Windows 8 for Enterprises - Is it Ready for the Challenges Ahead?
The Advent of Windows 8 â€“ The Enterprise Perspective The Windows 8 operating system has been launched and consumers worldwide have already got their hands on it. Now it is to be observed, what enterprises do regarding the new platform?
Enterprises are always circumspect in adopting new operating system since they need to first assess the ROI behind migrating their fleet of systems from one operating system to the other. Many enterprises prefer to stick to their existing systems and a single version for years together, and usually skipping the version releases in between. For instance, many banks and financial institutions have continued to stick to Windows XP and even older versions of the IE browser. But some enterprises are keen to implement Windows 8 due to specific business scenarios. Some of the industries, such as retail or airlines are keen to have their systems based on the new version of Windows. Twentieth Century Fox, the famous movie studio developed an app for Windows 8 wherein its broadcast partners could browse and search their repository with access to their extensive features, information, images and videos for licensed content. Similarly, Rooms To Go, one of the largest furniture retailers in the US recently launched a Windows 8 app which could be utilized by their salespeople in their retail stores. The app helped customers to pick and choose furniture, add them to shopping cart and pay the cashier. They now have the app on Windows RT, which Microsoft released recently on October 26.
Microsoft Windows 8 â€“ The Enterprise Experience
Microsoft has said Windows 8 focuses on user experience and security which enterprises need. The new OS boasts of features which can help people to be more productive with multiple interfaces. LOB Apps also benefit from the immersive full screen experience of the Windows 8 OS, boosting user interaction drastically. Windows 8-based business tablets are personalized according to the enterprise too.
For mobile workers, Windows 8 has several features which can help them stay connected and productive. The Windows To Go app is specific to mobile workers which is actually a full corporate copy of Windows 8 which replicates the business apps, and settings within a portable storage device. Windows 8 also includes built-in mobile broadband features which are compatible with 3G and 4G telecommunication. The Windows Store apps for the enterprise are fast increasing too. New features including Trusted Boot and the enhanced BitLocker drive encryption, and claim-based access control secures corporate data when sent to a client device and back-end infrastructure. One can take benefit of highdefinition graphics, touch support and USB device support on a local computer. Implementation of virtual desktop infrastructures is much more cost-effective now with the launch of Microsoft Hyper-V, which is a client virtualization technology which allows developers to develop, debug and test multiple configurations. Windows 8 also boasts of the rare ability to integrate with existing client management infrastructures too. Samsung has leveraged Windows 8 enterprise capabilities with Windows 7 tablets and now have enterprise contracts to supply U.S. Air Force with Windows 7 tablets along with many other organizations. David Song, senior vice president for marketing, Samsung Electronics, says that internal policies play an important role in the adoption of a new OS in the enterprise and also says that customers either wait and watch or implement the new version instantly. Analysts have been divided if Windows 8 is right for consumers or enterprises or both especially with its new touch interface. Although, the devices housing Window 8 are consumer-friendly, there are ample features for enterprises.
Top 9 Windows 8 features for enterprises
Some analysts believe that Windows 8 adoption will be higher and faster in industries with customer-facing roles. Microsoft has launched Windows 8 with a number of apps tailored for the consumer, as well as for the enterprise with the entry of all-in-one devices.
Direct Access - This feature was first featured in the earlier OS, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7. This feature helps remote users to access internal resources within the corporate network without the need for VPN. It also helps authorized users to connect to corporate networks in compliance with the latest regulatory policies along with software updates.
BranchCache - This feature helps branch office servers or cache files and remote server content so that it becomes easy to access the files. This implementation streamlines the deployment process while powering high bandwidth over WAN connections.
AppLocker - This feature lets you the accessibility features for users to run particular applications based on their unique identities and the Ids of the files. Rules can be created to allow or deny applications for external including Metro-style apps and desktop applications.
RemoteFX - This feature provides support for remote touch along with new USB devices. It also provides graphics rendering functionality for rich virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment support. It helps run Windows 8 desktops in a VDI environment with touch-based UI support.
Secure Boot - This feature prevents unsecured OS from loading during startup. It stores certificates that identify security of operating systems which helps in avoiding malware from loading during booting process.
BitLocker - This feature is supported in both Professional and Enterprise Editions of Windows 8. It helps protect system drives as well as removable drives along with SAN storage.
Windows To Go - The Windows To Go workspaces feature creates a bootable desktop on a USB drive. It needs the Enterprise edition while this feature takes the system's internal hard disks offline, hibernate is disabled, while there is no recovery option.
Scalability - Windows 8 now can support multiple memories and supports up to 128GB of RAM while the Professional and Enterprise Edition can both support 512GB. The OS can support two physical CPUs, but the number of logical processors will be different from system to system. Nearly 32 cores are supported in 32-bit version while 256 cores are available in the 64-bit versions.
Client Hyper-V - The support for Client Hyper-V from Windows 8 Professional and Enterprise editions makes use of the new hypervisor technology and encourages a minimum of 4GB of RAM. VMs can be shifted between Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Hyper-V too. It is laptop-friendly.
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The Windows 8 operating system has been launched and consumers worldwide have already got their hands on it. Microsoft has completely focuse...