Windows Mobile favoured for field workers

In a survey whose answers should have been obvious, mobile workforce management firm Cognito has found Windows Mobile will emerge as the leading mobile workforce platform in 2009, relegating BlackBerry to second place.

The market, which is not particularly addressed by RIM, concerns data gathering, recording and transmission to the back office, usually completed by ruggerized devices by companies by Symbol. These devices traditionally run Windows Mobile.

The firm polled its customers, which include large utilities firms and public sector organizations, and found that the familiarity of Windows among blue collar workers, and its superior back office integration capabilities give it an advantage.

In what should be good news to Microsoft and Windows Mobile marketshare-wise, also Cognito found most mobile projects are set to buck the current trend for a decline in IT budgets.

The main drivers for this increased use of mobile technology among field service companies, such as utility firms, is the need to lower costs and improve efficiencies in the face of fluctuating fuel costs, leaner workforces and tighter budgets, the research also found. Spend on mobile workforce technology will either increase or at worst stay the same, with 41 per cent of respondents saying the current economic conditions would have no impact on mobile purchases.

“We predict that 77 per cent of the workforce [in field service companies] will be equipped with devices in a year from now,” said Cognito’s head of marketing, David Perry.

RIM may not be as lucky, with corporate spending set to be under severe pressure over the next few quarters.


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