Google acquires mobile device management start-up Divide

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Google has acquired Divide, a start-up that helps firms manage mobile devices, which are increasingly being used by employees to get their jobs done.

The acquisition was in line with the company’s efforts to bring its Android business closer to more business customers.

Although Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, it is less common inside firms, where BlackBerry dominates.

To futher complicate matters, most firms now allow their employees to connect their own tablets and smartphones into the corporate network, a practice dubbed BYOD (bring your own device). This makes life for corporate technology managers more challenging.

Generally, these managers prefer devices that utilise Apple’s iOS operating system because it is relatively secure and easy to set up, said Canalys principal analyst Chris Jones.

Apple’s apps, for example, are extensively tested before they are entered into the company’s App Store. In comparison, Google exerts less control over the apps allowed into its Play store.

In addition, Android devices are produced by different manufacturers and use different versions of Google’s operating system, noted Ojas Rege, vice president of strategy at mobile device security company MobileIron. In contrast, Blackberry and Apple manufacture their own devices.

Jones explained that acquiring Divide would help the Internet giant “build security and control into the Android operating system.”

“This is a smart move and probably something Google should have done earlier,” he added.

Founded by former Morgan Stanley executives, Divide helps corporate tech staffers keep their employees’ tablets and smartphones secure within the workplace.

This will help companies track how their employees use their mobile devices within the workplace, control the apps downloaded by employees, check for viruses, perform security checks, update apps and remotely wipe devices if necessary.

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