Last year, Microsoft announced a forthcoming update for Windows Phone dubbed ‘enterprise pack’. The move was to further lure companies to adopt Windows Phone en masse, something many have been reluctant to do due to the lack of core features like VPN.
Today in Barcelona, Microsoft referred to this ‘feature pack’ in clarification to the press. All of those enterprise features, including extended MDM, certification management, VPN, S/MIME support and others, will be arriving with the “next Windows Phone update,” referring to Windows Phone 8.1.
Other features of that enterprise, previously announced, include:
- 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
That update will come “this spring.” All Windows Phone 8 devices will be able to get the update, which will include those enterprise features. A separate download or enabling by a company is not required.
In speaking with Microsoft, it’s clear that the company is looking at this forthcoming update to really push into business. For example, instead of running Good Messaging on top of an OS and separate from the built-in features, Windows Phone will bring a new level of enterprise control out of the box.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.