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Samsung continues push for businesses

Samsung is continuing its push to become the Android brand for businesses, releasing a new feature that will separate work and personal data on a users’ smartphone.

The software, which the company introduced at the Mobile World Congress Barcelona on Monday, promises an experience similar to the separation built into BlackBerry’s latest phones. With the new feature, called Knox, users can put a password on some e-mail, browser, contacts, calendars, file-sharing and business apps to keep them behind a protected wall. That should help to prevent personal data leaking into work folders, and vice-versa, reducing the risk of embarrassing e-mails or unexpected company disclosures.

Samsung made its first big push at the business space at January’s Consumer Electronics Show. Samsung has seen great consumer success, but business customers have been wary of Google’s Android mobile operating system, which can be less secure than Apple’s iOS or BlackBerry’s operating system. Establishing itself as a secure Android handset maker is a smart move for the company if it wants to duplicate its consumer success in a business setting.

It certainly seems to be a company priority. Making phones attractive for work and play has become increasingly important as more companies allow employees to put company e-mail accounts, remote access to company systems and other files on their personal phones.

Samsung even ran a series of spots during the Oscars to tout the company’s strength in device security and usability, going hard after Apple’s iPhone and the BlackBerry by highlighting their weaknesses in an office environment. Like BlackBerry has done in its campaigns, Samsung highlighted that people often carry two phones for work and offered its phones as a way to streamline gadget use.

The company also is pushing tablets for work use, including a new iPad mini competitor called the Galaxy Note 8.0. Like other devices in the Note line, the smaller tablet has a pen that lets users highlight text, draw and write on their screens. The company has yet to announce a price for the new tablet, but said it expects to release it sometime this spring.

Related stories:

Samsung takes on iPad Mini, expands lineup pen-based tablets with Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung bid to block iPhone feature for the blind denied in German court

New iPhone ‘hack’ lets users bypass the lockscreen

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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