Windows 8 blog talks about "Bring Your Own" PCs for enterprise

Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed some more details about the Windows 8 Enterprise SKU. One of the biggest features of that version is Windows To Go, which will allow users to store their work Windows 8 desktop on a USB drive and boot up that desktop at home or virtually any other PC.

However, a number of companies are also supporting employees who provide their own hardware for work purposes, rather than the company giving employees their hardware. This “consumerization of IT" trend is the subject of the latest entry in the Windows 8 blog.

Microsoft's Jeffrey Sutherland, a program manager lead in the Management Systems group, talks about how Windows 8, including the version made to run on ARM-based processors (also known as WOA), can be used by enterprise customers who allow their workers to use their own devices. He states:

We know that developers are going to find it easy and convenient to build elegant Metro style apps that automatically work on any Windows 8 system including WOA, and developers of line-of-business (LOB) apps won’t be any different. But many organizations want to directly control and manage access to their internal LOB apps, including the distribution of the app binaries for installation.

That means that such internal Windows 8 Metro apps cannot be offered to employees via the Windows Store as is the case for consumer-based apps. For WOA-based PCs, Windows 8 has created a new management client for enterprise customers that can deliver such apps to employees. The user can connect to the company's internal network with just his or her email address and password via a new feature in the Control Panel in WOA, as show in the screenshot above.

Using SSL Server Authentication, the IT agent can then approve the employee on that PC and send that PC a user certificate. The IT admin has a number of options in terms of setting up how much control an employee has with his work PC on Windows 8, including Maximum Failed Password Attempts. For this option, Sutherland says:

So, when a user exceeds the password entry threshold, Windows will instead cryptographically lock all encrypted volumes and reboot the device into the Windows 8 recovery console. If your device has been lost or stolen, this effectively renders the device unreadable. But if you’re simply the victim of your young son or daughter trying to get to Angry Birds while your device is locked, you can easily recover with the use of a recovery key that Windows 8 can automatically store on your behalf in your SkyDrive account. This way, you are able to get back up and running without enduring a lengthy wait to re-install all of your apps and copy down all of your data.

Metro apps for internal business use can use Windows 8's Metro style self-service portal (SSP) app. An early version of this app can be seen above. This system allows IT admins to offer several different ways to let employees download work apps, including ones internally developed by the company, website links and apps from the regular Windows Store.

IT admins can also disconnect a Windows 8 work PC from the company server, including removing the activation key for any Metro company apps.

Images via Microsoft

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we were talking about the bring your own PC concept the other day with how some companies instead of buying computers for their employees are making their employees buy their own computers to use at work... talk about ridicilous... this is a different concept here, as its just desktop transfer breifcase type stuff with full profile and apps basically... but companies going to the you buy your own hardware with your own money route is getting more common and more annoying for employees

neufuse said,
we were talking about the bring your own PC concept the other day with how some companies instead of buying computers for their employees are making their employees buy their own computers to use at work... talk about ridicilous... this is a different concept here, as its just desktop transfer breifcase type stuff with full profile and apps basically... but companies going to the you buy your own hardware with your own money route is getting more common and more annoying for employees
yeah you just get a computer allowance like a car allowance..

works for me!

BGM said,
yeah you just get a computer allowance like a car allowance..

works for me!

it's a pain in the butt for asset management though, but some companies believe it or not don't even give you an allowance, they make having a PC part of the job requirement for employment... we've seen a few of those already

s3n4te said,
Now your company gets to know about your personal life as well!

NO they don't.
Go and watch the day two keynote from this year's MMS.

Devices and PCs are authenticated through federated AD, nothing more.
Your device is still yours, but the trust relationship is established.

Maybe it's just me, but I honestly hate the BYOD concept... I'd much rather have company-based PCs, whilst offering a fairly customizable environment to the user.

I think the best point around the consumerization of IT is that Microsoft will provide services to enable side-loading to iOS and Android of corporate LoB apps.
That was in the day two keynote from the Microsoft Management Summit.

Microsoft finally started talking about some sale points from bussiness point of view. We will see how this will all shape out.