Samsung unlocks Knox at zero bucks

The race to zero in the mobile device management market has begun

Samsung has dropped the cost of its mobile device management (MDM) suite Knox to $0.

You don't get all of Knox for that price, as $0 what you'll pay for a new “Express” version of the service offering basic MDM features like a cloud management portal and the ability to create a password-protected partition in which employer-provisioned apps and data are accessible. Outfits with more than 250 devices to manage will need the new dollar-a-month “Premium” edition, which adds Active Directory integration, application white-and-blacklisting and the ability to manage mobile devices according to centralised policies.

Samsung's not doing all the heavy lifting itself, as it has brought in identity management outfit Centrify to provide KNOX's identity and access management layer.

The two companies are making much of the fact that KNOX is now very cloudy: it's possible to do most management from a SaaS-ifiied portal. Such tools, it's hinted strongly, are rather more modern and sensible than on-premises tools.

KNOX is also now rather cheaper, at least in the Express edition, than the many rivals Samsung faces in the expanding MDM market. The Korean Company can probably afford to discount, because it has the chance to turn a quid on devices, something only BlackBerry and Microsoft among MDM rivals can count on. Or not, in BlackBerry's case.

Pure-play software rivals like VMware, which go into the MDM business with its US$1.54 billion AirWatch buy last January, don't have that advantage. Rivals also now have a very aggressive price point out there to counter, or match. ®

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