Google kills hope for Android security with 3LM retreat

Consumerization means an end to personal/work division -- but not when it comes to Android, apparently

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What we seem to be left with is a Google that will keep the Android platform unfriendly to business usage. "Google has an overriding emphasis on the consumer, with a surprising blindness to the enterprise appeal of consumer technology," Hazelton says. He's being too kind. Google is amazingly stupid to not take the simple step of baking in the management APIs of 3LM (or equivalent) into Android so that any Android device can be accessed in any context a user desires.

Not only did this strategy make iOS the business standard, it did so with zero harm to the consumer. In fact, it made the iPhone and iPad even more attractive to consumers who could now do much more with it if they wanted to. By contrast, Microsoft's omission of MDM APIs until the Windows Phone 8 version that shipped this month kept Microsoft's mobile platform out of its natural sweet spot: enterprise usage.

The mind boggles as to why Google would so unnecessarily limit Android, especially when it had the technology to make it work well in business. Whatever Google's reason, the result will be that Android-accepting businesses will have to steer employees to Samsung's devices (which implement Samsung's own Safe management APIs supported by most major MDM tools) or perhaps to Motorola Mobility's devices (whose APIs are also supported by the major tools), assuming Motorola's devices don't fade away under Google's ownership.

Buyers of Google, HTC, Asus, and other brands of Android devices will be excluded from companies where security is a legitimate concern. MDM vendors and IT admins alike will have to manage unnecessary differences in Android models' management capabilities. And Apple will continue to consolidate its hold on the business end of mobility.

What a dumb strategy for Google -- and what a disservice to Android's potential.

This article, "Google kills hope for Android security with 3LM retreat," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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