Windows 8 Consumer Preview was released approximately one month ago by Microsoft with a potential final release date of October 2012. As your trusted IT Services provider, we at All Covered are very interested in how Windows 8 will provide your business with a better OS and user experience than previous versions of Windows provided.
In early March, we sent members of our team to the MVP Nation 2012 Conference where we learned some of the deep dive technology behind Windows 8 and interacted with some of the brightest stars that are members of SMB Nation. After attending the conference and researching the OS, we have decided, based on the features included in the Consumer Preview, that there definitely are some features that will serve your business needs better than earlier versions of the OS have done.
In Our Opinion
Reviewers have argued that Windows 8 is really nothing more than a slick looking OS for mobile platforms, but we disagree. While we do agree that Windows 8 looks pretty darn cool and when installed on a tablet could very well give Apple’s iPad some serious competition, the redesigned user interface and enhanced features will most likely make Windows 8 the go-to OS for all Windows computers.
The Wow Factors
Because we don’t know what other features are currently being developed for Windows 8 we can only provide our opinions regarding what is available for the recently released Windows 8 Consumer Preview version. Based on our current knowledge and research, the most impressive features at this moment focus on mobility, security, and management.
Mobility – Microsoft has blown away the boundaries that limited mobility solutions. New or enhanced features make it easier for your mobile work force to be productive regardless of whether they work from home, grandma’s house, or a cyber cafe in China.
- Touch screen optimization provides users with a familiar user interface regardless of which computing device they are using.
- Windows to Go will allow users to work securely on any Windows 8 compatible machine from any location.
- DirectAccess – When used in environments that use Active Directory Domain Services and Windows Server 8, DirectAccess gives remote users secure access to corporate systems anytime their mobile devices connect to the internet.
- SkyDrive can be used to restore a user’s PC. In the event that a user’s PC fails, the user can reset the computer and then restore their profile which contains their settings and apps.
Security – New features and improvements that were made to features available in previous versions of Windows work together to ensure that data is protected from boot up to shut down.
- Secure Boot takes advantage of the trusted platform module (TPM) which is a secure, integrated circuit (IC) that enables a hardware approach to security from the boot up process.
- BitLocker has been upgraded. With the new version, users have choices when it comes to encrypting data.
- AppLocker can be used to limit access to data. This will help prevent accidental modification or exposure of sensitive data.
Management – When used in conjunction with other Microsoft applications, managing PCs and mobile devices will be easier than ever before.
- Claim-based access control makes it easy to create and push out group policies that ensure users have access to only the data they need to get their jobs done.
- Virtualization with Hyper-V is a robust client virtualization application that makes it easy to develop and test operating system and application configurations on a single computer to check for problems before deployment.
- Restoration of problem PCs and devices is possible through the Windows Recovery Environment. In the event that a computer is not working correctly, it can be refreshed and the user’s profile and documents preserved, or it can be reset to factory condition.
Through the next several weeks, check back with us to learn more about how Windows 8 has addressed mobility, security, and management. We invite you to follow up with us through the next several months as we continue to discuss the newest developments in Windows 8. For more information on how All Covered can help you with your technology and IT support needs contact us at 866-446-1133.