Windows Phone 8 GDR3 Adds MDM WiFi

Windows Phone 8 has been around for a while now, and while it greatly improved upon MDM compared to Windows Phone 7 there has been some missing pieces.

I have previously written about how MDM works on the platform in general:
http://mobilitydojo.net/2013/03/31/understanding-windows-phone-8-mdm/

While I’m able and willing to configure my wireless networks manually on my phone it struck me as an annoyance that MDM couldn’t provision and configure WiFi for me. Since it wasn’t available I thought that this capability was in the "will be available in future versions of Windows Phone"-department (as in something coming after WP 8.0), but someone’s been busy and it has now been added to Windows Phone with the GDR3 update.

GDR3 may not be available for your specific device as of writing this. If you have a Windows Phone developer account you can dev unlock your phone to download the new build without waiting for your OEM and/or operator. I do not know if it’s purely an OS change or if there is a driver dependency as well so if you have an issue getting it to work keep that in mind.

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Understanding Windows 8.1 MDM

Windows 8.1 has gone gold, or RTM as the more official term is, and while GA is a month away it has at least become available through TechNet and MSDN. The whole Start-button debacle has possibly garnered most of the attention even if Microsoft is trying to focus primarily on other features of the upgrade. A new feature that hasn’t really been talked about a lot is the inclusion of Mobile Device Management (MDM).

Granted, most consumers don’t care about MDM, so I can understand that. But some of us care, and I’m one of them 🙂

About six months ago I covered MDM in Windows Phone 8:
http://mobilitydojo.net/2013/03/31/understanding-windows-phone-8-mdm/

You might want to skim through that article as most of the things there apply to Windows 8.1 as well. The underlying protocol is OMA DM here as well, and the enrollment part of it is basically the same. There are a couple of differences to be aware of though, so I thought I’d walk through a couple of those.

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Windows Server 2012 R2 – Workplace Join from Mobile Devices

It’s only been a year since Windows Server 2012 was released, but we already have a new version of the operating system incoming in the form of Windows Server 2012 R2.

While R2 releases usually don’t change things dramatically, there’s still some new features and general polish to make it worthwhile. If you’ve got a few hundred hours to spare I can recommend streaming through both Build and TechEd sessions over on Channel9 to learn more 🙂

As per the usual marketing speak there’s no end to what the new release can do to empower businesses and enabling visions, etc.

That’s all nice and dandy, but how about seeing if there’s something we can use?

Clearly there’s no need for me to cover everything, but I thought I’d look into the Workplace Join feature today as that must be said to be a feature intended for the mobile crowd. It currently supports iOS in addition to Windows 8.1. Windows 7 has been confirmed as a candidate for support after RTM. Android has an unknown status.

I spun up a couple of servers and configured them according to this guide:
Workplace Join – Setting up the lab environment:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn280939.aspx

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