Microsoft Rumored to Unveil Enterprise Mobility Suite and Office for iPad
According to many, Microsoft is set to launch Office for the iPad today. Fresh rumors are claiming the company may also make a play for mass device management with a cross-platform Enterprise Mobility Suite, a competitor to Apple’s recently released Deployment Programs initiative. Mar Jo Foley of ZDNet reports that Microsoft is preparing to release a licensing bundle that is being called the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), which is aimed at enterprise customers requiring a cross-platform device management solution.
EMS is able to manage mobile devices running iOS, Android, Windows and more from a central location. This setup can be considered an enhancement of existing Microsoft technology that leverages Windows Server, System Center and Windows Intune to manage devices across several platforms. Sources are claiming the EMS feature will feature Windows Intune, an updated “Premium” Azure Active Directory and Azure Rights Management Services. Combining the licensed assets, enterprise customers will be able to manage deployed devices from the cloud on a more granular level. This would be a boon for larger companies with bring your own device (BYOD) policies that don’t limit employees to a specific operating system.
Foley reports that Windows Intune is being reworked with in-the-cloud device management features, negating the need for System Center. The solution is expected to support the upcoming Windows 8.1 and Samsung’s Knox security system, among other platforms. Apple recently rolled out its own iOS-only mass device management (MDM) solution for IT professionals working in education and enterprise. Counted among the features of Apple’s retooled MDM program is a “zero-touch configuration” tool that automates device setup and enrollment over wireless communications.
Microsoft’s anticipated Office for iPad is also set to be on tap for todays’ event. Many expect CEO Satya Nadella to announce the software, though not much else is known about the title. Some are speculating Office for iPad will be akin to Office Mobile and may require a subscription to Office 365.