Microsoft document touts Windows 8 Consumer Preview business features

Feel like having a short read just hours before the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is expected to be available? Why not read Microsoft’s new Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Business! The 16 page document was discovered by The Verge and details the various business-related features of Windows 8 and the Consumer Preview.

After a quick read of the document it’s clear that Microsoft is pushing Windows 8 hard not only for the consumer but for businesses as well. They believe that through immersive applications (those that are full screen and activated through the Start Screen), workers in your business will be more productive; especially with your own line of business apps.

The word productive appears more than just once. Microsoft thinks that the “support for multi-touch and traditional keyboard and mouse interfaces” could make users more productive, as well as how the “touch-first” interface is ideal for “today’s workers” and brings “new levels of productivity”.

Microsoft touts how Windows 8 is perfect on all hardware from ARM tablets to x64 desktop powerhouses, and how through Windows to Go you can have access to a corporate image of your Windows 8 installation on other devices (such as home PCs). Again, “Windows To Go drive enables remote worker productivity” and is completely secure to use.

“Internet Explorer 10 with Windows 8 is designed with business needs in mind” according to the document, which touts their SmartScreen filter as the perfect way to protect corporate users from “socially engineered malware”. Microsoft also makes it clear that business websites that worked in IE7-9 will still function completely fine in IE10 on Windows 8.

DirectAccess is also mentioned in the document, which provides a VPN-like way to access your internal corporate network from outside the office. The feature works when the company uses both Active Directory Domain Services and Windows 8 Server. 3G/4G network support is also mentioned as being native, with the metering system we have already seen.

Other things mentioned in the document include BranchCache, SkyDrive integration, Hyper-V clusters of print servers, BitLocker encryption and AppLocker security, secure boot, PowerShell and VHD support.

The full document can be downloaded here if you would like some light reading before you install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview in just a short time.

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11 Comments

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"Windows to go" could be handy and a cheaper alternative to Checkpoint Abra (which essentially does the same) keeping all corp data within a secure perimeter of the local domain for remote workers, utilising their own hardware at home.

You know what would be awesome - if Microsoft teamed up with Android tablet vendors and offered endusers the ability to upgrade to Windows 8 for a nominal amount. I'm sure there are many users out there with Android tablets who would jump at the opportunity to move to Windows if it was on offer.

While there might be some, I think more would be interested in dualbooting. If that were an option instead, I think more people would prefer that, than to loose android completely.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
You know what would be awesome - if Microsoft teamed up with Android tablet vendors and offered endusers the ability to upgrade to Windows 8 for a nominal amount. I'm sure there are many users out there with Android tablets who would jump at the opportunity to move to Windows if it was on offer.

Your forgetting the tpm needed for windows 8 on arm, and the specific hardware needed.

Where I work, and what I do the full screen apps are a bad thing. I am a software developer and such I have 3-4 visual studio environments open, multiple web browser windows, as well as multiple applications. If even one of them was a full screen that made it a pain to have multiple windows open, it would affect me negatively.

I don't have a touch screen, and none of the software we use is written for touch screens, so that fact that it supports that doesn't mean that it will make any difference. Where I work we don't do any form of remote work, and we never will mainly due to the projects that are worked on, they need to stay internal.

I get that in some cases it may be good, but some of the functionality they say are going to increase business productivity everywhere, and why we should upgrade from a business perspective just doesn't work.

firey said,
Where I work, and what I do the full screen apps are a bad thing. I am a software developer and such I have 3-4 visual studio environments open, multiple web browser windows, as well as multiple applications. If even one of them was a full screen that made it a pain to have multiple windows open, it would affect me negatively.

I don't have a touch screen, and none of the software we use is written for touch screens, so that fact that it supports that doesn't mean that it will make any difference. Where I work we don't do any form of remote work, and we never will mainly due to the projects that are worked on, they need to stay internal.

I get that in some cases it may be good, but some of the functionality they say are going to increase business productivity everywhere, and why we should upgrade from a business perspective just doesn't work.

You have very specific needs, and being a dev you'll be just fine with classic desktop apps.

For general office use, something I support day to day, full screen is how people I support use their apps. They have outlook fullscreen and switch to word etc using the taskbar.

The only difference to them is how to switch within an immersive metro app, and thats a simple one to 'get'.

I feel that the immersive apps will actually slow me down. It's like when using a current gen smartphone I feel boxed in and although I can multi-task it feels like I can't without exiting the app.

With that said I'm going to run the CP with an open mind and see what happens.

firey said,
Where I work, and what I do the full screen apps are a bad thing.

There's a simple fix to this, MS should add a taskbar to metro apps that only shows when you mouseover it, like the "charms" bar.

This is exactly how I feel, I'm going to be downloading the CP for my own use, and I am also going to be downloading it at work for one of our support staff to play with and learn, as eventually our customers will be running it. Our software won't be written in a metro style as we need it to be fluid among all versions of windows that we actively support. 2000/XP -> 7 (Plus all server versions) at this point, however we can't have our support staff telling them to click start

funkydude said,

There's a simple fix to this, MS should add a taskbar to metro apps that only shows when you mouseover it, like the "charms" bar.

But that does me no good if I still have to switch between windows, as it is now I can have multiple open at one time no need to switch between them.

I thought that 'til I tried the iPhone. Using one method to open/switch between aps (i.e. the app/home screen - no idea what it's actually called come to think of it) works pretty well, as does not thinking in terms of the open/closed program paradigm. I do occasionally use the double tap task switcher, which I guess is analogous to the Windows taskbar. If Windows 8 works like this, which seems to be the case, then that seems quite an interesting prospect (the DP seemed to but it was still quite broken in its implementation).

singularity87 said,
I thought that 'til I tried the iPhone. Using one method to open/switch between aps (i.e. the app/home screen - no idea what it's actually called come to think of it) works pretty well, as does not thinking in terms of the open/closed program paradigm. I do occasionally use the double tap task switcher, which I guess is analogous to the Windows taskbar. If Windows 8 works like this, which seems to be the case, then that seems quite an interesting prospect (the DP seemed to but it was still quite broken in its implementation).

I have an iPod Touch, and comparing it with my Android phone, and my Playbook tablet, I can't stand the inability to have the other windows open, or super easy to get to, when I hit the home button, I go back to the home screen and have ot re-open the app, whereas with android, they show up in the notification box, or just hitting back will bring to back to already open windows. Then with the playbook I swipe up and get a full view of all the apps. Now, that works well on a small screen, but for me when I can have 3 windows open at the same time on a computer monitor, I want that. The time it takes to click a window in the background, vs move the mouse to the bottom, remember the icon I am looking for, hope that the right window comes up, is quite a bit more than the way it is on a typical desktop.

Remembering, this is how I use a computer, for people that only use one app at a time, then the full screen (which is what immersive is) works. But for me, even games I run in windowed mode so I can have a web browser open to view guides, discussions, etc so I am not constantly alt+tab'in it.