Microsoft Unveils Windows 8 Enterprise Features

IT Management

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With Microsoft recently announcing the editions of its upcoming Windows 8 OS, the software giant mentioned its Enterprise version for “those enterprise customers with Software Assurance agreements.” Essentially, Windows 8 Enterprise is Windows 8 Pro with additional IT features. Now the Windows Team Blog has just shed some light on the premium Enterprise features.

Key enhancements of Windows 8 Pro include:

Windows To Go is a fully manageable corporate Windows 8 desktop on a bootable external USB stick. This will allow IT organizations to support the “Bring Your Own PC” trend and businesses can give contingent staff access to the corporate environment without compromising security.
DirectAccess allows remote users to seamlessly access resources inside a corporate network without having to launch a separate VPN and helps IT administrators keep remote users’ PCs in compliance by applying the latest policies, software updates, is easier to deploy, and it can be implemented with the existing IPv4 infrastructure.
BranchCache allows users’ PCs to cache files, websites, and other content from central servers, so content is not repeatedly downloaded across the wide area network (WAN). When used with Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 brings several improvements to BranchCache to streamline the deployment process, optimize bandwidth over WAN connections and ensure better security and scalabilty.
AppLocker can help mitigate issues by restricting the files and apps that users or groups are allowed to run.
VDI enhancements: Enhancements in Microsoft RemoteFX and Windows Server 2012, provide users with a rich desktop experience with the ability to play 3D graphics, use USB peripherals and use touch-enabled devices across any type of network (LAN or WAN) for VDI scenarios.
New Windows 8 App Deployment: Domain joined PCs and tablets running Windows 8 Enterprise will automatically be enabled to side-load internal, Windows 8 Metro style apps.

Microsoft's senior director of Windows, Erwin Visser, commented on likely the biggest Enterprise addition, 'Windows to Go,' calling it a "fully manageable corporate Windows 8 desktop on a bootable external USB stick - this feature will allow IT organisations to support the "Bring Your Own PC" trend." This would fall in line with IT professionals allowing workers to "bring your own device," a similar sort of practice.

Microsoft launched its Windows 8 consumer preview in February, and along with Windows 8 Enterprise, the company will release Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro editions. Expect a possible launch sometime in October.