Microsoft Windows Phone devices will soon include Good Technologys Good for Enterprise security solution, which includes Federal Information Processing Standard-certified (FIPS-certified) 192-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption for end-to-end mobile messaging.
In theory, that will allow Windows Phone to capitalize more fully on the trend of workers using their personal smartphones within work environments. That bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model has helped Apples iPhone and Google Android gain significant traction within small and midsize businesses as well as the enterprise (much to the chagrin of Research In Motions BlackBerry franchise, which for years served as the default smartphone brand of many companies). While that has opened up a whole new market for business apps, and perhaps made employees more amenable to checking their work email at midnight, IT administrators also need those devices secure.
In addition to mobile-device security, Good for Enterprise also includes remote-device management (complete with policy enforcement and over-the-air controls) and tools for facilitating collaboration.
Although Windows Phone lags the iPhone and Android with regard to general adoption, Microsoft and its manufacturing partners have spent the past two months engaged in a far harder push for the platform. Originally developed as a high-end operating system along the lines of Apples iOS, new devices such as Nokias Lumia 610 have helped expand Windows Phones offerings into the midmarket and lower-end range.
New data from research firm Strategy Analytics suggests that Nokia has become the worlds largest Windows Phone vendor, at 33 percent of the market, surpassing the individual efforts of HTC and other manufacturers. The company announced it had sold 1 million Windows Phone units in the fourth quarter of 2011, surpassing some analyst expectations.
But if Microsoft wants Windows Phone to truly impact the smartphone market, it will need businesses in addition to consumers. Thats where this new security platform comes into play.
Reports (most notably from Pocketnow.com and Supersite for Windows) also suggest Microsoft is prepping a Windows Phone 8 that will support multi-core processors and native BitLocker encryption and integrate in many ways with the upcoming Windows 8. If that comes to pass, Microsoft could begin selling Windows Phone as a single component of a broad, integrated, secure ecosystem.