Nokia's great Windows Phone hope: Beauty without brawn

The poor fit of Microsoft's 'Mango' OS to business needs is no surprise, but the Lumia 900 flagship device's weak hardware is

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Security and management
As I said at the beginning, "Mango" lacks any meaningful security or management capabilities that a larger business would need. The handful of Exchange policies it can enforce include requiring a password to use the device, requiring a complex password, expiring passwords after a period of time, preventing password reuse, and allowing a device to be remotely wiped if it's lost or stolen. There's no VPN support and no on-device encryption -- two typical enterprise needs.

Like iOS, "Mango" works just fine with certificate-based wireless LANs, such as those using the PEAP protocol. Android does not have this capability.

Windows Phone has no backup facility for your settings, as Android does, nor anything remotely like the settings and data backup available in iOS 5's iCloud. But it does let you find your smartphone from Microsoft's website if you lose it, as long as you've entered your Windows Live credentials as an account on the device.

The smartphone that cried wolf
Maybe "Windows Phone 8" this fall will fix the OS flaws and in its third try make Windows Phone a viable mobile OS for business users. Until it does, I would not spend the money only to risk being disappointed again. It's the OS that cried wolf.

Even if you're willing to bet on Microsoft, I'm not sure you should bet on Nokia. Its flagship Lumia 900 is based on mediocre hardware with uncertain scalability. That's not how a flagship should be built, and it makes me wonder if Nokia's bite will ever match its bark -- or even if Nokia could tell. An OS can be updated, but hardware needs to be replaced.

On both the Windows Phone 7.5 OS and the Lumia 900 hardware, there's beauty but no brawn. You can get both in the iOS and Android worlds.

This article, "Nokia's great Windows Phone hope: Beauty without brawn," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in mobile computing, read Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog at InfoWorld.com, follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter, and follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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