We’ve decided to increase the length of our support lifecycle from 18 months to 36 months. 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. By lengthening the Windows Phone support lifecycle policy and announcing of the enterprise feature pack, we show Microsoft’s commitment to the Windows Phone platform. This gives business customers the confidence to invest in Windows Phone today, with the knowledge that their investments are secure, and the platform is evolving to be an even better choice for business.