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App Vendors Jump on AirWatch ACE Bandwagon but Microsoft Will Pass

SAP was among 21 application providers that have joined an effort launched earlier this year by VMware's AirWatch business to support device-native, mobile OS standards for enterprise mobility management systems. That brings the total to 44 suppliers that have joined AirWatch's App Configuration for Enterprise group, the company announced today at its AirWatch Connect conference in Atlanta.

Among other members now on board are Box, Boxer, Cisco, Dropbox, Docusign, StarMobile, SkyGiraffe, TeamViewer, VMware, and Xamarin. However don't expect Microsoft to join the project anytime soon, despite its close work with AirWatch on ensuring Windows 10 support.

"Microsoft does not have plans to support ACE," a spokeswoman for Microsoft stated in response to an inquiry. "However, Microsoft already supports app management capabilities available in the latest mobile operating systems. Plus we go beyond that to deliver unique mobile application management capabilities with Office mobile apps for secure mobile productivity."

During a conference call with media, VMware executives said they'd like to see Microsoft join and add support for its various apps, including, of course, the various Office components. "We take advantage of Apple's iOSconfig, take advantage of Google's spec for doing individual application setups, and we also have done that for looking at Windows and Windows 10," said Noah Wasmer, VMware's vice president of product management and CTO for end-user computing. "We would love to see Microsoft come to the table and we welcome them to see the open standards that are available on these different platforms, and we would love to see them come to the table and take advantage of the spec."

AirWatch, which VMware acquired two years ago for $1.6 billion, describes ACE as a community project. The spec is described by ACE as a way for enterprise application developers to interpret app configurations and security policies from EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) systems, and for EMM systems to configure and secure mobile applications. With ACE, app developers can build a single application that works across all EMM vendors. The app developer does not need to maintain multiple copies of their application, does not need to integrate any proprietary code and no SDK or legacy App Wrapping solutions are required."

According to ACE, functions such as App Tunnel, Kerberos-based single sign-on and various security settings that don't require development efforts as well as those which do, will leverage standard APIs and features built into OSes and offered to EMM vendors to "selectively enable on devices."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 09/23/2015 at 12:08 PM


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