Windows 8 ARM: no remote management for businesses

A few hours before Microsoft officially released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, it published a guide for businesses considering adoption of the new operating system. While Microsoft unsurprisingly touts the OS as being ideal for businesses of all sizes, that’s not strictly true, as there are some limitations in the ARM-based version of Windows that will make it much less appealing to enterprise.

As Ars Technica spotted, the guide explains: “Although the ARM-based version of Windows does not include the same manageability features that are in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, businesses can use these power-saving devices in unmanaged environments.” This means that businesses won’t be able to remotely manage ARM-based tablets through System Center, remotely deploy apps and programs to ARM devices, or add those devices to Active Directory domains.

Microsoft identifies the ‘Windows to Go’ option of creating a USB drive with a corporate Windows 8 image on it as an alternative, but the need for such a workaround does appear to undermine the case for Windows 8 tablets in enterprise environments, especially when iPads and Android tablets can already be managed remotely.

For launch at least, it appears that Microsoft is positioning Windows 8 on ARM as a consumer-focused offering; however, it's more or less a given that business-focused x86 and x64 tablets will become available for larger organisations that plan to provide tablets to their staff, and these non-ARM devices will offer the enterprise management features that Windows 8 on ARM lacks.

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15 Comments

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We were waiting so long - and here it is: one system for all. One for pc,, one for arm tablet, one for high-end phone, one for low-end phone, one for super-high-end phone. They have one thing is common: interface that people won't buy.

hummell said,
We were waiting so long - and here it is: one system for all. One for pc,, one for arm tablet, one for high-end phone, one for low-end phone, one for super-high-end phone. They have one thing is common: interface that people won't buy.

you need to change you bull##it supplier, its getting a bit too strong!

I thought the point of this was to have a Windows 8 Tablet that would be able to sync settings from the enterprise and take it with you.. guess this arm thing isn't doing that for me.

Add to that the lack of any Silverlight plug-in support in either Metro or *Desktop* mode and you've ruled out using it for many Microsoft's own enterprise technologies. For example, Power View in SQL Server 2012 requires SL5 and I believe the Windows Azure Management Portal uses Silverlight too. Some of the upcoming System Center products do to. With no ActiveX support, instant messaging and presence awareness in SharePoint and Dynamics CRM are pretty much off the list too.

So yes, in my view, Windows on ARM is only for consumers.

spc1972 said,
Add to that the lack of any Silverlight plug-in support in either Metro or *Desktop* mode and you've ruled out using it for many Microsoft's own enterprise technologies. For example, Power View in SQL Server 2012 requires SL5 and I believe the Windows Azure Management Portal uses Silverlight too. Some of the upcoming System Center products do to. With no ActiveX support, instant messaging and presence awareness in SharePoint and Dynamics CRM are pretty much off the list too.

So yes, in my view, Windows on ARM is only for consumers.


but I thought this was obvious from get go, the Arm version being a pure metro tablet with no x86 support, of course they'll be zero compatibility with AD, GP etc. That doesn't mean that no future management tools will be made. Its direct competition to iPad/Android.

If you want corporate features go with an x86 based tablet that also lets you use all your legacy apps/hardware.

Arm based tabs will be sold and marketed in a very 'obviously for consumers' strategy, MS have said as much.

Ok, there is a bit of a 'leap' in the conclusion.

To say that Active Directory will not work, is completely false, as there would be no way for a 'user' to log into a ARM based tablet because of how NT authentication works.

What Microsoft has revealed so far only talks about securing corporate data using traditional tools not being available on ARM. Which is something the majority of businesses do not use, and is certainly not something 'consumers' would even encounter, need, and don't realize it exists today in Windows 7.

thenetavenger said,
Ok, there is a bit of a 'leap' in the conclusion.

To say that Active Directory will not work, is completely false, as there would be no way for a 'user' to log into a ARM based tablet because of how NT authentication works.

What Microsoft has revealed so far only talks about securing corporate data using traditional tools not being available on ARM. Which is something the majority of businesses do not use, and is certainly not something 'consumers' would even encounter, need, and don't realize it exists today in Windows 7.

It specifically state businesses. Logging into the OS has little to do with Active Directory. None of the Home/Starter/Basic versions work with AD either. What do the majority of businesses not use? I work at a school, and most of the other schools I know all use remote management. Any decent sized business will push out apps and remotely management machines or they'd have to walk clear across campus to do simple jobs.

Or maybe I misinterpreted what you said. I honestly can't speak to what features will be there and what won't as I haven't followed it that closely.

kavazovangel said,
Well, there will be x86 tablets too, so I don't see this to be a big issue.
I agree. This would be bad if there were no useable x86 tablets

kavazovangel said,
Well, there will be x86 tablets too, so I don't see this to be a big issue.

The main problem, from what I've read, anyway, is the price for x86 tablets will be at least several hundred dollars more.

farmeunit said,

The main problem, from what I've read, anyway, is the price for x86 tablets will be at least several hundred dollars more.

Cost is not a problem to corporations as logn as its above CAPEX, it then adds value to the companys assets.

[quote=Frazell Thomas said,]That isn't good...[/quote

could be a huge opening for Blackberry Mobile Fusion which lets companies control all the mobile devices under it.(iDevices, Android, BB, Windows Phone and possibly Win8)