Microsoft's plans to target businesses for Lumias revealed in new documents

Microsoft is looking to sell Lumias and Surfaces specifically ones with Windows 10 on board. That much should be obvious, but their strategy on how they sell them to companies, including the presentation is one of those 'behind the curtain' aspects of being Microsoft.

Paul Thurrott has received some interesting documents that reveal some proposals for Microsoft's plans in this arena. Although Thurrott stresses he is not 100% certain of the documents' authenticity, they certainly look the part to our eyes. [Update: We have verified their authenticity]

It should be noted that the documents, unfortunately, do not give any details about the devices themselves e.g. the Lumia 950 or Surface Pro 4. Instead, they talk about these devices in a generic manner although the title of the documents Microsoft Lumia with Windows 10 trial is interesting. Thurrott has heard that the new Lumia may ship with a "pre-release" version of Windows 10 Mobile, which is perhaps what "trial" here means.

However, another interpretation is that Microsoft will be offering sample devices to potential businesses for them to trial in their work environment. Nokia used such a strategy for regular consumers, and they even had a @NokiaAtWork program{.nofollow} to let companies try out their Lumias. Our bet is Microsoft is continuing that program for their Lumia line in 2015.

The slide decks that Thurrott received address to concerns:

  1. Microsoft Lumia with Windows 10 trial. Mid-range concept development.
  2. Microsoft Lumia with Windows 10 trial. Premium packaging concept development.

Thurrott quotes some of the information in the documents, noting:

"What they describe is a possible campaign aimed at winning over these businesses to Lumia using packaging that will "protect the devices while in transit, showcase the devices in their best light, reinforce the idea that Microsoft Lumia devices are the best choice for business, and show how easy the devices are to set up, integrate and deploy."

Overall, the documents give an interesting peek into the workflow of Microsoft and their strategic thinking. Presenting the phones (and Surface) in pleasing packaging (in one case, a premium leather bag with the Microsoft logo) is just part of the process of selling these to companies large and small.

Perhaps the important takeaway is that Microsoft is still angling the Lumia line at companies. The setup is "Lumia devices are the best choice for business and show how easy the devices are to set up, integrate and deploy" and it seems like a good angle to leverage.

What to expect from Microsoft's Windows 10 devices event in NYC

Will Microsoft be successful? It is hard to say. We'll just have to wait until October 6 to see what they have to say with a launch of these phones in early November.

Head to Thurrott.com to see more images, quotes from the internal slide deck, and his analysis of the documents.

