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SAN FRANCISCO — Legacy technology vendors have realized IT needs to manage all devices that employees want to use. Microsoft has now woken up to that, too.

At a press event here today, Microsoft introduced the Enterprise Mobility Suite, a piece of cloud-based software for enterprise administrators to manage the usage of devices for work purposes. Of course, it will work on mobile devices — like an iPad. It incorporates Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory service for keeping track of lots of employees across a company. And it integrates with more than 1,000 applications. It will become available in April.

The news came after Microsoft finally made Office available for the iPad. By comparison, enterprise software for IT might seem like a minor detail, but that’s not quite right.

“This one, perhaps to me, is the most strategic piece of the infrastructure development we’re doing in support of enterprises,” Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said of the Enterprise Mobility Suite.

But it’s not just one step.

It’s part of “a roadmap to build a comprehensive enterprise architecture for IT professionals to be able t bring together their identity management, access management, device management, and data protection into one suite and one enterprise architecture that works across all devices,” Nadella said.

This particular software isn’t much of a surprise, considering that VMware just acquired AirWatch to add mobile devices management to its portfolio. Meanwhile IBM and Citrix have made similar moves.

But more moves could come as soon as next week, when Microsoft holds its Build event.


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