Microsoft decided to increase the length of its support lifecycle for Windows Phone 8 from 18 months to 36 months. These updates will be rolling out incrementally, with each update building on the update that preceded it. The mobile operator or phone manufacturer, however, may control the distribution of these updates and update availability may also vary by country, region and device hardware capabilities.
In addition, the Redmond giant also announced an enterprise feature pack for Windows Phone 8 to provide IT departments with more control over Windows Phones and give their employees a fuller productivity experience. Set to be released in the first half of next year, this pack will include things like:
- 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
With these updates, Microsoft hopes to get business customers on board. It’s a long road and we tend to think they have all the resources needed to pull this off. We’ll see…