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VMware activates AirWatch MDM fail removal plan

The good, the bad and the update

Exclusive VMware is updating AirWatch for the second time in just over two weeks after an earlier update crippled the software, which Virtzilla bought for $1.54bn.

The firm told The Reg it plans to release an updated version of the AirWatch Agent, 5.1.2, to fix the problem.

The updated agent will be available from the Google Play Store on March 16 with “full rollout” by March 19 “pending no other issues”, a VMware spokesperson said.

VMware has been forced to act after it emerged that a problem with the AirWatch MDM agent was killing the software’s ability to talk to its SDK. This was potentially breaking mobile apps built to use the mobile platform securely.

Communication was vital, because the MDM’s inbuilt security uses the AirWatch SDK.

The updated AirWatch Agent MDM was posted to Google Play on March 4 but the scuppered security communications came to light thanks to Reg readers. One contacted us to say they knew of a massive rollout of AirWatch MDM to a fleet of Android tablets that had been struck by the problem.

VMware’s AirWatch was forced to hand out an old version of the AirWarch agent to help on the Android deployment.

AirWatch is the mobile device management specialist bought by VMware in January 2014 for a staggering $1.54bn to manage iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices.

The privately held firm was believed to have revenue of between $85m - $100m, with more than 10,000 customers and 1,600 staff. ®

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