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back to article SLAPPING an iPhone out of a corporate drone's hand: You're not the only one who longs to do it

Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has received a lot of criticism. The few early enterprise adopters of the Windows Phone 7 platform back in late 2010 gave it a shot with a glimmer of hope that it could replace the iPhone. But Windows Phone 7 left a lot to be desired, with consumers disappointed by the lack of apps in the …

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I think apple configurator is supposed to be helpful for apple MDM, but as i understand it, you need OSX server for it to work, which is obviously an additional cost.

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I don't think OSX server is required. Configurator is a separate app in the Mac App Store, and as I've got it installed I'm guessing free as there is no way I would have bought it as I have no need for it.

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IOS Configurator is a standalone app. and is useful for small workgroups.

OS X Server (v. cheap) has Profile Manager and is suitable for large corporations.

There are 101 other MDM solutions which vary in price, features and usability.

The most important thing is to enrol your devices onto some form of MDM before you give them out otherwise you can't push your profiles without users installing them or you recalling the devices.

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LDS
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OS X Server suitable for large corporations? LOL! On which hardware you make it run? Where's the enterprise grade hardware to run it on? Rackable server? Blade server? In which VM are you allowed to run it? VMWare? Hyper-V? Virtual Box? And I do not mean using some hack, I mean a fully-supported, fully-licensed way.

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I wouldn't bother looking as OS X for those same reasons, plus it only worries about iPhones. Not really a fan of being locked in to a single product, regardless on how good or bad the product is.

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Trollface

That headline...

"SLAPPING an iPhone out of a corporate drone's hand: You're not the only one who longs to do it"...

Is the first line of El Reg's Oath of Allegiance "Hate Apple & be superior"?

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WP8 stills seems like a half baked OS with features commonly found elsewhere missing from WP8 (take VPN connectivity for example). It doesn't help either that MS seem to spend more time developing software such as RDP clients for their competitors than they do for their own phone OS.

If Microsoft can't even get their own developers more interested in developing for WP8 then they still have real problems.

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LDS
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VPN connectivity and other features was promised to be in the "Enterprise pack", which AFAIK is scheduled for early 2014 - it is true MS till now chased too much the consumer market and is late to deliver features Windows Mobile had.

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VPN and open API's for third party MDM's is comming very soon via Enterprise Pack. PS when building new system of any sort you get the plumming right then fit the shinny taps, but i suppose you would do...?

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@Its all just Numb3rs

PS when building new system of any sort you get the plumming right then fit the shinny taps, but i suppose you would do...?

In this case it's more a matter of all shiny taps but no bath. The OS itself looks lovely - I have a Nokia 1020 - but there are still too many gaps.

I think this is a better way of putting it: Microsoft have released a bath with two taps but only one of them works. But they'll get the other one working in 6 months as part of their soon-to-be-released luxury pack. Honest guv. Oh, and by the way the bath plug lets water leak out....

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Incidentally it's interesting that this article would appear just when the website is plastered with Nokia 1020 and Office 365 adverts. The adverts seem to be pretty Microsoft-heavy at the moment.

Coincidence?

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That Office 365 ad has been there for months, so yes.

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Anonymous Coward

Coincidence?

It's a complete coincidence. Advertisers don't try to target advertising based on your browsing habits at all...

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Re: Coincidence?

My writing of this article and topic was not based on advertising considerations at all, and is 100% my opinion on the state of things.

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For the record, the conversation about this article went something like this:

Trevor: "Hey Adam, you're the Microsoft guy that uses all the Microsoft with added Microsoft, eh?"

Adam: "Uh...yeah?"

Trevor: "I don't think we really talk all that much about enterprise support of smartphones; can you do a comparison of your Win Phone widgety tilewhatsit against the iPhone?"

Adam: "Sure."

It seriously was just an idea that was pulled from the ether. No particular reason, other than "this is something Adam knows stuff about and is qualified to write about and there's no way I'm spending my money on buying one of those wretched things, so +++Adam".

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Exchange admin's point of view

My comment might seem biased, as i'm known to be a fervent Apple hater, but my colleagues say the same thing. I'm an exchange admin and Iphones are the bane of my existence. Android devices don't cause anywhere near the issues we get from Iphone and Ipad's and Winphone devices are a breath of fresh air compared to both. Inexplicable errors resulting from Iphone connections. Meetings showing up on completely different dates and times on an Iphone, content not being sycnronized properly, the endless stream of errors generated in the eventlog are but a few of the long list of issues we have with I-devices.

