Jeff Alexander's Weblog

Technical Evangelist - Windows Infrastructure

Managing Windows Mobile Devices

Managing Windows Mobile Devices

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wMobile-vista_h_rgb   The use of Windows Mobile Devices continues to increase and one of the questions I often get asked is "How do I manage these devices in the same way that manage my desktops and laptops"?  It's a very good question and one that has really been around since Windows Mobile devices started to appear in the enterprise.  I remember when I was in our own IT department it was one of the areas we struggled with.  I mean when you think about it there is often quite a bit of corporate data that walks out the door when one of these devices leaves the corporate premises.  So enter System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008.  Wow!  Now that's a title!

So who is it for?  Primarily if you are an enterprise customer or telecom provider.  If you have a large number of Windows Mobile devices that you need to manage, then it's for you.
When does it ship? - The product is due in February 2008.  Having said that it relies on an update to Windows Mobile 6.0 that won't be out untile later in the year.  We are probably looking at sometime between April and June 2008.  I'm trying to get both updates to test so I can share more information on how it works so stay tuned.
What does it do? - The short list..

  • Put devices in Active Directory.  This has to be the coolest feature of them all!  Before in AD you had User and Computers, now you will have a new group called devices.  Very cool!
  • Manage those devices using group policy, the same way you manage users and computers.
  • Distribute applications to mobile devices
  • Provide a VPN gateway to you corporate LAN for mobile devices over the mobile network
  • Allow users to enrol devices/add then to the domain remotely

But why is that interesting?

  • Set a PIN/password policy on devices to provide security
  • Grant access to LOB applications and intranet sites via the VPN Gateway
  • Send out patches and application updates using software distribution
  • Remote wipe or format lost or stolen devices

Now the last piece you can do with Exchange Server 2007 today but as you can see Mobile Device Manager can do so much more and in my opinion it's what a lot of customers that have mobile devices have been asking for.  So to me this is really cool technology.  Can't wait to get my hand son this to have a good look at it.

Want to find out more?  Go to the website and download the whitepaper.

jeffa

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