Business

While many of us are trying to live in a completely digital world, much of civilization has yet to catch up with us trendy hipsters. Whether you are a student trying to manage the stacks of papers that your professors throw at you or you are a business person trying to clear off your desk – digitizing your papers are a great way to simplify your life.

Up until recently, CamScanner has been seen as the number one application to scan your physical documents on the go, but Microsoft’s recent release of Office Lens might change the landscape. The Office Lens application has already hit the top of the Windows Phone Marketplace, but we are going to take a detailed look at the two competitors to see who really deserves the number one spot.

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Despite its steady rise in market share, and even surpassing Blackberry as the number three mobile ecosystem in the U.S., Windows Phone is still facing an uphill climb in the consumer smartphone arena. However, according to IBM, interest in Windows Phone is growing much faster amongst its enterprise customers than it is with consumers.

In an interview with RedmondMag, Jim Szafranski, senior VP of customer platform services at IBM's Fiberlink unit, said that many of his enterprise customers would prefer to use Windows Phone in their environments. The main reason, he says, is consistency. Microsoft dominates in the business infrastructure world, be it with Windows, Active Directory, Exchange, Dynamics, or Office.

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The Nokia Lumia 625  is the most affordable Windows Phone with 4G LTE capabilities, although the Lumia 1320 is priced competitively. Here in the UK, should you be a part of a business and be actively seeking a new deal for smartphones, O2 has a sweet deal which includes the Lumia 625 from Nokia and the Asus Vivo Tab Smart Windows 8 tablet.  

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Nokia and Wortmann AG today announced a new partnership for Nokia smartphones in the B2B market. Wortmann AG is a Microsoft distributor in Germany and is expected to utilise its previous experience to work wonders with Nokia hardware for businesses. The Nokia Lumia 1520 will join the Lumia 1020 and other Windows Phones to expand on Wortmann's IT solutions. 

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Are you enjoying one of Sony’s VAIO Windows PCs (such as the Sony Duo we just reviewed)? If so, you may be in for a bit of surprise when you hear that the company is possibly planning to sell off its PC division. Sony’s PC line has performed poorly for the company, especially when compared to their gaming and home entertainment division.

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Nokia today announced #LumiaBizTrial, a campaign offering businesses within the UK the opportunity to trial Lumia Windows Phones for free. Businesses that enter the programme will be provided with Nokia Lumia 925, Lumia 625 and Lumia 520 units to demonstrate how Nokia and Microsoft technologies can compliment other systems already utilised by employees. A "highly personalised service pack" will also accompany the devices to illustrate the benefits of using Lumia Windows Phones for business.

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Those of us who use email on a daily basis can find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of mail found in the inbox. Filtering and folders can lend a hand, but that only masks the issue. The Outlook team over at Microsoft have unveiled a new feature that will be added to the Outlook Web App, available for business customers. This new People View will help you check for emails first and stay on top of messages from contacts the system selects as important to you.

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Microsoft has announced the availability of Windows 8.1 end user readiness content for businesses. The user guide package provides a range of guides and video tutorials that will ensure users take full advantage of Windows 8.1.

While the content and the medium is aimed at business users, the videos and print-ready assets are great resources to demonstrate or learn about Windows 8.1 capabilities and features in general.

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The Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas usually makes way for a plethora of, well, consumer electronics. Hewlett Packard has decided to go the other route this year and rolled out a new collection of business machines; the company doesn't have the largest market share when it comes to the enterprise world, but their latest collection of machines from the company is promising to excite. 

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The Confusion

If you head over to your local electronics shopping center, the blinking LEDs and flickering screens you witness from the lineup of computers on display, are most likely coming from what OEMs call “consumer machines”.

Since the birth of the personal computer, there have always been Consumer PCs and Business PCs; machines aimed at two separate markets that claim to be focused on what matters most for the particular individual. What truly makes a business machine what it is versus a consumer machine, and what is the state of each within today’s market?

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Wapple (www.wapple.net) is a mobile and cross-screen marketing company providing design, device delivery technology and consultation to worldwide clients. The company is looking to address the "rapidly expanding Windows Phone and tablet consumer base" by ramping up resources to increase support for businesses, delivering apps to both Windows Phones and tablets.

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ABB Finland has partnered with Nokia to deploy more than 2,200 Lumia Windows Phones to employees, and the companies are working to add even more to the roll out. If you're not familiar with the brand, it's one of the world's leading suppliers of robotic, power and automation technologies. In Finland alone, there are around 6,600 people across 30 locations. It's a large company and one that requires a solid smartphone for its workforce.

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Yesterday we wrote an entertaining fluff piece about the brand ‘Windows Phone’ and how, when compared to iPhone and Android, feedback from the internet was actually quite positive. We tied it into the exceptionally high customer satisfaction ratings that Windows Phone devices typically get on carrier websites or third party outlets like Amazon.

In related news, PCMag yesterday published results of their 2013 Business Choice Awards, a survey of “actual users of smartphones” and “those responsible for deploying and maintaining the devices”.

The conclusion for Nokia is that the company is doing very well with those customers. So much so that PCMag called Nokia “…the clear winner of the end-user Business Choice Award for smartphones.”

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Lenovo has been generating some noise in the enterprise sector with their famous ThinkPad line (formally an IBM brand), but Dell is a bit tired of going unnoticed. The company’s last generation of Latitude business notebooks made us questions who exactly was in control of the horrendous design, but with this latest series refresh – we are impressed.

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Microsoft has announced that the company has expanded its effort to cover 17 more countries with its Surface tablets. Redmond is attempting to get as many units sold to businesses through numerous authorised distributors previously unveiled in the US. With these distributors in place, bulk ordering can take place from education, government and business customers.

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Nokia has been delving in both the consumer and enterprise market, but has never really tackled the business sector with full force. The company then chose to back Microsoft and build hardware running Windows Phone. This gave Nokia numerous possibilities, one being stronger foundations for heading into the enterprise market and snapping up businesses.

What better way to get in bed with companies than partnering with the software giant that provides backend solutions?

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Nokia has announced a new partnership with Gi Group (www.gigroup.com), a leading Italian multinational human resources company. Replacing BlackBerry, Windows Phones will now be used as its business smartphone. Dealing with temporary employment, staff leasing, research and selection, outplacement, HR consulting and training in 19 countries around the world, mobile technology is certainly an important part of the business. 

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