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May 11, 2015

Distributing Windows Mobile Apps

Although Microsoft is selling more Lumia smartphones than Nokia did before Microsoft acquired the Nokia devices in April 2014, it’s still a distant third in the worldwide smartphone market. According to IDC, Android continues to dominate the global market with a whopping 76.6% share in the fourth quarter of 2014, followed by iOS with 19.7% and Windows Phone with 2.8% (Blackberry and others make up the rest). Of all the smartphone players, Windows Phone had the smallest year-over-year increase, growing just 4.2%. From a mobile app standpoint, the disparity between operating systems isn't nearly as pronounced. According to research conducted by Statista, the Windows Phone Store offered 300,000 apps as of July 2014, compared with 1.2 million for the Apple App Store and 1.3 million for Google Play.

To date, Microsoft’s penetration in the enterprise mobile app space has been slow. As a result, the features and functionality of apps and management capabilities aren't as mature as enterprise mobility management options for Android and iOS. Still, as Microsoft continues to assert itself in the mobile space, this is creating opportunities for corporate administrators to make Windows Phone apps available for deployment to workers who are using these devices. A comprehensive mobile application management (MAM®) solution can streamline the distribution of Windows Phone apps while making it easier for employees to find them on your organization’s enterprise app store. A robust enterprise app store that offers an intuitive user experience can help drive mobile app adoption. Meanwhile, an enterprise app store that’s offered via MAM can enable IT administrators to control access to the store and to specific apps through role-based permissions.

This ensures that field service technicians, marketers, engineers, accountants, and employees with explicit responsibilities are able to securely download only those apps that they’re authorized to. The Windows Phone experience is different than iOS and Android, so it’s important for administrators to bear this in mind when providing apps and data to end users. For instance, unlike Android and iOS devices which rely on the use of icons on the home screen, Windows Phone users can apply tiles of different sizes to alter the layout of their home screens to suit their needs and usage habits.


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