Microsoft revealed on this blog that it has doubled the support lifecycle of its Windows Phone platform from 18 months to 36 months. On top of that, the company also announced an enterprise feature pack that will provide IT departments with greater control over Windows Phones. This feature pack will be provided as an update in the first half of 2014. Both moves are intended to make Windows Phone 8 more suitable for business environments.
Beginning with Windows Phone 8 we’ll make updates, including security updates, available for 36 months. These updates will be incremental, with each update built on the update that preceded it. The mobile operator or phone manufacturer may control the distribution of these incremental updates and update availability may also vary by country, region, and device hardware capabilities.
In addition to the longer support lifecycle, we will also be releasing an enterprise feature pack as an update to Windows Phone 8. This feature pack will provide IT departments with more control over Windows Phones and give their employees a fuller productivity experience.
The enterprise feature pack will include:
S/MIME to sign and encrypt email
Access to corporate resources behind the firewall with app aware, auto-triggered VPN
Enterprise Wi-Fi support with EAP-TLS
Enhanced MDM policies to lock down functionality on the phone for more enterprise control, in addition to richer application management such as allowing or denying installation of certain apps
Certificate management to enroll, update, and revoke certificates for user authentication
We plan to provide the feature pack as an update in the first half of 2014.