Apparently our friend Long Zheng, recently flush with cash, likes living the high life and has been scouting out jobs at Microsoft. His piece on “Skymarket” an upcoming marketplace for Windows Mobile, tells a part of the story on what’s on the horizon for Windows Mobile, but there’s more. Paul Thurrott did a little more digging, and came up with some more information on Computerjobs.com. In addition to going after the Apple Apps Store, plans are in place to compete against MobileMe, and to create a new services offering for enterprise, offering business class email services and more.
The two services, dubbed Skybox and Skyline, apparently won’t be part of Windows Mobile 7 itself, but instead be services built on top of the Windows Mobile platform. The first, called Skybox, seems to be pointing a finger directly at “the market leader”, and aimed at delivering business services to small and medium businesses, and “prosumers”. This market segment, potentially in need for reliable and secure mobile services but not able to tie into enterprise offerings, plans to leverage existing Microsoft technologies from the likes of Outlook Mobile, Windows Live Mobile, and Exchange, to compete with “a market leader that already has over 15 million subscribers”.
Apparently another service, this one called Skyline, is aimed at “business grade” online services offerings for mobile, beginning with business grade email solutions, and competing with RIM, iPhone, Android, and others.
One of the more interesting job openings is for a “Director, Mobile Office Communications – Services”, which after noting that it can’t say much, says a lot:
Business Communications is undergoing a “once in a lifetime” transition similar to the move from main frames to PCs or from individual productivity applications to the Office Suite. Driven by globalization, societal changes and advances in technology a new distributed world of work is emerging where it isn’t just a luxury, but rather a business imperative to have an always connected, always informed organization.
A distributed, nomadic workforce, by definition, demands the best mobile experience and this team is chartered with for delivering the premier enterprise mobile communications experience spanning device, software and services. Due to the highly confidential nature of the product, we can offer only limited information apart from in person.
You will also work closely with the SkyLine, SkyMarket and SkyBox teams as well as with the Office Live team to ensure that we are leveraging all the resources across Microsoft.
You will look across the communications (telephony, messaging, conferencing), productivity (documents, search) and information access needs for information workers, to see how services can provide a low friction means to get the best experiences Microsoft has to offer. You will take a strategic view of mobility and see not only the offerings we can have on smartphones but how best to rationalize the services experience across mobile devices, web and desktop.