Support for Android, which i believe Microsoft thinks is the real enemy, is fine, so i don't believe it's Microsoft making things hard, it's Apple playing refusenik.

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Re: Exchange admin's point of view

Apple licence Active Sync from MS to enable iDevice Exchange connections, You could argue Apple is incompetent and installed it wrong but it makes bugger all sense to argue that they'd go out of their way to screw it up intentionally.

On the other hand, MS have form for nobbling their competitors software to make themselves look better.

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Re: Exchange admin's point of view

I thought MS licensed ActiveSync to kill off BB/BES? My recollection was a big increase in our iPhone population around the time iPhones started using ActiveSync. As in around 5,000 additional devices in the space of 3 months.

Having spent many hours looking at ActiveSync logs from Android/iPhone/Nokia devices connecting to Notes and Exchange servers, I would point the finger at the clients - they do some unexpected things, particularly when they are in poor signal areas. I'm not sure the token Windows Phone users had their test devices switched on during the logging period....

For calendaring issues, when a meeting works fine on Outlook or an Android device but appears at the wrong time on a iPhone, I don't think you can blame MS nobbling the competition.

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Re: Exchange admin's point of view

That's odd, my experience is completely the opposite. I have about zero issues with iOS/Exchange (there are plenty of problems, but Activesync isn't one of them). We have about 100 iPad users, and about 50 iPhones.

With Android, however, we have had numerous issues (mostly calendar fuckups). Since ICS things have improved though, but we still get more support calls from Android users than from iPhone users.

Anyway, if the device is company issued we mostly go for Nokia nowadays... budget is (for a "basic" smartphone user) about 150£ for a device, so it's basically WP8 or Android. We usually go for the 5xx or 6xx series from Nokia.

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Re: Exchange admin's point of view

Thanks for putting things in perspective! Our lack of issues with Android could simply be due to a lack of exposure. Most of the devices used are Iphones and Ipads. Second is Android, but they're way behind with my customers and a distant third is still winphone. I do see there's a sharp rise in winphones being used in corp environments though, which from my perspective is a major plus.

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LDS
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Re: Exchange admin's point of view

You're talking about a company that is obssessed about control of its hardware and software... up to the point its server software has no real server hardware to run on... and yet you can't install it on other hardware....

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Re: Exchange admin's point of view

As a sysadmin in a medium size enterprise (400 users) my experience with phones doesn't quite match yours. I have had few problems with Android or iPhone. You throw iPads in with them, and I also don't have many problems with them (we have a lot fewer iPads, only about a dozen, but several hundred phones, predominantly iPhone.) I also don't care for Apple in the enterprise, but mostly due to the desktops that don't play well. They have improved to the point that I bitch less about them. As for the original point though, I have had very few problems with phones (and we do a lot meeting/calendar related tasks.)

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Re: Exchange admin's point of view

Do some research on the iPhone to ActiveSync issues over the last few years - I can only recollect bugs at the iOS end, and sometimes bugs that cause stupid amounts of requests that can overload an Exchange server.

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jai
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"must have" apps

finally a lot of the "must have" apps are popping up in the store

every couple of months there's an article here about Windows Phone and each time it always seems to include that sentence.

i'm wondering, does the list of "must-have apps" keep changing, so the platform is never able to reach the required level? or are these must-have apps that are appearing then turning out to be rubbish?

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Re: "must have" apps

... or are these must-have apps that are appearing then turning out to be rubbish?

Probably both.

*cough*Youtube*cough*

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Re: "must have" apps

In a word Instagram, it isn't a business app but it was one of the biggest gaps. There was a large number of third-party alternatives, but folks wanted the real McCoy. I don't think my food is that interesting but people are change averse and clutch at reasons to avoid change.

There aren't that many app gaps any more, and the size of the app store is no measure of quality. Three hundred Justin Beiber fan apps make for nothing but noise in any app store.

As far as business goes WP8 isn't in the running until VPN becomes possible, and that from one who really likes it.

