Microsoft increases Windows Phone 8 support lifecycle, teases upcoming enterprise update

Microsoft today announced an increase in the length of the company's support lifecycle for Windows Phone 8, from 18 months to 36 months. Beginning with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft notes in an official blog post that updates, including security updates will be available for 36 months. Each update will (as we already know) incremental, with each release building on the preceding one. While the company will have the update available, the mobile operator and / or mobile phone manufacturer may control the distribution of updates.

In addition to the extended support lifecycle, Microsoft will also be releasing an enterprise feature pack as an update for Windows Phone 8. This will provide IT departments with more control over Windows Phones and improve the overall experience for employees. From enhanced MDM policies to certification management, the enterprise pack will contain the following:

  • S/MIME to sign and encrypt email
  • Access to corporate resources behind the firewall with app aware, auto-triggered VPN
  • Enterprise Wi-Fi support with EAP-TLS
  • Enhanced MDM policies to lock down functionality on the phone for more enterprise control, in addition to richer application management such as allowing or denying installation of certain apps
  • Certificate management to enroll, update, and revoke certificates for user authentication

So when can you expect to see the feature pack made available? The first half of 2014. If you were questioning Microsoft's support for Windows Phone, you've just been served an incredible chicken feast to enjoy. While the Windows Phone Store sports the likes of Lync, Skype and other communication apps, improved business support and tools for enterprise have been requested since Windows Phone first launched and it's pleasing to see Redmond attempt to attract enterprise customers, as well as consumers. 

This plan is likely to be part of a wider goal to offer Windows to business - both the employee workstation and smartphone. Here's to more success stories like what we've witnessed before with Nokia.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.