Source: Thurrott.com

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

139 Comments
  • If my company starts to look seriously at Windows Mobile. How can they be sure that MS will not treat them as second class citizens? For example, they can hand out Lumia's, but when they release new featuters/products like Sway for Microsoft Office. They will be and still are left in the dust. This is a big deal, especially from their bread and butter (Microsoft Office). Businesses need assurance that MS will support thier phones. Otherwise, they can just get Office 365 for the entire company and use iPhones and their goes their entire mobile strategy.
  • Great point. While the Windows as service is a great strategy in my opinion, the MS platforms should always be their priority.
  • Just leave that to consumers, Microsoft will always make code for the most popular platform. One way Windows Mobile can be popular on the Enterprise is with the Retina scanner on the Lumia 950 and 950XL with big bank applications that authenticate using biometrics, imagine, no Apple or Samsung app has that and it could be an instant hit, making these devices very popular. But again, Microsoft needs to make partnerships with the big banks, so they can provide a robust authentication solution that banks approve and can get this technology integrated into their apps. Just my 2 cents.
  • Clearly once WM10 ships to retail devices you can expect all new MS software assets to come to wm10 quickly. But how could Sway come to wm10 when wp8.1 is the only thing in the market? It just came to windows 10 a few weeks ago months after iOS of course because win10 is the core of everything going forward for MS.    Now a troller can spew "m$ will support ios/android first" but right now there is no windows phone to support or publish to. This won't change until a few weeks after win10 phones ship Oct/Nov
  • Point had been said... Their current strategy isn't ios/android first. Coz they can't add much to wp8.1 anymore... But if this continues even after some weeks after w10m shopping, these frustrated guys are gonna get mad...
  • I think that is a cop out. People act like W10M is not a real thing that is not in active development. Heck MS might even release W10 phones with the OS still in beta. Not to mention that with Universal apps you don't have to code specifically for mobile. So they could develop everything on Windows 10 and it will be available by default on Mobile.
  • I sincerely think that after the launch of Windows 10 Mobile you will see a Windows 10 universal app first, iOS second and Android third mentality at Microsoft. Or at least a mentality where they would updated and launched their services and software simultaneously at the three platforms. They can't put Windows 10 first as long as half their ecosystem (mobile) is still in BETA., and they aren't going to waste any more resources on a OS (WP8.1) that will be obsolete within a couple of months, obviously!          
  • Answer me this then. Microsoft has close to 100 million installs of Windows 10. Why is Microsoft Send NOT AVAIABLE FOR WINDOWS10?? Why? If they made a Universal app Windows Mobile would be covered as well as those "millions of WIndows 10 installs". As a business, you should not chose Lumia or Windows phones until MS stops treating its own platforms like second class citizens
  • Send is a Microsoft Garage project and is developed by Microsoft employee(s) for expirmental purposes. It is up to the employee(s) who created it to determine what platforms they want to target. They are not fully backed or supported by Microsoft, they are just experiements, with the potential to become actual products. Rightly so, Microsoft doesn't dictate that they have to be on Windows, though I'm sure they encourage it.
  • If their own developers prefer developing for other platforms, they have a problem.
  • They did it in their free time. You don't tell people what to do with their free time, period.
  • They can do whatever they want with their free time, but Microsoft should be interested in why their own developers prefer other platforms. If it's just the size of the userbase, fine, but if it has something to do with the interfaces or tools then MS shouldn't be surprised 3rd parties aren't jumping in.
  • if they carry Microsoft brand in all whatever they do they should carry responsibility too. How would you explain this scenario if IOS devs create apps for Android?
  • Do not forget, Microsoft are getting people on other platforms hooked on using Microsoft branded products (apps) once people start to find a quarter of the apps they are using are MS then they start to consider buying the whole device package.
  • You might say that WP10 is still in development... But the Sway App (exaple given by you) had been out on iOS from more than 1 year... You don't see MS saying that out apps will come out & support only iOS 9... Why then the same thing with their own platform?? They could have launched it on W8.1/WP8.1 as an Universal app...
  • I think if they're serious about putting extra emphasis on businesses using 10 mobile, that the'll have sort of a LTSP branch for 10 Mobile Enterprise like they do right now for 10 PC Enterprise, which would ensure that those businesses wouldn't get left behind.
  • For using iPhones they need to buy iPhones for all their employees and it would be very costly.Yeah you're right about the support Microsoft. Cigna NKK a health insurance organization which gives their corporate VPs iPhones to be used for their work but those assholes are still sitting on windows 98
  • What actual real company cares about something so new (less than a year old) to base their choices on stuff like that at all. Your argument should be along the lines of "Word, Excel, etc. are better on Android/iOS than Windows10" and then at least your statement wouldn't be wrong. To which my answer would be, Windows10 Universal office is almost exactly the same as the office I have on android. And on desktop I still get the full office suite.
