VMware dominated last month's news with more details about its AirWatch acquisition, but its desktop and mobility rival Citrix stole headlines with welcome updates in May. Also this month, BlackBerry made a surprising move to embrace other mobile device management (MDM) products, furthering its multi-platform vision and giving administrators an out with BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES). To further complicate the enterprise mobility management (EMM) market, Google acquired Divide, which could provide EMM and secure containers for Android. Finally, Microsoft introduced the even more PC-like Surface Pro 3.
Here's the biggest news of the month and what IT pros and analysts on Twitter had to say.
Citrix updates XenMobile Worx apps
At its annual Citrix Synergy conference in early May, Citrix added new Worx apps to XenMobile, including Worx Notes, Worx Edit and Worx Desktop in addition to updates in Worx Mail and Worx Web. The new XenMobile 9.0 will also include more security features and support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8. IT pros at the conference said XenMobile has made strides with the Worx apps since they first came out.
Worxspace suite! XenMobile, ShareFile and XenDesktop/XenApp become one! There can only be one! #CitrixSynergy— Jarian Gibson (@JarianGibson) May 6, 2014
Still, some administrators said they've run into challenges with XenMobile deployments. The experience across Worx apps isn't always consistent and not everyone likes the idea of IT pushing apps to users.
Also on the docket at Citrix Synergy were updates to ShareFile, which the company aims to make even more enterprise-friendly with features like the key encryption ownership feature. It also added the ability for companies to connect ShareFile to any content management system.
IT pros muse Microsoft Surface Pro 3
The latest Surface Pro tablet went on sale this month and many IT pros were impressed with the updates. The Intel-based Surface Pro 3 boasts a 38% larger screen, nine hours of battery life and a digital pen. IT pros on Twitter keyed in on the new look, weight and note-taking capabilities. Many reacting to Microsoft's device launch in New York jumped at the chance to buy one:
But not everyone is champing at the bit to get a Surface Pro 3. The $799 price tag is still a stopping point for many potential buyers. Others questioned whether the tablet would truly be the laptop replacement Microsoft hopes it will be:
#SurfacePro3 a laptop killer? I'm still not convinced.— Peter Lyon (@iPELyon) May 20, 2014
Don't get me wrong, #SurfacePro3 is by far the best Surface yet, but it's still a hard sell as a tablet and laptop.— Josh Vickerson (@joshvickerson) May 20, 2014
BlackBerry extends MDM support sans BES
BlackBerry also opened its BlackBerry 10 APIs to let administrators use MDM platforms other than BES to manage its devices. That gives more options to IT pros struggling to decide whether they should stick with BlackBerry management. At the same time, people on Twitter latched onto this statistic about BlackBerry devices' decline:
What Google-Divide acquisition means for EMM
Google's acquisition of containerization startup Divide had the industry abuzz last week. Experts agreed it was a good move for the enterprise mobility market; embedding the container software into the OS could give Android devices a leg up. Plus, the deal puts Google up against Samsung in the Android containerization game. Google hasn't yet revealed what it will do with the product or what will happen to Divide's container software for Apple iOS devices.
Google acquiring Divide levels the Android playing field by including MDM, MAM & a dual persona container in the OS. Diminishes Samsung.— Rob Tiffany (@RobTiffany) May 19, 2014