Is Apple preparing to destroy Microsoft in the enterprise?
Today in Apple: An Apple sneak attack on Microsoft? Plus: Secure Enclave and Touch ID, and Apple readies iOS 7 updates
An Apple Sneak Attack on Microsoft?
There's a very interesting article on PC Magazine about Apple putting all of the pieces together for a massive attack on Microsoft on the enterprise. The article makes a persuasive case that Apple has thought things through clearly to make iOS 7 a big success at the enterprise level.
Major tech companies are taking the idea very seriously since Apple announced new business capabilities in iOS 7, many of which focus on making iOS gadgets a better fit with companies' Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategies. Apple is finally serious about making iOS a plausible mobile business option, and Microsoft in particular should take heed.
A quick run-down of new enterprise features includes:
Single Sign On (SSO): With Enterprise Single Sign On, a business user has to log in only once to access corporate apps.
Per App VPN: With iOS 7 and any supported VPN product from vendors such as Cisco and Juniper, VPN connections are launched at an app level: IT can configure apps to automatically connect to the company's VPN only when they are launched.
Open In Management: Krishnamurti noted that the Open In feature helps prevent data leakage because IT can now control which apps an iOS 7 device uses to open a document, through managed apps.
Managed Applications Configuration: With a third-party MDM solution such as one from Mobile Iron, IT can configure apps with parameters specific to geographic regions, divisions, and/or security requirements. With such an MDM product, IT can push configurations, such as server name, username, and password, to managed apps on iOS 7 devices.
Third-Party App Data Protection: Third-party apps use iOS 7 encryption by default, rather than depend on the app's developer to include that encryption.
Other enterprise-oriented features include business licensing management of apps from the App Store, improvements with Mail and integration with Microsoft Exchange server, as well as faster downloads and access to content using Mavericks Caching Server 2 and iOS 7.
I have to admit that I hadn't thought of all this when I saw the video of the iPhone 5S/5C event. But it does make a lot of sense. The enterprise is really Microsoft's biggest cash cow right now, and Apple could do very well if it is successful in its attack. It may be the last gasp for Microsoft as it slowly fades away into irrelevance in the years ahead.
The Importance of Apple's Secure Enclave to Touch ID
There's a very illuminating post over at Quora by Brian Roemmele, President at Multiplex Media Corporation, Founder and CEO at 1st American Card Service, that explains why Apple's Secure Enclave is so important to Touch ID, one of the big new features in the iPhone 5S.
Much of this seems to have been missed by many in the media, but its worth a read if you want to really understand what Apple has been doing over the last seven years.
With the September 10th, 2013 announcement  of the iPhone 5s and the Touch ID fingerprint technology, Apple has moved the world quite a leap forward with security and a magical way to gain instant access to our iPhones. This was a rather long journey for Apple that I know will bear fruit for the next 10 years.
In the torrent of the billions of words already written about Touch ID very, very few people have really understood just how revolutionary this really is. Apple not only has developed one of the most accurate mass produced biometric security devices, they have also solved critical problems with how the data from this device will be encrypted, stored and secured. Apple Calls this the Secure Enclave and it is a relatively new concept.
Apple has taken a very slow and methodical approach with the release of Touch ID. We can see that there was a tremendous amount of amazing work that has gone into this project. All of this convergence took over seven years of very hard work. It includes many patent applications, the acquisition of AuthenTec, the selection of the A7 processor and the integration of the TrustZone suite all baked together into what we now know as Touch ID.
This has been a long journey that has only just been made public and I am rather certain that Steve Jobs would be quite proud.
Apple Already Preparing Updates to iOS 7
9to5Mac is reporting that Apple is preparing updates to iOS 7. iOS 7.01, 7.02 and 7.1 are already showing up in logs at various sites. This shouldn't surprise anybody, Apple has done similar things in the past.
Based on Apple’s past release history, iOS 7.0.1 and iOS 7.0.2 are designed as successive bug fix updates, while iOS 7.1 could bring either new functionality or support for new hardware. Apple typically releases bug fixes updates within a few weeks following a major iOS launch, so it is somewhat unsurprising to see Apple employees already testing the new versions.