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GFI Software is taking aim at Windows Phone 8.1.
The company, through its managed service provider (MSP) division, GFI MAX, has rolled out a new version of its cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) platform to include support for Microsoft's latest mobile operating system (OS), Windows Phone 8.1. Bringing Windows Phone into the fold extends the GFI's MDM capabilities for MSPs to the "big three" mobile operating systems, according to the company. GFI MAX MDM also offers support for Apple iOS and Google Android.
Windows Phone 8.1 is a major update for Microsoft. The new mobile OS supports Universal Windows Apps, a development model that allows developers to code once and publish to Windows PCs, tablets and smartphones.
It also includes Microsoft's answer to Siri, Cortana. The voice-enabled digital assistant leverages the software giant's Bing search platform and machine-learning research to intelligently aid users in organizing and completing day-to-day tasks.
In addition to casting a wider net for smartphone OSes, the latest version of GFI MAX MDM also supports Android Wi-Fi provisioning with instant update notifications. Also new is a location history report, that chronicles the location of devices of Android or Windows phones "over a period of months," said GFI.
Finally, GFI MAX MDM can now generate inventory reports. The option gives MSPs an accounting of all the devices that they are managing for their customers.
The new features arrive seven months after the company launched GFI MAX MDM, amid a frenzy for cloud-based mobile management solutions.
In December, IBM snapped up Fiberlink, the privately held, Blue Bell, Penn.-based maker of the MaaS360 cloud MDM platform. VMware, an EMC subsidiary, made headlines in January by acquiring the rapidly-growing MDM startup AirWatch for $1.5 billion.
The companies are on the right track, suggests data from a recent Research and Markets forecast.
Worldwide, the number of enterprise bring your own devices (BYOD) in circulation around is currently 180 million, a figure that will more than double to 390 million by 2015. The firm also predicts that cloud-based MDM solutions will overtake premise-based software by 2019.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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