  • Its about the principle and the fear of being left behind. I would say that Microsoft Send is much more relavent to companies and how people work together. Where is the WIndows app? They have a public release on iPhone and are testing an Android version internally.
  • Not sure about Android but Office on iOS is far more better than on Windows 10.
  • Windows 10 or Windows 10 Mobile? The Windows 10 apps should be near idential and once completed the same should be true for Mobile.
  • Windows 10 Mobile and to some extent Windows 10, too. For example, there is unified and focused inbox feature in iOS while both are missing in Outlook for Windows 10, not to mention for Windows 10 Mobile too.
  • The availability of apps is one thing, however the cost associated with a handset for business is a massive factor, that you are overlooking. We have over 750 Windows mobiles that are all zero dollar on both tier plans we have with Telstra, to replace these with iPhones would cost us hundreds of thousands.
  • Companies don't get phones for free like consumers for one thing, just like companies can't get Windows 10 upgrades for free either. Also the anaology works the same if they instead chose Android phones to go along with their MS contracts. If you spend hundreds of thousands to get Office 365 to all your employees, there is no reason to get them all Windows Phones. None. You are better off getting them all Androids so you can get access to your other vendor's apps and still get the top notch Microsoft Apps. This is a major problem that MS needs to fix.
  • That's right.  As it stands, Android and is a better bet in evey way, even for business that are "MS Shops" because every single MS property is at least as good and nearly always (maybe actually always) better on Android. Perhaps W10 will signal a sea-change in that proposition, and perhaps it won't.  But assuredly it won't suddenly close the app canyon that exists in non-MS apps, of which there are nearly no (maybe actually no) good ones available for Windows Phone.
  • If companies like GE, Coca-Cola and NYPD can commit to support, each having 10,000's of phones, I think most smaller companies can expect platform support to exist. Look at something like the Zune.  It was supported for 10 years after they gave up on it, and they are far from giving up on Windows Mobile at the moment.
  • Lets see how long they support RT... Skype is no more supported on WP7.5 WP wasn't even there 10 years ago...
  • This is is actually really far sighted. The immediate benefit of Windows mobile for business is crystal clear. Currently resources are being either utilized in the shape of developers, or dollars spent to outsource development of mobile applications that backend with legacy database applications. There is an immediate productivity increase/expense decrease from reducing the need to develop for multiple platforms e.g., x86, OSx, iOS, Android, Windows, not to even mention the support issues. Mobilizing your app environment by creating universal applications w/Windows 10 becomes instantly valuable as both your mobile and non mobile users get to work in the same environment no matter which device they utilize. In the case of the Surface format for mobile computing, they can access legacy company apps or mobile version of these applications from one device. This is a simple yet powerful story to tell.(So powerful to enterprise I wish I could move from the Sales role I am currently in to Microsoft.)
  • I agree though that an x86 Windows Phone would be the best thing to happen to Microsoft and enterprises   Actually your comment is too far ahead of reality. Currently there is no x86 Windows Mobile phone, perhaps the Surface phone in 2016 but perhaps it may not come. We are at the whim of Intel at this point.   I agree that universal apps just make sense, but as of now they are non-existant. If you are a company moving to Office 365, why would you choose Windows Phone? Maybe in the future but right now there are more disadvantages than advantages.          
  • I think he is not pertaining to Windows phones. I think he was pertaining to the money enterprises could save by developing one universal app that encompasses all platforms instead of developing for each device configuration (and/or platform including, but not limited to x86, OSx, iOS, Android, Windows, etc.). Microsoft could help these enterprises in saving money for app development. Not all about phones dude. Not all about phones.
  • Microsoft is going to a unified kernal that deploys to Android and iOS.  Since languages like AngularJS (interestingly created at google) are now being based off typescript (Microsoft) there is a huge (bigger than a moonshot) project to make a write once deploy everyware capability across all platforms.  That pretty much wraps up the debate both internally (and IMHO externally) on which platform to build for first.  IMO, if you aren't doing anything intensive with graphics or specific to the hardware API's you can save a lot of time and heartache by writing apps in ASP.Net or .Net... ​I've been tracking their progression, it's still got some kinks to work out...but it's happening along quite well. 
  • Daniel,I know this is off topic but the yezz article is making a big fuss. Do you have any official info on 4gb Lumias and the w10 update? Thanks.
    4gb are the new 512mb.
  • You could say 4gb is the new 128k. The actual norm if that's what you're referring to is more like 2gb for a decent phone and 1gb for a low end phone. If 4gb instead of 2 or 3gb will bump up the price by £50-100 then I'm not interested in it. I have 2gb here and it's more than enough, Windows 10 is not Android, it's optimised to a point that it doesn't need 4gb of memory.
