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The Suitability of Windows 8 for Enterprises

Posted by Vinay Bhatia

The PC industry is undergoing a rapid change with tablets cannibalizing the sales of desktops and portable computers. Recent industry data for the last quarter of 2012 show that sales of desktop and portable computers declined by 4.1% and 3.4% respectively, while tablet shipments rose 78.4%.

Microsoft recently launched Windows 8, its tablet-friendly operating system, blurring the line between a laptop and a tablet. Windows 8’s rich touch-based user interface and new operating system features, together with its availability on several compatible devices of different sizes and form factors, including the Microsoft Surface, provides consumers and enterprises with a variety of choices.

Windows 8 has a number of features that are beneficial to the enterprise such as –

Security & Compliance related

  • Windows 8 devices that carry the Pro and Enterprise editions can be joined to the Active Directory domain, thereby enhancing security,

    and enabling centralized management.

  • Windows To Go enables Windows 8 device users to work in a secure environment without retaining any part of their job-related data on

    those devices. This mitigates risk of data exposure, a risk faced by enterprises that allow BYOD.

  • App Sandboxing is another interesting attribute which safeguards user privacy.
  • Direct Access enables remote users to connect to the corporate network from any location without a VPN connection.
  • BranchCache optimizes WAN bandwidth by copying content from the main office and caching it at branch office locations, allowing client

    computers at branch offices to access the content locally rather than over the WAN.

Centralized backup management

  • With the Folder Redirection facility, where the Documents folder, generally stored on a local drive can be redirected to a network

    location, users can access files from any computer on the network, and also allows centralized back up of documents.

User experience

  • It provides a uniform user experience across devices by automatically transitioning application data thanks to its roaming application

    data feature.

  • Windows 8 departs radically from earlier editions of Windows operating systems. It works best with touch and is drastically different

    from the earlier mouse-based versions and hence requires some re-orientation.

We have been working with Windows 8 for past year and have experienced no major issues related to browser or App compatibility. We are currently building a suite of Windows 8 Apps in our Windows 8 lab and using the new OS for a range of touch screen devices.

We see a large number of enterprises showing interest in the new operating system. Many businesses using Windows XP, who had originally planned to upgrade to Windows 7, are opting to upgrade to Windows 8 instead. There are others who are likely to make the transition after the launch of more business apps currently being built by technology companies. Some organizations are conducting pilot tests to check if Windows 8 can support traditional Windows 7 apps. The results have been encouraging so far.

Do share your experiences with Windows 8.

About Author

Vinay Bhatia- Solution Architect, Wipro Limited

Vinay Bhatia is a Solution Architect with more than 13 years of experience on Microsoft Technologies including Strategic Consulting, Architecture & Design, Presales and Competency Development. He is currently leading the Microsoft Strategic COE initiatives and driving the early adoption of Microsoft Technologies including Windows 8, Windows 8 App Development, SharePoint 2013 and Kinect. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering and a Post Graduate Diploma in Computers.

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Comments (1)

Michele Thistle - April 25th, 2013

I really enjoyed your thoughts on how Windows 8 security and how compliance is beneficial to the enterprise. Windows 8 certainly provides consumers with a variety of options. Super exciting to hear that you are building a suite of Windows 8 apps in your lab. I am glad you have enjoyed your experience! From the public sector side, we are also seeing a number of organizations excited about Windows 8, and will be profiling a few case studies in up-coming blog posts.

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