Microsoft's Windows Phone platform picked up some business credibility yesterday after the software giant unveiled a number of enterprise-focused features for the next version of Windows Phone at its TechEd event in Atlanta.
Codenamed Mango, Windows Phone's full ripening will be on 24 May, but features previewed by Redmond focus on a re-jigged email client and better management.
Microsoft Windows Phone senior director of business experience Paul Bryan, writing in a blog, announced "complex (alpha-numeric) password support, information rights management support for protecting emails and Office documents, as well as support for access to hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks."
The email client will get "pinnable email folders for quick access, threaded email conversation views, server-side searching of emails and unified comms capabilities through a free Lync app from the Windows Phone Marketplace."
Bryan said Microsoft was also adding "the ability to save and share Office documents through Office 365 (currently in beta) and Windows Live SkyDrive."
Enterprise uptake of Windows Phone devices has been limited by a lack of mobile management features because of the platform's lack of integration with Microsoft’s System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008.
A posting on Bryan's blog succinctly summed up the major problems with Microsoft's Windows Phone as an enterprise mobile platform: "What about full Exchange ActiveSync policies support? Lack of on-device encryption prevents us from deploying Windows Phone devices and it's rather disappointing that other devices support Exchange better than Microsoft's own."