It looks like Microsoft doesn't want to be left behind on the security front of its Windows Phone ecosystem. If Samsung and BlackBerry have their one security solutions for enterprise customers, Microsoft didn't have something great that could be adopted by governments or high-profile business customers.
With the release of Windows Phone 8.1, though, things have changed and Microsoft did lots of improvements, adding a plethora of new features that would make its mobile platform better and smoother in all aspects.
Now that Windows Phone 8.1 is rolling out to compatible smartphones, Microsoft claims it is now ready to provide governments with a strong security solution.
First, Microsoft will have to convince those who opted for Samsung KNOX or BlackBerry Enterprise Solution to replace it with its own Windows Phone 8.1 security solution.
According to Rick Engle, principal Windows technology specialist at Microsoft, “the Windows team worked with Microsoft field personnel and customers in many verticals, and created a strong list of requirements that formed the core set of new enterprise capabilities for Windows Phone 8.1.”
“The result is a security-enhanced OS and an architecture designed to help prevent malware attacks and even prevent rooting and jail breaking,” he claims.
In even more good news, most Windows Phone 8 handsets support the Windows Phone 8.1 update, so in case some enterprise users already own them, they don't need to purchase the devices once again.
Furthermore, Microsoft highlights some of the main features of the Windows Phone 8.1 that would bring governments enterprise-grade security, such as S/MIME for Encrypted and Secure enhanced Email, enterprise VPN, Mobile Device Management (MDM), PKI and Certificate Management, as well as Rich MDM Control Policies.
These are only a handful of features that Microsoft claims Windows Phone 8.1 could provide to enterprise customers, but there are a lot more included in the new operating system.
Microsoft claims that Windows Phone 8.1 can bring “an array of enterprise features to the public sector, allowing government agencies to have the same, security-hardened smartphone solution that businesses are now using.”
So, this is not only for enterprise users, but also for the public sector that needs high-graded security solutions that would put their smartphones to safety from jail breaking and malware assaults.
Even though this all sounds nice and dandy on paper, it remains to be seen how well Microsoft's marketing and PR departments will perform in order to convince governments to adopt its own security solution provided via Windows Phone 8.1.