Microsoft Endpoint Manager enables AOSP Android Device Management via Premium Add-On
Microsoft Announced this week The ability to manage Android Open Source Project (AOSP) devices via Microsoft Intune, which is available as a “premium” add-on for Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) subscribers.
The AOSP management capability was launched in the “General Availability” commercial launch phase. Intune can already manage Android devices, but some Android devices that use AOSP apps don’t meet Google certification requirements. Microsoft’s premium AOSP MEM add-on capability allows organizations to manage such devices, without having to meet Google terms.
AOSP management puzzle
Here is how Microsoft describes the scenario that the premium AOSP MEM add-on aims to address:
Due to the flexibility of the Android platform, not all variants of the Android Open Source platform meet Google’s certification requirements for integration with Google Mobile Services (GMS). Integration with GMS is required to enable some capabilities, such as access to the Google Play Store and Firebase Cloud Messaging-based push notifications. Many devices that are now critical in enterprise scenarios do not have the ability to take advantage of GMS but still need to be managed along with other devices to securely access corporate resources and protect sensitive information.
There are not many Android devices that are currently compatible with the above scenario. Microsoft has only listed one product line, RealWear hardware.
“at this time, RealWare Devices (running Android 10.0 and above) are the only devices supported for managing AOSP in Microsoft Endpoint Manager,” the announcement noted.
These RealWear devices appear to fall within Microsoft’s definition of “specialized hardware” used with Intune. Definition of specialized devices can be found at This Microsoft document.
MEM Premium Wallets are coming
The announcement noted that when it comes to managing Intune, Microsoft has additional plans special MEM Premium for specialized devices, which will be sold as part of a “future premium portfolio.” This bundle of specialized device management capabilities will incur additional enterprise licensing costs.
Here’s how the announcement featured Microsoft’s plans:
When we’re ready to launch our new Advanced Endpoint Management plans, an additional license to manage and protect specialized devices, including RealWear, will be required as an addition to your subscription that includes Microsoft Intune. For more information, see Manage specialized devices with Microsoft Intune.
For now, though, only organizations using RealWear hardware need an Intune subscription to use the newly released AOSP management capabilities, the announcement explained. Microsoft has not indicated when this new Advanced Endpoint Management package will be released.
Outstanding Transformation in MEM
The idea is that Microsoft plans to charge MEM customers extra for premium add-ons April, when Microsoft launched this concept. At the time, Microsoft described a number of plans to add additional Intune functionality under the distinct MEM banner.
MEM subscriptions include Intune, Microsoft’s mobile device management tool. What’s new, though, is charging for premium MEM add-ons that will enhance Intune’s functionality.
The general idea of Microsoft subscriptions, which may entail monthly or annual enlistment payments, is that organizations pay in the ongoing developments of Microsoft products. The additional costs for MEM subscribers to use the premium add-ons, though, mark a turning point from this general concept.
The first MEM premium add-on was released in April. she was Remote AssistanceA “secure” help desk service that integrates with MEM. It was priced at the time at “$3.50 per user per month” and had other requirements, such as an E3 or E5 license.