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Re: "must have" apps

Obviously haven't seen Metrotube then

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Re: "must have" apps

The list keeps changing. Instgram is the flavour of the month but that will probably be replaced in a couple of months by some new photograpy based social network the same way Twitter replaced Facebook which replaced MySpace.

iOS is the lead platform for most new "movements", swiftly followed by Android and a WP port is dependant on the devs own bias/perception of market share.

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Re: "must have" apps

When people refers to "must have" apps they're talking about the top 50 or so Apps at a given time.

Yes it's a moving target so when WP8 finally got Instagram (still half baked by the way) after 18 months waiting, Instagram is not what people are after any longer.

One can't hit a moving target..

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Re: "must have" apps

Errr, what? Yes they can hot the target, if developers wanted to make their apps for windows phone at the same time they make them for other platforms. Ultimately the reason they cant hit the moving target is because everyone launches their apps on Android and iOS and then port to windows when they have time. If it was impossible to hit the moving target then the same thing would be said about Android and iOS, but it isn't because they are the target precisely because developers care about them first.

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Re: "must have" apps @cambsukguy

This would be the same Metrotube app that you have to pay for? As opposed to the free versions of an official app available elsewhere?

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Re: "must have" apps

I think the former - the must have apps currently pop up on iOS first usually, then Android not long after... then eventually they might bother with WP8. If I was an app writer, I'd also be targeting the biggest purchasing market of apps first.

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WP8 released in Nov 2012

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Windows_Phone_8_devices

So we're actually at the one year mark, not two.

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I think if they could have Active Directory authentication, and perhaps have a login prompt on the phone and full group policy integration, they would be onto a winner. No one will want to type in a username or password, so perhaps a schema update for allows for facial recognition to log in using the existing camera, or now have every Nokia phone have a fingerprint scanner and have all the users scan their finger prints for their network login.

The phones at the moment are very difficult to manage on a mass scale, especially considering they are no longer just a phone, but now have access to corporate email too among other things. The Apple configurator doesn't go far enough in terms of how much control you have as an administrator.

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VPN for WP8 is supposed to be released first half of 2014, and MS have started AD auth with Office 365 and SkyDrive Pro. Intune is the MDM/Group Policy Microsoft is pushing for - not that I've used Intune yet, but they're still building up the full picture. I think they'll get there but it'll be between 1 and 2 years.

Agree on the Apple configurator, which is why you need a 3rd party MDM solution. To Apple's credit, they have build a decent MDM base for 3rd parties to use.

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missing on winphone 8

To get winphone in the enterprise, a few things I could think of

* physical keyboard (seriously, while it's fun to see people struggling, fighting,. cussing and swearing at their touchscreen, it gets stale pretty quickly if you're on the receiving end of emails send that way)

* proper exchange integration (only blackberry seems to have gotten it right, by tying exchange to the BES, and than using BES to talk to the device. Form what little I tried on iphones and androids, their exchnage integration is nowehere as smooth and seamless

* lync integration

The latter 2 now seem to be available in winphone 8 .. too bad I've never seen anyone actullay using ti to see how good this is ...

Any chance of getting a winhone with aphysical keyboid ?

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Re: missing on winphone 8

I don't think the majjority of people want a physical keyboard but there is still a sizable minority who do. Why this hasn't been addressed I don't know, this and stylus support for 1520 size could be really useful. However I have no data and so have to assume the phone companies do and their data tells them not to make physical keyboards....

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Ease of development?

If I want to write an internal app, and I choose Windows, how easy is it to write a cross-platform app on there (say, for phone, RT, Windows 8 with touch and Windows 8 without touch) vs another system? I think internal app development is a big barrier to entry for each platform; it'd be cool to see an in-depth comparison.

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Re: Ease of development?

MS have a fairly heavy article of comparison here between WP8 and RT http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsphone/develop/jj681690(v=vs.105).aspx but I can't find an equivalent of RT to Win8, it may that the Metro shell on Win8 has the same set of API's as RT but I can't quite believe that. If you do find that comparison please post it up, I'd be quite interested :)

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Re: Ease of development?

Found it - WinRT runs atop Win8 so a Metro app on Win8 & RT should run the same, you can even call a lot of the WinRT API's from a desktop app on Win8 which is kinda cool. So an app would have to be re-done between Win8/RT and phone but an awful lot of code could be re-used. http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/155521/what-is-the-difference-between-windows-8-winrt-and-windows-rt

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Joke

Re: Ease of development?

You've just set a bad example. Not only did you follow-up your own post, but you provided the link that answered your original question.

Why?

Now everyone's going to do this.

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Fine

If you want to spend money to have me carry a second phone rather than deal with mine and reimburse me some of the costs. Why not? It's your budget. In fact, a hypothetical thank you to the IT Managers who will be deferring staff and personal salary increases because the money has to go to stamping out the iPhone.

Oh. And Android phones, I presume.

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Re: Fine

Not sure how you figure that giving you a 'free on contract' Nokia and paying the discounted corporate rate contract with extras like shared minutes, data, discounted long distance, etc. is going to be any more expensive than reimbursing you for your iPhone contract. I don't think anyone's proposing to pay you to keep your iPhone as well as use your company issued one - if you want to keep your iPhone and carry both, that's your prerogative, but you'll be paying for your iPhone.

The added bonus is security, the company owns the equipment that's connected to their network and therefore has full say in how it's used and what software is approved or verboten.

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Re: Fine

What are you basing this on? You can get decent WP8 devices so much cheaper than any iOS device, ignoring all the other factors. Seriously if iOS devices were that cheap, there'd be much less of a push to go WP8 until the planned business type extras turn up.

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shrug

My company allows a choice -- iphone, several Android models and a single Windows Phone. As an IT guy, I see mostly iphones, 100% in executive row, and the great majority of managers and would-be execs. It appears to be the thing to have.

We also support the ipad for some company apps, but not Android tablets, and we have completely ignored the Surface.

Amongst geeks Android phones are somewhat more popular than iphone.

I have yet to see anyone, *anyone* in the company, choose a Windows Phone. I strongly suspect that if the company forced the issue, it would bring us back to the bad old days, where we carried two phones. A company phone because we have to, and a personal phone because that's the one we use.

I don't see this changing, and the primary reason is, the people who would sign off on the decision to force Windows Phone are all using iphones, and they don't want to give them up. So Exchange administrators will have to deal with that.

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LDS
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I *want* two phones - I do not want my company IT mess with my personal one

I Prefer to have two phones, because I do not want my company IT to mess with my personal one and have access to it. Until a single phone is able to keep two wholly separated environments, I'm not going to mix my personal data with company ones. Nor I want to go on holiday, for example, with a company phone.

Nor if I leave the company I have to copy my data to another device, and hand them the one which had them before, even if I deleted them, nor I want some IT guy wipe my phone without my consent.

I by far prefer to buy my fully own phone. That's why I have a company Android, and a personal WP8 one.

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Re: shrug

Yup, if you want whoever does security in your environment - or worse, the legal team - to have the ability to muck around with your personal phone, you're a mug.

I'm also in the IT team, and I will continue to keep my personal devices air-gapped, thanks very much.

Managing iPhones and BYOD in general is a full-time job for two people in my organisation. That's the equivalent of 1/5 of the infrastructure team that manages ALL the server platforms (hundreds of servers). A ridiculous situation.

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Re: I *want* two phones - I do not want my company IT mess with my personal one

"Until a single phone is able to keep two wholly separated environments" - doesn't Blackberry 10 do that with Balance? And I probably find myself in the rather unusual position where I have a personal WP8 phone but am forced to use an iPhone 5s for work...

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LDS
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Re: I *want* two phones - I do not want my company IT mess with my personal one

I really mean some kind of "virtualization" where there are really two environments - maybe two OS istances, fully separate, where one can't access the other. There's also the issue some users may not keep company data separate from the personal ones, more or less like some silly users forwarding all company emails to a personal account.

Also it would need two SIMs, because I do not want anybody in IT or whatever to be able to check who I am calling without a warrant - private numbers are private numbers and should not appear on a company bill. It's pretty useless we complain about NSA if we lend all of our data to someone else just because we can get a phone for free...

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Re: I *want* two phones - I do not want my company IT mess with my personal one

> Until a single phone is able to keep two wholly separated environments...

That'd be Blackberry Balance on BB10 then. But without a commitment from the employer in terms of appropriate MDM I don't think it actually works, so I guess it's a great idea, well delivered but with no mindshare and therefore low take up. Unless anyone here knows of big deployments?

Shame really, the ability to use a single handset in two completely distinct native modes sounds like a great way to manage BYOD.

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