Microsoft's new Mobile Device Manager faces a shortcoming because it is exclusive to Windows Mobile devices, but that might change, an executive said yesterday.
Scott Horn, general manager at Microsoft's mobile and embedded device group, left the door open to potential future support for non-Windows Mobile devices.
"Today, we have nothing to announce," he said. "But we're looking at it, we're thinking about it. Who knows what the future brings." Horn spoke during a press lunch at the CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment conference in San Francisco.
He mentioned that Microsoft has in the past licensed Active Sync as a way to extend services to non-Microsoft devices.
Microsoft introduced System Center Mobile Device Manager at the conference. The software lets IT administrators manage and secure Windows Mobile phones. Unlike some other management products on the market, including Nokia's Intellisync, it is only compatible with phones running the Windows Mobile operating system.
AT&T, which is supporting Mobile Device Manager, said there is inertia among IT administrators. IT managers are worried about security and management issues, said Mike Woodward, vice business marketing for AT&T. He thinks that the software as well as the services from a new company, Enterprise Mobile, will spur more enterprise use of mobile phones. Woodward could not offer specifics about how it will support Mobile Device Manager or exactly how it will work with Enterprise Mobile.
For now, the new software and the services from Enterprise Mobile, which help enterprises deploy and manage mobile phones, are designed for large businesses. Mobile Device Manager, expected to come out next year, could support as many as 5,000 users. Enterprise Mobile doesn't expect to begin thinking about serving smaller businesses for another 12 months to 18 months because it will be focused on making sure it knows what large enterprises need, said Steve Moore, president of Enterprise Mobile.
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