Microsoft employees must use Apple iPhones in China

From ComputerWorld: In a step that perhaps symbolizes the steady erosion of bridges between nations, Microsoft is ordering its staff in China to abandon Android phones to exclusively use iPhones.

The ban begins in September, when staff will be required to use iPhones for work — specifically for identity verification when logging into devices. Microsoft wants all its staff to use Microsoft Authenticator and Identity Pass. Microsoft is going to distribute iPhones to employees that currently use Android devices as part of the initiative, a report from claims.

What makes that decision problematic is that in China there is no Google Play store, which means Android app stores are fragmented, with local Chinese manufacturers offering their own app platforms. Chinese smartphone companies are also building their own operating systems, further fragmenting the mobile landscape there.

This may become a bigger problem in the future as regulators force Apple to support sideloading: “Forced sideloading could open the door to risks like fake apps, malware, and social engineering attacks that have long plagued the Android ecosystem,” Hexnode CEO Apu Pavithran recently warned.

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