Windows Phone 8: Lost in the Mobile Device Management Noise?
As Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) prepares to launch Windows Phone 8, many MSP software providers are taking a wait-and-see attitude to supporting the new smartphone operating system. Without making any broad proclamations, it’s clear many RMM (remote monitoring and management) software companies are focused only on Apple iOS and Google Android mobile device management. But there are some exceptions to that rule.
Generally speaking, Nokia and other smartphone makers will need to sell millions of Windows Phone 8 devices (such as the Lumia 820 and 920 smartphones) before most RMM companies shift development resources onto Windows Phone 8 MDM support. Android and Apple devices together command 85 percent of the worldwide smartphone , according to International Data Corp. (IDC).
Still, a few MSP-centric software companies have Windows Phone 8 on their radar. Sources say Level Platforms plans to support Apple iOS, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry and Windows Phone 8 — across the board — for the long haul. And Microsoft’s own Windows Intune service will support Phone 8.
But I’m not hearing much about Windows Phone 8 support from other RMM software providers. MDM chatter is dominating this week’s GFI Max user conference in New Orleans, where roughly 200 MSPs have gathered. GFI announced plans to support Android, iOS and BlackBerry devices in 2013, but there was no mention of Windows Phone 8. (Got updates from other sources? Post a comment or email me you tip, joe [at] NineLivesMediaInc [dot] com).
During Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July 2012, the software giant said Windows Phone 8 would gain a critical mass of application developer support. Perhaps the pure-play MDM software companies heard the message. But I don’t think RMM software companies are all that interested in the new mobile operating system — at least not yet.
Side note: Don’t confuse Windows Phone 8 MDM with Windows 8 tablet, notebook and PC management. I suspect all RMM software platforms will support those Windows 8 devices either this year or in early 2013.