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7

RIM adding "security features" to iOS, Android through Mobile Fusion. Windows Phone, not yet.

MyPhone

To fight off the inevitable, RIM is looking to expand into security services to other mobile platforms which they hope will add some much needed cash to their dwindling reserves. The service, called Mobile Fusion, is expected to launch in Q1 on iOS and Android. Citing security concerns and their robust history of delivering device management via their NOC servers, RIM is looking for a new angle in the mobile industry. The new service will allow "...corporate IT staff to set and monitor rules for passwords, apps and software on a range of devices" and will also add remote find, lock and erase features.

"We will take full advantage of whatever security capabilities are provided by the core operating system. We're not going to hold that back in any way, shape or form."

Windows Phone is currently not on their plans for support, but they do note that if there is enough demand, they will certainly consider adding Windows Phone. That's fine for RIM and we're glad they're moving beyond smartphones, which is clearly not their forte anymore. But do we really need their services? We suppose from an IT perspective, if they can control iPhones, Androids and Windows Phone with all the same "switch" that my be a good sell, but obviously Windows Phone has a lot of this already built in via the Find My Phone feature. private Marketplace for app distribution and Exchange support.

So RIM, thanks but no thanks for reinventing the wheel. Still, Windows Phones does need beefier security (device encryption, etc.) which RIM can't fix as it's too deep in the OS. So Microsoft, we're looking at you.

Source: Reuters

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Reader comments

RIM adding "security features" to iOS, Android through Mobile Fusion. Windows Phone, not yet.

7 Comments

SMH Microsoft needs to do something about this they cant let this slide. MS is #1 in corporate america for a reason and 1 big reason is Active Directory. What MS needs to do is allow WP to be managed via Active Directory so you dont need to buy any of this 3rd party BS.
Imagine a single sign on feature you register a WP to your domain and to active log in with your AD username and password and BAM there you go all your corporate contacts, phone numbers, outlook, lync, skydrive (personal drives) everything is there.
Software will be controlled via group policy and all the find my phone features etc will be all controlled by that to. Phones will have a hardware VPN acceleroate with always access to the DC's via secure tunnel.
This is how I see WP being #1 in corporate if RIM rushes out with why would a network admin or business potentially go with all WP instead of iOS, Android, Blackberrys etc.

Sounds like you are longing for WM 6.5. Even so, this is already there in WP7:

"Imagine a single sign on feature you register a WP to your domain and to active log in with your AD username and password and BAM there you go all your corporate contacts, phone numbers, outlook" and Lync is coming soon.

Skydrive is a consumer service. Group Policy control would be nice; maybe in WP8.

It requires Microsoft Exchange, as you can't simply "join a domain" like you can with your Windows PC.  They are not the same.  However, there are security policies that Exchange can enforce.  The problem is that Windows Phone doesn't support them all.  So, MS will have a significantly hard time getting large corporations that require those security policies, and don't forget Government agencies.

RIM is entering an already crowded market space, with the likes of Good Technology and other such companies already enjoying a sizeable lead in the space. Add to that challenge the fact that most companies with corporated supported mobile devices don't want to budget $$ for recurring management tool licenses when their IT staff can get along by fudging a lot of the things that such enterprise management tools offer. I don't hold out much hope for RIM in this venture.

Really, RIM? Though I can't blame them for trying. But most of the features mentioned are already taken care of.

Other than being a selling point, companies aren't going to bother finding lost phones; they will simply remote wipe the devices.... Which, by the way, IT is already set up to do, via Exchange (I assume, since Exchange policies also lengthened my phone password to eight digits, and every single mobile device on our network must have remote wipe capability to even have access).

Controlling which apps I can install is also a waste. WP apps do not have access to the corporate address book nor any files outside their own sandbox. But again, another selling point for IT staff unwilling to properly do their jobs in the first place, which includes vetting mobile devices before granting access in the first place.

Reading a lot of the corporate nonsense people post here, I am thankful my company's IT staff took the time to let me educate them about WP. I have email access to 50,000+ of my closest professional friends, and soon access to SkyDrive-hosted documents, any one of which would cost someone their job if leaked. As a WP user, that is one thing I do not worry about. The Android, and maybe iOS group, yeah, there's a little unspoken worry. Maybe not as much as there should be, in the case of Android...