Two big things occurred yesterday. First and foremost, Hurricane Sandy decided to pay a very unwelcomed visit to the East Coast, wreaking havoc for millions of people, most notably in the New York/New Jersey area. The other big thing was that our good friends in Redmond officially launched the Windows Phone 8 platform.
It’s no secret that my primary mobile device is a Nokia Lumia, and I am not going to waste any time justifying my contrarian ways. Now mind you, I am still mad at Microsoft that my Lumia cannot get the Windows Phone 8 upgrade, but that’s neither here nor there today. Joe Belfiore did yet another of his somewhat creepy presentations (come on, the Jessica Alba part was just awkward)…especially when he trotted out his kids. But what WAS interesting was the announcement of Kid’s Corner.
If you didn’t catch it, here’s what Kid’s Corner allows you to do:
Hand over your phone without fear. Kid’s Corner grants your little ones access only to the apps, games, videos, and music you choose for them, so you can relax and let them play. They can open Kid’s Corner on their own, but your Start screen, apps, and info are protected by a password you set. Only on Windows Phone 8.
I was among many to quickly react to that announcement and say hmm… In fact, my good friend Jack Gold was quick to tweet:
So when does Kids Cornr get extended so enterprises can have a protected space on BYOD? #windowsphone #wp8 @windowsphone
My response was: “That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking!!!!”
So what is Kid’s Corner. Technically, it looks like a sandbox with user access control. Hmmm….doesn’t that sound right up the alley of mobile application management?
Now one could say that this already exists in third-party solutions, but as with many third-party solutions, they just don’t feel as if they are as tightly integrated into the OS as they could be if they were done by the OS manufacturer?
So what would it take for Microsoft (or Google and Apple for that matter) to make such functionality core to their respective OSs? There’s also of course the venerable BlackBerry Balance in the forthcoming BB OS 10 that FINALLY delivers on what Balance should have been in the first place. I should be more precise and say that Balance is a different means to the same end, because the new Balance seems to be a virtualized instance of the OS as opposed to a dedicated partition.
The bigger question is of course picking the “right” approach. Containers, virtualization technology, or just do it all natively and individually (app and content wrapping) offer IT departments many options…each with their pros and cons. That said, I do think it would be very interesting to see the four major mobile OS development houses provide a native means for mobile application and content management.