As enterprise networks are being inundated at a rapid pace with an assortment of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets as well as laptops and PCs, companies must ensure that they have a mobile device management solution in place that protects them from cyber attacks while still enabling their workforces to remain productive from relatively anywhere. In fact, according to recent findings from Motorola (News - Alert), 73 percent of respondents are concerned about smartphone security and would even rather share a toothbrush than their phone.
While I definitely wouldn’t go that far (barf), it is clear to me as well as companies such as MobileIron and Microsoft (News - Alert) that being secure is vital to every company and individual end-user. Something that may not be as crystal clear though is what impact Microsoft’s latest version of Windows Intune could have on the mobile device management space overall. With its fourth version of the offering, it has unveiled some pretty significant enhancements to the way in which mobile devices are managed.
In an article just published today, while the technology giant launched Windows Intune with the robust features this week, it still hasn’t made public what exactly they are capable of. Yet, an inside source who asked to remain confidential allegedly told Mary Jo Foley that they will include: the ability to manage Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone (News - Alert) 8 device in addition to iOS agent-based management.
Reed Wiedower, chief technology officer of Microsoft partner New Signature, went a little more in detail when he stated, "There are a few gaps to close in Wave D, and it’s not going toe-to-toe with other MDM vendors on features in this release, but moving to agents significantly closes the feature war for the next release, because EAS just isn’t capable of bundling in new features, while an agent should be able to.”
Additionally, this will benefit Office 365 and Hosted Exchange platform users who once couldn’t use Exchange Active Sync for mobile device management but now want to leverage Intune. Wiedower added that although EAS still can be used to provide "baseline configuration settings" with the latest Intune release, it uses "native management APIs in Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, and iOS which are not based on EAS."
Intune originally came to market in 2011 and was touted at the time as being a PC management and security service.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli