Up to now, most analysts have confronted the topic of the viability of the Windows platform on mobile devices from the user's perspective: What applications can she run? Will her documents be portable? Can her contacts and e-mail be synchronized effectively?
Beginning in the second quarter of next year, there will be one more connection to be drawn: Windows Mobile devices will become manageable through Windows Server-based networks using group policy tools.
What does that mean? Businesses will be able to create rules and regulations about how a WM6 device - presumably with Bluetooth, WiFi, EV-DO, and maybe HSDPA or WiMAX connectivity - can contact networks or be contacted by them. This will make the device a much more direct part of a Windows network.
The tool which will bring this about is called Mobile Device Manager, and Microsoft's plan for now is to wrap it up in its System Center all-encompassing brand. Next year, AT&T's new Blackjack II smart phone - unveiled at the CTIA conference just today - will be among the first to be manageable through SCMDM.
Because group policy can manage the authenticity and reliability of remote networking, a WM6 device can run so-called line-of-business applications (LOB) behind the system firewall. (The "Advanced Security" part of Windows Server's second tier of software firewall is group policy.) Using SCMDM's new Mobile VPN functionality, the device becomes part of the Windows network and can run server-driven LOB applications as though they were being sent to a PC. Thus for most intents and purposes, the smartphone really does become a remote terminal.
Support for SCMDM is expected to be picked up by AT&T's HTC phones later in 2008, and then by Samsung and Motorola phones from Verizon Wireless.
Microsoft, Windows Mobile, WM6, Mobile Device, Group Policy, GPA, Admininstration, Tool