Windows Phone 8.1 for Business

Following on from the consumer features (many of which will still be of use to corporate users), here is a post that looks more at the specific business features.

Mobile Device Management

Windows Phone 8.1 has a built-in MDM client that allows IT organizations to manage devices with the management system of choice, such as Windows Intune, MobileIron, Citrix, SAP and Sophos.

Microsoft have made it easier to enrol devices into these solutions, which reduces time & costs for the customer. Once enrolled, the IT admin can fully manage the device including:

  • Configuration policies
  • Email or Office 365 accounts
  • Certificates for user authentication
  • VPN and Wi-Fi profiles
  • Apps

Platform Convergence

Over 90% of APIs are shared between Windows Phone 8.1 & Windows 8.1 Update. This makes developing apps for both platforms so much easier for business development teams. They no longer need to choose/prioritize on over the other and can create them all in the same environment.

This move makes it:

  • Easier
  • Quicker
  • Cheaper
  • More cost effective

for business to develop apps for Microsoft’s platforms.


Windows Phone 8.1 can:

  • Utilize remote business data removal if a device is lost/stolen
  • Implement secure & trusted boot
  • Better sandbox app to prevent rootkits & malware


Email Encryption

S/MIME, the industry standard for email encryption, is now supported with WP8.1. Managed via Exchange or an MDM system, this allows users to sign & encrypt mail directly from their device.

Assigned Access

Use this to lock a handset to running just one app. If you have users who need to be mobile but just need to perform one dedicated task, using a lower cost handset with this features enables cost savings and security.

Enhanced App Management

Organizations can, via an Enterprise account, privately & securely distribute apps to WP8.1 handsets. These apps can be updated, removed – even defined as mandatory.

Orgs can also whitelist/blacklist apps and even block the store completely if required.

Certificate Management

This allows IT pros to enrol, renew, and revoke certificates for user authentication. These can be used to authenticate against:

  • Exchange Server
  • An Intranet Web Server
  • VPN
  • Wi-Fi
  • Line-Of-Business (LOB) applications.

Advanced certificate management is available so certificates are protected by the built-in TPM enabling Virtual Smartcard on Windows Phone.

Enterprise VPN & Wi-Fi

Windows Phone 8.1 includes app-specific VPNs, supporting IPsec & SSL VPN gateways. The VPN functionality is supported by many major vendors such as:

  • CheckPoint
  • Dell/SonicWall
  • F5
  • Juniper

which will make integration into corporate networks even easier.

Also, Enterprise Wi-Fi with EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS will allow the employee to connect to the corporate Wi-Fi network, also managed with the MDM system; with Wi-Fi offloading using WI-Fi wherever possible to reduce data costs.

To see more of these features, and also those in Windows 8.1, check out this Windows blog:

Windows Phone 8.1 for Consumers

At Build 2014, Joe Belfiore and co. announced a number of new features coming in Windows Phone 8.1, for both consumer & business users.

These features include:

Start Screen personalization

The ability to have any picture you like as the background to your Start Screen, with the tiles becoming transparent to show it through.



The Digital Assistant, named after a Halo character, is set to pitch some interesting battles against Apple’s Siri.

Cortana is the only digital assistant that gets to know you, builds a relationship that you can trust, and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you’re interested in something.

The US will get it as a beta almost straight away with it then rolling out to the UK & China in the 2nd half of 2014, with other countries to follow in 2015.


Cortana will do things such as:

  • Remind you of upcoming flights
  • Tell you when to leave for the airport – based on live traffic info
  • Block non-essential calls/texts etc. during user set “Quiet Hours”
  • Give reminders based on location
  • Track weather, stocks etc
  • Interact with 3rd party apps – use Cortana to tweet, to watch TV shows on your device, call in Skype and more.

Action Center

Giving a central location to see notifications from ALL apps as well as easy access to settings such as Bluetooth, Wifi etc.

Word Flow Keyboard

Similar to the Swype keyboard, a quicker, more intelligent keyboard for typing in WP8.1. This was used to break the World Record (held by Swype on a Galaxy S4) by 8 seconds!


The calendar in WP up to now has been functional, but not quite there and I’ve heard many complaints about it’s ease of use (or lack thereof). Microsoft have heard that and completely redesigned the calendar experience. It has things such as:

  • Week View
  • Pan right to move to the next day/week/month
  • Integrated weather

and more


Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone

Synchronization between devices means you’ll be able to see all your open tabs and favourites across all your devices. It also gives:

  • InPrivate Browsing
  • Password caching
  • Reading Mode

Password caching will be great, I’m so used to that on my Windows 8.1 devices that it’s always a shock when I’m asked for a password on my phone!

Additional Features:

Burst Mode added to standard camera

Data Sense “High Savings” mode which increases compression of web images to reduce data usage.

Wi-Fi Sense connects to free open hotspots automatically to reduce data usage. You can use Cortana to turn this option on only in your favourite areas.

Storage Sense helps manage content such as apps, music & photos on SD cards and also help with transferring such things between the card and the phone.

Battery Saver improvements can now “dramatically extend your battery life”.

Microsoft Account Sync – Apps you purchase on your Windows Phone will also appear on your Windows 8 device (and vice versa – if the app supports both platforms of course). Also sync your theme colour across devices as well as your home Wi-Fi password.

Project your phone – connect it to a PC via USB and you can show the phone on there. SOME new WP8.1 devices will support Miracast for wireless projection to compatible devices.

To see more on these features, head over to:

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