Microsoft's (MSFT -0.8%) Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), due May 1, will combine mobile device/app management, identity/access control (single sign-on is promised for hundreds of cloud apps), and data protection services.
Like rival offerings, EMS will manage devices/apps on multiple platforms (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). It makes heavy use of existing Microsoft management tools, such as Intune and System Center's configuration manager, as well as the new Azure Active Directory Premium identity management service.
Satya Nadella once more talks up Microsoft's willingness to support rival platforms/apps. The company is fresh off changing Windows Azure's name to Microsoft Azure, a move many consider fraught with symbolism.
EMS will join a hotly competitive mobile device/app management market that features VMware's (VMW +0.7%) AirWatch unit, Citrix's (CTXS -0.3%) Zenprise unit, and BlackBerry's (BBRY -2.7%) BES 10, as well as offerings from private Good Technology and MobileIron.
Microsoft is counting on its security/access tools, as well as EMS' ability to complement System Center's data center/cloud management tools (will Microsoft try to bundle/discount?), to help give it an edge.
Earlier: Microsoft launches Office iPad apps