BlackBerry 10 vs Windows Phone 8

BlackBerry 10 vs Windows Phone 8

Both Research In Motion (RIM) and Microsoft have been making waves in recent months with the firms both creating new operating systems.

Of course, Microsoft stole a march on its competitor with Windows Phone 8, but BlackBerry 10 is set to be launched at the very end of January, which will set the scene for a battle for third spot in the operating-systems market.

As a business user, what can you expect from each of them? We've taken a look at some of the key features of each to see how they stack up against one another.

Security measures

This area has been a top priority for RIM in the past, with the company often coming out ahead of its competitors in terms of its ability to keep sensitive company data safe. It was also the choice of governments and security employees for a long period of time.

BB10 looks set to improve on security when it is launched later this month. The OS will be a fully-evolved and improved version of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), ActiveSync and BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. One of its key elements is the ability to manage various devices from one single platform, even those created by competitors.

A unified web-based administration console will provide one place to manage all the BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices in operation within an organisation.

Microsoft is attempting to meet BlackBerry devices head on in terms of security, introducing some security tricks to help protect data, such as the Secure Boot feature, which makes sure only software signed by authorised certificates can boot up, preventing malware's impact on devices and sensitive information.

With Windows Phone 8, SmartScreen has been applied, which can monitor all network traffic, rather than just that on Internet Explorer, so employees can use Firefox, Chrome or other browsers without the fear of a lack of protection.

Business app usage

A recent trend in the world of businesses is for professionals to use applications on their mobile devices, whether it be smartphones or tablets, to perform corporate tasks. But having a host of them open at once has proved problematic in the past, with each one disappearing when another is opened. However, both RIM and Microsoft have been working hard on this.

RIM has spent the last year providing Alpha BB10 devices to a wide range of developers around the world, with the hope of ensuring apps and tools are ready to go when the devices are launched. The firm has focused much of its efforts on showing developers just how easy it is to move existing applications to the BB10 platform.

BlackBerry devices running BB10 will feature Active Frames, which enables users to quickly access up to eight open applications on one screen, by allowing the minimisation of the tools, which can then be engaged with easily. This is very similar to the Live Tiles present on the Microsoft OS.

Device integration

Microsoft has been heavily promoting the new OS' integration with other Microsoft products. This includes heavy Office integration that will no doubt appeal to a number of businesses, with the ability to use and transfer documents from one device to another.

RIM's BB10 will also cater for other devices, those that were introduced prior to this latest change, which will play well with BlackBerry diehard fans, who have stuck with the manufacturer in recent years. Many of them highlighted the full QWERTY keyboard as a key feature in this decision, something which RIM has taken note of, as it is set to launch a new device, complete with QWERTY keyboard, in the coming months.

Currently it is unclear which of the two will make a play to become the third-placed OS used by business, behind Android and iOS. The fact that Windows Phone 8 stole a march could be influential, but BlackBerry does have some dyed-in-the-wool fans who will continue to stick with the firm due to the unparalleled mobile device security it offers.