Samsung's Knox ready but delayed, thanks to support services setback

Samsung's Knox ready but delayed, thanks to support services setback

Summary: Samsung's MDM push will be a few months late after the company found it needed more time for testing.

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Samsung's assault on the enterprise market may have to wait for a while after delays hit the support services surrounding Knox, the enterprise security software that was supposed to ship with the new Galaxy S4.

Samsung announced in Knox in February along with plans to tackle the growing 'bring your own device' (BYOD) enterprise mobile market, which has seen the rise of iOS phones and tablets in the enterprise alongside the demise of BlackBerry.

Knox includes Samsung's Security Enhanced (SE) Android, which provides separate containers for users work and personal applications and data among other features.

It was supposed to have been included in Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S4 shipping this week. However, people working on Knox with Samsung told the New York Times on Wednesday that Knox would instead be released around July.

The setback comes as a result of Samsung needing extra time to test the software internally and with carriers, according to the paper.

Knox components will still ship with the Galaxy S4, but the support services it requires to function would not be available until a later date, the Times reported.

"All the Knox framework components come standard on the device, with full-feature activation by solution providers and distribution channels to become available at a later date," Samsung said in a statement to the Times.

"Galaxy S4 is Knox-ready technically. Commercial availability depends on B2B contracts," Samsung added in a statement to ZDNet.

Samsung is using cloud identity firm Centrify to help deliver Knox's mobile device management (MDM), after working with the company on SAFE. SAFE is Samsung's SDK for ISVs to develop applications with 'Zero Sign-On' from Samsung devices to its cloud.

Samsung has now tapped Centrify as its OEM partner for Knox to provide Knox Microsoft Active Directory integration, which helps deliver mobile authentication, policy management and MDM capabilities.

Besides sandboxing and application security, one of Knox’s big appeals to the enterprise, which would bring it up to par with iOS, is its promise to work with already deployed MDM systems, provided by the likes of Good Technology, Zenprise, AirWatch and most of the major security vendors like Symantec and McAfee.

Topics: Security, Android, Mobility, Samsung

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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3 comments
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  • Vaporware

    Not yet guaranteed, but who knows.. it might never actually materialize.

    The bit that worries me is that "it will be right there, lurking in your phone, but only some parties will be able to activate it". Scary.
    danbi
    • How is that any different

      from having Microsoft Office preinstalled? Or AOL? Or MPEG2 video codecs?
      Michael Kelly
      • more likely comparison

        I believe it is more appropriate to compare it with an application firewall that is installed by default on every device, but the user cannot switch it on, only "some third party" can.

        With preinstalled trial versions of software, it is you who decides when they get activated and if at all --- or just remove the junk to free resources. Not likely the case here.
        danbi