We knew that when Mac OS X “Mountain Lion” shipped that many Mac users would immediately download and upgrade to it to take advantage of the 200+ features it offered. Thus it is important that a product that facilitates the actual logging into a Mac (i.e. authentication) and management of Mac systems by IT to be able to support the new Mac OS on the same day it ships. Having a 90 day policy to eventually support a consumer/end user oriented operating system is not sufficient — that 90 day policy is good enough for server oriented operating systems where IT is cautious to upgrade to it until the first service pack comes out, but you can’t hold back 10s of millions of end users from upgrading their personal devices that they bring into work. And by being an authentication solution, by not having day 1 support means a user can’t log into their newly upgraded Mac system.
Hence we are quite proud to announce that when Mountain Lion shipped the other day, that we were the only solution that had a shipping product that extends Active Directory to Mac to deliver a support for Mountain Lion. Offering Day 1 support (vs. no support or just offering a beta) for a new Apple OS is a great bellwether for a vendor’s commitment to the Apple platform. A further bellwether for commitment is also support for iPhones and iPads that are invading the enterprise, and of course Centrify is also the only vendor to also extend Active Directory to not only Macs, but also iPhones and iPads.
As part of our Day 1 support for Mountain Lion, Centrify also added support for new features that were introduced in this new version of the Mac OS. For example, Centrify supports Apple’s new Gatekeeper feature by providing a signed installer package with Mountain Lion. Gatekeeper ensures safe downloads by protecting users from inadvertently installing malicious software. It features 3 levels of security, allowing only installation of applications from the Mac App Store, applications from Mac App Store + Approved Developers, or any applications. Using Centrify’s enhanced Group Policy support for Mountain Lion, administrators can control which applications a user can install on their Mac by requiring that the application be digitally signed and validated by Gatekeeper, as shown in the screenshots below:
In terms of availability, Centrify DirectControl for Mac OS X supporting the current 10.8 version is now available from Centrify and its partners. Current Centrify Suite customers can download DirectControl for Mac by logging in to the Centrify Download Center at http://www.centrify.com/support/downloadcenter.asp. More information on pricing and how to buy is available at http://www.centrify.com/products/try-it-buy-it.asp.
Users of Centrify Express, or those wanting to try Centrify’s Active Directory authentication solution for Mac OS X and iOS, can download the free Centrify Express for Mac OS X at http://www.centrify.com/express.
One final technical note: it is important to know that Mac users must upgrade to this newer revision of Centrify DirectControl or Centrify Express before upgrading their Mac with Apple’s OS X 10.8. Changes to the directory service architecture in Mac OS 10.8 make it incompatible with the existing Centrify DirectControl and Centrify Express for Mac OS 10.7/10.6. See the release notes for more details!