you?

The wires are abuzz with Steve Ballmer’s latest uttering– his insistence that the Windows Mobile OS is worth at least $8 per device. Most websites are reacting with amazement – with Android free and Symbian going free Windows Mobile just does not seem to be competing.

Steve Ballmer’s insistence that “We are doing well, we believe in the value of what we are doing.” does not ring well with those who love to hate Windows Mobile, but it may be useful to list exactly what $8-$15 will buy you (and you wont get from Android or Symbian).

  • Built-in Exchange push e-mail support.
  • Support for remote device management, application deployment and device policy management.
  • Support for full device encryption (including external memory cards).
  • Free sync with Windows Live Hotmail and Live Contacts.
  • Windows Live Search.
  • Live Messenger IM Client.
  • Software for simple Internet Sharing.
  • Office files reading and editing.
  • A pretty good e-mail application with built-in smart filtering search.
  • A pretty good bluetooth stack.
  • Access to 18000 + applications already out in the market.
  • Support by carriers and a wide developer community.
  • Security certification by recognized accreditation bodies.
  • Indemnification for the technology used.

Sure, OEM’s could decide to produce Android devices, and then find the phones they produce are unattractive to business users because they did not license Exchange Activesync, and does not appeal to others because it does not have any applications yet, and others still will complain the phone does not support A2DP. The OEM may find some carriers are reluctant to support their new device on their network.

I would gladly pay $15 for a mature OS and the ODM’s who are rallying to Windows Mobile knows this.

Ultimately, if your OS is free, you may just get what you are paying for.

If there are any more Windows Mobile value points I have ommited why dont you add those in the comments section.

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