There will be at least four versions of Windows 8 when Microsoft releases its next operating system later this year. Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro are the consumer versions of the operating system, while Windows RT will be available preloaded on some ARM-based tablets and other devices.

Windows 8 Enterprise is the company’s new tool for business customers. It will have all the features of Windows 8 Pro, plus some enterprise extras, which Microsoft explains in a new blog post.

Windows 8 devices

Enterprise customers will have access to Windows To Go, a tool that lets them load Windows 8 on a bootable USB stick, allowing users to carry their desktop with them and use multiple computers while maintaining a connection to your corporate network and keeping network security intact.

Windows 8 Enterprise also includes AppLocker, which lets IT manager restrict access to files or apps and Windows 8 App Deployment features will allow businesses to side-load Metro style apps on computers. Other versions of Windows 8 will only be able to install Metro apps downloaded from the Windows Store.

In other words, in addition to support and security features, Microsoft is giving business users the ability to customize the Windows experience for their employees’ computers. For the most part, your first Windows 8 PC at work will probably look a lot like your home PC, but your IT department will be able to control your access, while providing you a few enterprise-only features like that whole nifty Windows to Go thing.

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10 replies on “Microsoft describes Windows 8 Enterprise features”

  1. I can’t believe they’re putting the metro interface with it’s reliance on gestures on desktops.  Why not go all out and do servers too?

    Unless there’s a way to permanently set it to the ‘classic’ interface on desktops, I’m skipping this entirely.

    1.  We’re not sure what they’re going to have for desktops yet.  The preview releases were just previews.  We have to wait till the beta/RC releases before we can be sure what the desktop experience will be like.

      Though they are going to be pushing for more alternate forms of UI for the full range of systems.  Like eventual integration of MS Kinect, among other changes that are coming.

      So also depends on their long term plans…

  2. Leave it to Microsoft to screw up a fresh slate.  You would think they would introduce the “ONE OS” to rule them all but instead have carved it into bite sized useless chunks with tiered pricing and licensing.  For a moment I thought that MS has actually joined the rest of the OS world in the 21st century.  Guess I was wrong.  Well so much for Windows Vista… errrr.. I mean Windows 8.

    1.  A “ONE OS” to rule them all is not really practical.  There’s at best a OS that covers a given range.

      Since the needs between mobile use, general consumer PC use, and high end and Enterprise use are quite distinct and a OS that covers them all would just be very bloated and would not support the low end as well as it would support the high end.  While forcing the low end to have features they will likely never use.

      Windows needs to be especially light weight for mobile usage and that is where MS primarily is pushing Windows 8 with the Metro UI.

      While, so long as MS continues to use the present business model of selling their software, instead of alternatives like using ad based revenue, then it only makes sense to also split what they charge according to what they offer.

      Mobile devices especially will also have to be cheaper.  So easier to charge less if there is actually a difference in the software being offered.  While Enterprise and power users will demand performance and security and would be more willing to pay a premium for that capability and extra features.

      That they’re limiting it to seemingly just 4 versions and only three are actually for different user types is pretty good compared to the litany of versions they’ve been offering the last few years for Vista and then Windows 7.

      Really, be glad they’re at least getting rid of the useless version like Starter Edition, etc.

  3. with an enormous habitat of so far free and independet software producers and vendors for over almost 30 years now it wil be interesting to see if these will accept the new beginning dictatorship and emperor doom of microsoft with win 8 ….. at least in the most important market – business – microsoft not even dares to do so it seems. 

    1.  Uh, how is this different from what they’ve been doing for decades?

      The Enterprise version of Windows is not new and unlike the so called free and independent solutions, users don’t have to alter or overly customize MS’s Enterprise software because it is already set up for their type of usage.

      The only thing that might change is the percentage of MS’s market share in the Enterprise market if Windows 8 is both a success and proves the better Enterprise solution.

      While the other solutions are likely to be continued to be used because not everyone’s needs are the same and there are times a custom solution is preferable to a pre-packaged one and vice versa.

      1. my argument did not target the business segment of MS OS market but the rest, that MS tries to close down under its one and only control for market access, at least if it is metro oriented, obviously trying to follow the steps of apple or google …. making programmers paying their obulusses to the “almighty” in any case too and tying users down to the OS vendors bottleneck ….

        1.  Then you should be more clear as this is a article on the Enterprise Edition of Windows 8!  So it directly impacts the business segment of the market.

          However, even for the rest of the market Windows 8 doesn’t change much of anything but attempt to spread Windows desktop OS into the mobile market. 

          While the mobile market has not been devoid of MS influence for almost 30 years.  Windows CE and other examples litter that time frame, along with Windows Phone OS being the more modern example.

          As to OS bottleneck…  they all have some sort of bottleneck.  The perfect OS has yet to be invented!

          1. the point is that in this statement to the enterprise edition a lot over strategies and intensions in the regard to the other versions of the OS are integrated, sometimes the reading between the lines is the important one. and i am not adressing the mobile market at all, but the general intentions of MS in regard to gain more control over the application market for its OS in general in trying to do “an apple” via metro. and as i already said, the impact f this will have to be seen yet.

          2. Sorry but if you’re addressing Metro then you have to include the ramifications of the mobile market because that’s where it’s mainly targeted.

            Even the application market is being modeled towards what the mobile markets have already developed with their app markets.

            However, more control is relative as much of it will be just to ensure compatibility across multiple platforms and support for legacy applications means Windows 8 on x86 systems will continue to support side loading and traditional Windows style installations and not be limited to just the app market. 

            Such adherence would mainly only be enforced for Windows RT.  Since it won’t support legacy apps and frankly shouldn’t given the problems posed in running x86 software on ARM.

            While for the rest of the traditional market, no, we aren’t seeing anything different than what MS has been doing for decades now!

            If anything it’s getting better with fewer versions of Windows that helps simplify things, and eliminates versions that were frankly useless.  While still targeting the key market ranges that MS has traditionally been interested in.

            You have to be careful of reading too much between the lines… you can wind up reading more than is actually there.

            MS already dominates the regular PC markets.  They’re just trying to expand into the Mobile markets and strengthening where they’ve grown weak in the server and Enterprise markets.

            So the only thing I agree with you is the impact of Metro has yet to be determined and a lot depends on Windows 8 success in the mobile markets!

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