  • He's talking about the flash storage size, not RAM...
  • He isn't talking about RAM, he's talking about storage.
  • He's clearly talking about 4Gb storage, not RAM.
  • Of course, storage is RAM... And what you mean by RAM is storage...
  • Storage is memory. RAM is memory. Storage is not RAM.
  • In modern phones, the slow, high-capacity memory in our phones is flash memory, which is a kind of RAM since, unlike moving media (such as classic HDDs or CDs) the location in memory does not impact its retrieval speed. We use that for long-term storage of applications and data. The fast, lower capacity memory in our phones is frequently just called "RAM".  But it is also a form of storage, although it is volatile (it's lost when we run out of battery or restart the system). We use that for running programs. There is one additional kind of storage in our phones, which is frequently called "firmware," which is sort of a kind of a ROM although it can, under some circumstances, be rewritten.  It is, in actual fact, also a kind of RAM, but locked down by layers of software to make it mostly untouchable. So, in modern phones, yes, nearly all the storage is RAM and, assuredly, all the RAM is storage!
  • Well, you know with flash memory you can't randomly access a specific byte or word, so it's not really RAM.  Data has to be accessed and (crucially) rewritten in chunks.  So nice try on being smart, but no cigar.
  • "with flash memory you can't randomly access a specific byte or word" Yes, you can.  It does have to come with a chunk of related data, but you can still retrieve any bit at nearly the same speed as any other.  This is the property of RAM that makes it differ from 'physical' media with moving parts where organizing bits all-in-a-line on the disk makes a huge difference in performance.  Thus, flash memory is RAM, just not the same kind of RAM as system "memory." But that's not really the point I was making.  I was just making the observation that RAM vs. storage is not a meaningful one, since RAM, of any kind, is storage and, in modern phones, the storage can nearly all be considered RAM. But I guess trying to be cute on the Internet is never a good idea.  I should know better.  So sorry if I offended you.
  • How's this - storage is not RAM because RAM is volatile, storage is not :)
  • 4 GB devices won't get W10M upgrade - no matter the manufacturer.
  • 4GB is not enough to get W10M upgrade.. But OEMs can ship W10M devices with 4GB storage ..
  • True, because W10M will support updating from external storage (micro SD card).
  • I like Paul Thurrot and he gets some great insight but he has been sooo negative on MS lately.
  • I think he supposed "negativity" is just reflection of the current reality. He wants Microsoft to do well, but he calls them out on their mistakes. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Agreed! Nothing wrong with calling out mistakes but I still like to see the glass as half full... or at least 'the glass is coming soon' lol!
  • And you will continue to see glass half-full and the other Half Coming SoonTM ... While on iOS/Android, MS is shipping glass full... even overflowing...
  • Exactly.
  • I agree, but whenever I point out facts about MS and their platform which I choose to support, I get blasted for it. By the way, I loved your article about polycarbonate vs aluminum phones Daniel, however I still think that at this point in time, it's time for Microsoft to move beyond polycarbonate phone except in the low-end arena (in developing countries)  and into Aluminum surface phones in the high-end. Business people and consumers like to feel important and for some reason aluminum phones make the feel that way even if they're cover up in cases
  • I feel I've been overly negative on here as well lately. I have a Surface 3, xb1, SP4 order open with my company and 2 windows phones but I really don't like some of the basic directions on WP 10. Too much effort is being put into continuum while neglecting the basics.
  • I still think some plastic phones look and feel very much high end (920, 1520). Also, as long as I have to make a choice between wireless charging and metal body, I'm always going for wireless charging which i consider a must have flagship feature
  • What's to like about a guy who is super negative and monotonous. Between him and "ms. notepad.exe" windows enthusiasts get the short end of the stick. This is another reason why you guys should lighten up on Dan & wincentral
  • He even blocked me in twitter for questioning his negative tweets about Windows 10 Mobile.. May be he is trying to push MS harder, But it's not working the way he thinks.. He is just taking Android and iOS user faaaar away from W10M ...
  • You say negative, I say being realistic. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I'd be very happy if my employer issued me with a Lumia and a Surface
  • I was thinking that exact same thing. My company doesn't issue phones so I'd be SOL on that, but a Surface, add on a second monitor for when I'm at my desk would be beyond perfect for nearly everyone in my company. Though 4000 surfaces would be super expensive haha.
  • Easy: self employ yourself and get a Lumia
  • They will need much more than fancy packaging although I am sure this is just a small part of their plan. My thinking is that businesses don't care much about that... Every company I have worked for would care about ease of management (installation of company specific apps, remote policy controls, etc), functionality... Primarily for email and calendar and price in that order. But companies also may hesitate to do a windows phone deployment until they are sure the ecosystem will be around for a long time... Remember that much of the world outside windows central thinks WP is on it's last pegs and MS will kill it off.
  • Much of the Windows