Windows 8 Enterprise: Mobility, Manageability, Virtualization

Windows 8 Start ScreenNow that Microsoft has revealed more details about Windows 8, the IT crowd is taking a hard look at what the Enterprise version will offer and how it will impact day-to-day operations. So far, the news is looking pretty good, especially for freelancers, consultants and contractors who are going to find new ways to plug into businesses with less stress than before.

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Windows 8 Enterprise will contain a number of exclusive features for use in corporate IT environments that address mobile productivity, security, manageability, and virtualization.

What’s on tap? Says InformationWeek:

  • Windows To Go: This is a feature for consultants, contractors and other temporary workers who need access to a corporate desktop image and apps without full permissions. With Windows To Go, you can boot a pre-configured, IT-certified Windows 8 image onto any laptop from a USB drive. It also lets you boot up a Windows 8 image on a Windows 7 PC.
  • Direct Access: This holdover from Windows 7 connects PCs to a corporate network and puts them under control of corporate IT policies without requiring a VPN. The feature becomes active each time the user connects to the Internet. This makes it easier for admins to maintain control over remote PCs, and improves security by ensuring that remote workers are in compliance with corporate policies.
  • BranchCache: Another feature for remote or mobile users. It facilitates local caching of data and files from central servers so that frequently used documents and data can be accessed locally, reducing loads on network links.
  • Enhanced RemoteFX: Another Windows 7 holdover, this delivers the full Windows GUI experience on virtual desktops. It’s been upgraded for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Server.

Don’t expect to see Windows 8 in action at the enterprise level very soon. Pilot programs will certainly kick off this fall, but full deployments will most likely start to happen in 2013.

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