Trusted Platform Module – Microsoft’s Secret Weapon in the Mobile Arena
Currently, Microsoft’s presence in the mobile enterprise sector is lagging far behind its competitors. This is largely due to two reasons, consumer mindshare (a large percent of people don’t have the will to bring in a Windows Phone to the office) and device security. Apple and Google have pinned down consumer mindshare, and Research in Motion has pinned down the device security part (which is arguably more important in the enterprise arena). Research in Motion’s private network allows all information on a Blackberry device, and all information sent from a Blackberry device to be cryptographically secure. Windows Phone 8 will match that and more.
Microsoft’s method to conquer mobile enterprise comes in the form of Trusted Platform Module (TPM) support for Windows Phone 8. TPM support has been included in Windows since Windows Vista. With Windows Phone 8 sharing the same kernel as Windows 8, TPM support has been transferred to Microsoft’s mobile offering, and Microsoft is making it mandatory that every Windows Phone 8 device include a Trusted Platform Module like the one shown in the picture above. This is significant because it allows Microsoft to encrypt the software in every Windows Phone 8 device, as well as encrypt all outgoing communications from a Windows Phone 8 device, just like Research in Motion does with its Blackberry devices. The only differing point between RIM’s security solution and Microsoft’s security solution is that RIM relies on its own infrastructure to secure Blackberry devices, limiting its global reach, while Microsoft can cryptographically secure every Windows Phone 8 device through the open internet, allowing secure Windows Phones to reach anywhere in the world.
This means that Microsoft has destroyed RIM’s last major selling point with one fell swoop, and arguably makes Windows Phones the most attractive enterprise phones because they will have the best device security and hopefully a large consumer mindshare.
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