According to Bloogberg.com, Microsoft Corp. won a deal with the U.S. Census Bureau for mobile device software on over 500,000 devices.
Lets put this into perspective. There are an estimated 3 to 3.5 million BlackBerry devices total in the United States. Microsoft just won a deal, that they are expected to announce today, for half a million Windows Mobile devices at one customer.
I bet a BlackBerry that runs Windows Mobile doesn’t sound half bad to BlackBerry investors about right now.
I don’t know about the whole Win Mobile 5 beating RIM. It will no doubt have its place in the market and will do well but you need Exchange 2003 for it. ABout 40% of the corporate world uses Exchange, of which 25% of that Exchange sector runs 2003. It’s not that many, and will grow but for now it’s a select group.
Don’t forget that you only need Exchange 2003 if using the free Direct Push Exchange integration with Windows Mobile. Most organizations connecting Windows Mobile devices to the corporate mail systems use Good, or Seven, or Intellisync, or …
Hold on, everyone…this isn’t the whole picture.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal
Link (subscription required):
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) confirmed the U.S. Census Bureau has ordered 500,000 handheld devices equipped with Windows-Mobile software, but analysts who follow Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) played down the news, saying the devices aren’t for wireless email.
Jefferson Taylor, associate director for communications at the U.S. Census Bureau, confirmed the devices won’t have mobile-phone or wireless-email capability. The devices will be used specifically to help the bureau conduct the 2010 census, Taylor said. “…instead of paper and pencil which was done in the part this is a forward looking decennial census which Congress has called the high-tech census 2010,” Taylor said.
[RIM did not bid on the contract]:
In a statement, RIM vice-president of marketing Mark Guibert said, “RIM did not bid on the contract because Census was looking for a specialized terminal, originally a tablet (computer), that falls outside the market RIM serves.”
RIM was sent a request for proposal by the Census Bureau, but apparently decided not to bid, he [a census bureau spokesperson] said.
“We view (the Microsoft) contract as a portable computing deal, not a mobile email deal – no impact on RIM,” said Scotia Capital’s Gus Papageorgiou in a research note Tuesday.
—end of citation from article
So basically the census bureau is buying very specialized devices for workers to use when taking the census. This is no more a shock to RIM than WalMart buying Windows Mobile devices to take inventory, or than FedEx using WM devices for it’s portable order tracking devices that its delivery drivers carry.
Think of it…according to the Census bureau website:
The Census Bureau employs nearly 12,000 people. The workforce expands dramatically when the census is taken every 10 years. About 860,000 temporary workers were hired for Census 2000.
So this is hardly the case of the Census bureau choosing a WM device like the Treo over the BB for wireless email connectivity with a staff of executives or salespeople. Most of these devices will not even be used on a full time basis, as the Census bureau doesn’t even employ anywhere near 500,000 full time employees.