Microsoft to launch app manager to control privately-owned Windows 8 tablets

by Doug Drinkwater

April 20 2012

This screenshot shows an early prototype of the SSP app
This screenshot shows an early prototype of the SSP app

In recognition of the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, Microsoft plans to include a management client on ARM-powered Windows 8 tablets, enabling enterprises to control the apps being used by tablets coming into the workforce.

The software giant revealed in a company blog post that a Metro-style self-service portal app (SSP) will be available on Windows RT - the version of Windows 8 for ARM-driven devices – and says that this will allow employees to download and install company-developed Metro apps which are not available in the Windows Store, as well as download from the Windows Store itself. The SSP will also give access to internal company websites.

The SSP aims to hand the IT department a fair amount of control, from viewing maintenance reports, to offering Metro apps to certain groups within the organization. Furthermore, these same staff will be able to deactivate Metro apps when an employee leaves an organization, and set the maximum number of devices per user allowed to access an app.

In related news, Microsoft has upgraded its Intune and System Center Config Manager apps for Android and iOS, which allow BYOD users to download and manage company-approved iOS and Android applications. The software firm also says that the Windows 8 Store is now coming to an additional 33 countries, taking the overall number to 38 countries.

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