Microsoft extends Windows Phone 8 support until 2016, plans enterprise feature update for 2014

Windows Phone 8

Microsoft has increased the support lifecycle for Windows Phone, from 18 months to 36 months. Windows Phone 8 will now be supported until January of 2016. Along with this announcement, Microsoft revealed an upcoming “enterprise feature pack” update for Windows Phone 8 due in 2014.

“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,” Microsoft stated in an official blog post.

The “enterprise feature pack” will contain the following new features and will be made available in the first half of 2014. The update is geared towards businesses and adds the following new features to Windows Phone 8:

  • 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

Microsoft has increased the support lifecycle for Windows Phone to show the software giant’s “commitment” to the 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,” Microsoft explained.

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