Will Microsoft alienate the business market with Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live integration?

right-way-wrong-wayAn article on GigaOm (republished in part by JKontherun) claims the Windows Phone 7 story of the week, the great Xbox Live integration in Windows Phone 7, would in fact alienate “much of its business audience to pursue what may be a small niche of hardcore, community-minded gamers.”

Of course the analysis is flawed from the start by a poor understanding of Xbox Live games on Windows Phone (largely casual, turn based games which will appeal much more to the average user than the Halo fanatic), so challenging it on the facts is not necessary.

The sentiment is however interesting.  We all know that Windows Phone 7 includes some enterprise support, but it is true that the strong Xbox brand stands a chance of overshadowing the other elements of the OS. It is possible that the Windows Phone will be called the Xbox phone, and I have already seen articles this week implying as much (e.g. Blorge’s Windows phone 7 is a handheld Xbox).

The question is however if this is a bad thing.  Microsoft is clearly going after the consumer market with Windows Phone 7, with some business on the side, and the fact is that the last few years demonstrated that it is the consumer market where the growth is at present, and that, unlike in the past, it is not business devices which cross over into the consumer market, but the other way around, with the iPhone and Android devices being perfect examples of these.

So I say, if Windows Phone 7 is to be called a handheld Xbox, I am ready to jump in.

Do our readers agree? Let us know below.

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