Editor's Note: Windows 8 Ready for the Enterprise
With end-to-end security features and manageability enhancements, Windows 8 will enable IT pros to keep their users productive and secure anytime, anywhere and meet their expectations for productivity across a broad range of devices.
By Mitch Irsfeld
It’s easy to see why the buzz around Windows 8 has been directed toward the new interface and end-user features, but Windows 8 Enterprise offers all the capabilities of Windows 8 Pro plus enterprise-grade features designed to provide the mobile productivity, security, manageability and virtualization needs of today’s businesses.
Let’s start with productivity. Windows 8 is designed to support today’s work styles and still work seamlessly with your existing Windows management infrastructure. To remain productive from virtually anywhere, your users are calling on you to support a proliferation of devices in varying form factors, and provide access to the corporate environment from those devices. Windows 8 is designed to run well and deliver a consistent experience across many types of devices from high-performing desktop PCs to touch-based tablets. Here are several ways that Windows 8 can increase productivity:
- Printing – Windows 8 includes a built-in print driver that enables users to print to a wide range of printers without having to find, download, or install device drivers from CDs or websites. IT administrators no longer need to load different driver packages onto the print server. And when the print server is running Windows Server 8, client computers running Windows 8 don‘t need to download a driver to use a printer.
- Form Factors –Windows 8 is well suited for touch-centric devices, but support for mouse and keyboard input ensures that Windows 8 is equally easy to use on existing laptop and desktop form factors. For ARM devices, Windows RT shares the same foundation of Windows 8 and includes Office 15 apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote).
- Internet Explorer 10– IE10 with Windows 8 provides a new browsing experience for the corporate workforce with Windows-based touch devices while the desktop version of Internet Explorer allows enterprises to continue using existing line of business apps. And IE10 carries over the advancements made in earlier versions with tools like SmartScreen filter to help protect corporate customers from socially engineered malware. Learn about Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8.
- Cloud Power – For businesses interested in public file sharing technologies, SkyDrive provides a simple, easy-to-use cloud storage solution. SkyDrive files can be made private or public and you can also allow access only to specific people.
On the administration side of mobile productivity, Windows 8 offers new options from mobile broadband usage monitoring to bandwidth optimization capabilities. And with Windows To Go, IT administrators can create a managed corporate desktop image, including line-of-business apps, settings, and corporate data,on a bootable USB drive that workers can take with them wherever they go. And a device booted with Windows To Go is as secure as a fully managed PC with features like Trusted Boot and Bitlocker drive encryption.
Claim-based access control in Windows 8 allows IT admins to dynamically control access to corporate resources based on the user and device properties that are stored in Active Directory.
Client Hyper-V on Windows 8 is a robust virtualization platform that enables IT Pros and
developers to run diverse client and server environments on their Windows 8 PCs. IT administrators can test and manage multiple environments from a single PC, enabling them to evaluate changes in a test environment in advance of deploying to a production environment.
Find out what’s new with Windows 8 for IT pros and download the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation for a free 90-day evaluation to test your apps and infrastructure on the final, released to manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8 Enterprise. Moreover, for testing your existing applications, download the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit.
To stay up to date with the latest information and resources for IT pros, bookmark the Springboard Series for Windows 8, and join the Windows 8 IT Pro Forums to keep up feedback and discussion from your peers.
Thanks for reading,
Mitch Irsfeld*, Editor of TechNet, is a veteran computer industry journalist and content developer who managed editorial staffs at several leading publications, includingInformationWeek, InternetWeek and CommunicationsWeek. He is also an editor for TechNet Magazine and managing editor of the TechNet Flash newsletter.*