Google I/O kicks off tomorrow, and one of the things we expect to the Mountain View company to focus on this year is Android for enterprise. Companies bring lots of users, and lots of money, to whichever platform they choose to put into place for their employees. For years, BlackBerry cornered this particular market, but in the last 5-10 years, they’ve lost market share in this arena as well as the consumer market. Apple has pushed iOS as a viable option, with its sandboxed, walled-garden approach. Google wants Android to be the first and obvious choice for businesses, but it’s not there yet.
The Information says that Sundar Pichai is partnering with chipset manufacturers like Qualcomm to build specific enterprise solutions. Chips that can securely store user data like passwords and confidential company information could be more secure by building that hardened security directly into the hardware. By not relying on just a secure software layer, these chipsets, and by extension the devices built on them, could be more valuable to enterprise level businesses. If these devices are also running Android, Google can get leverage into this arena.
There’s not a lot of detail on this directive from Google, but it’s similar to Samsung Knox and Apple’s Secure Enclave. Because I/O is a developer’s conference, we’ll probably hear more about this in the next few days. Intel and the software firm SAP have scheduled a media event tomorrow that to present what they’re working on with Android and the enterprise world. Sundar Pichai is also going to be announcing the next version of Android at I/O this year, probably tomorrow during the event’s 2-hour keynote. The ‘L’ version of Android will be called Lollipop or some other dessert beginning with the letter. It will probably be the 5.0 version as well, but it will likely not be available until the fall. We’ll have most or all of the details about it after tomorrow, though. Some of those details will surely include information about where Android for businesses is headed.