Windows 8: Microsoft's pitch to the enterprise

Windows 8: Microsoft's pitch to the enterprise

Summary: Microsoft is promoting Windows 8 as a bridge between consumer users and enterprise professionals seeking a more secure and manageable operating system.

SHARE:

Windows 8: Microsoft's pitch to the enterpriseGuest contributor Charles Cooper, executive editor at our sister site CBSNews.com, filed this report:

Microsoft's Windows chief Steven Sinofsky opened up his pitch at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona today by noting that "the last time we made a generational change was Windows 95."

Nothing like a big dose of hype to kick off a big product announcement. To be fair to Microsoft, however, this was an important event as Windows 8 is being touted as nothing less than a touch-friendly "re-imagining" of Windows. But while the spotlight obviously focused on what the new OS will offer consumers, Microsoft also used the occasion to make a quiet pitch to the IT community.

See also: Windows 8 Consumer Preview: a fresh start for MicrosoftIt's Windows 8 download day: Here's what we knowTour the first Windows 8 betaWindows 8's app collection

In a preview product guide for business, Microsoft promoted Win 8 as a bridge between consumer users and enterprise professionals seeking a more secure and manageable operating system. In the days and weeks ahead, business users will get an opportunity to test the system against the bold promises. But in the meantime, here are some of the highlights of what Microsoft says they can expect:

DirectAcces

Will IT administrators be able to kiss their virtual private networks goodbye? The DirectAccess feature lets remote users access the full complement of internal corporate resources without first needing a separate connection. No word yet on encryption so this offer raises the obvious security questions and will likely need further sussing out.

Business app development

Managers can centrally manage, update, and distribute Win 8 apps created in an enterprise and they can stay within the corporate firewall. Microsoft also promised that a majority of existing line-of-business applications which ran on Windows 7 also will work on Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit versions).

Scalability starting with tablets

Both 32-bit and 64-bit tablet computers running Windows 8 will integrate into a company's existing IT management infrastructure. Assuming Microsoft makes good on that promise, it gets rid of an administrative headache, allowing the company to deal with tablets in the same way it manages desktops and laptops within the rest of an enterprise.

Keeping data safe

Playing up Win 8 as a way to keep corporate data safe, a Windows To Go USB drive will remain active for the duration of a contractor's employment-the goal being to ensure that no corporate data gets stored on a personal device. Windows To Go Drives can also be issued to employees working outside of the office. After Windows 8 users insert their cards into a Windows 7 or Windows 8 compatible PC and reboot, they get their entire personal environment, and operate as a fully managed device. After the card gets removed, they can move on and use it on another PC.

BitLocker Drive Encryption

And speaking of security, I'll say this about Microsoft: Its figured out the sheet music that is going to resonate with IT. Microsoft says the latest version of BitLocker is faster and more secure and works without causing interruptions. BitLocker comes with support for Encrypted Hard Disk Drives which come pre-encrypted from the manufacturer. One cool feature here is the ability of an IT administrator to selectively encrypt individual directories instead of entire drives. As free space gets used, Microsoft says, it will be encrypted.

Built-in HyperV integration

Microsoft has streamlined the overhead needed to run virtual machines. Rather than requiring a separate PC for each configuration, Microsoft says IT will be able to conduct development and testing of several app configurations and operating systems on a single device. If it works as advertised, that could save time and money.

Mobile support

Windows 8 natively supports 3G and 4G telecommunication and allows data metering. costs low with built-in mobile broadband metering. Win 8 also allows remote users to access files cached at headquarters but access the content locally.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

12 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • That's swell,

    But if your OEMs don't make desirable hardware, it doesn't mean a thing. BYOD was the iPad's nose under the tent. We may be past the point where you can put the genie back in the uninspiring hardware bottle. If Acer, Assus, Dell, HP, and especially Lenovo don't turn out a lot of lust-worthy hardware at competitive price/performance levels Win 8 tablets may not make it, even in the enterprise.
    matthew_maurice
    • it is not about the hardware

      but what the software can do
      Tim Cook
      • Tell that to the WP7 guys.

        And the fact the in 2011 all PC vendor sales were down, [b]except[/b] Apple, might say otherwise.
        matthew_maurice
  • Thin, Light, Beautiful

    Three things computer hardware (even windows computer hardware) can't have too much of any more.
    txscott
  • DirectAccess was introduced with Windows 7.

    DirectAccess was introduced with Windows 7. The trouble is, XP doesn't support it, so VPNs prevails.
    bradavon
  • Windows 8 in enterprize is not happening

    Ain't gonna happen. It's riddled with multi-tasking issues due to it's gui not the computer hardware. People often work on 5 or more windows at a time. Win 8 only alow 2 panes at a time. It's also going to be a help desk nightmare to resolve day to day issues. Thinks that MS thinks they are making things easy, are not so. Windows 7 will be the next XP.
    Bakabaka
    • Seriously? You going to go there?

      Multi-tasking issues? Have you even tried it? Just to point out your ignorance, last night I had multiple IE windows going, playing media files from the media player, raiding Dragon Soul in WoW, and install the Server 8 Beta in a hyperV session, all on a rather modest PC 6gb memory and running a AMD A8-3800 APU processor/chipset.

      Seriously? Ignorant or trying to be the next big troll? Just sayin
      MrCaddy
    • Ignorant much?

      The desktop is still available. Educate yourself.
      kstap
  • Question - can you turn off the Window8 'tile' desktop?

    In my workplace, we have jobs to get done. We aren't in the market for an 'experience'. We turn out a product, and it has to work and be supported. Neither we nor our customers are in the market for entertainment while working.

    If Windows8 is going to force us to the desktop model of Windows1, we're going to release on other platforms and discontinue Windows.
    HollywoodDog
    • First of all, every workplace requires

      job to be done, otherwise, it wouldn't be called "workplace".
      Second of all, have you even tried Win8 Consumer Preview? With 1 button click, you get the Desktop mode, full windows 7 experience. What Windows 1 are you talking about?? Please educate yourself before posting, people notice much
      DontBeEvil
  • Things that suck

    It's ugly, garish, and unintuitive. I like how it switches between the Metro and Windows 7 interfaces depending on what you're doing.

    And how is the average consumer going to figure out how to get back to the Start screen...or turn off their computer?

    This will be a bigger turd than ME and Vista combined.
    rag@...
  • Ugly utility.

    It is ugly, but it works really well.
    hayneiii@...