What's New in the Windows 8 Enterprise SKU and Enhanced Software Assurance?

Days after announcing the four different editions of Windows 8, Microsoft today has released a partial list of features in the coming Windows 8 Enterprise SKU. Windows 8 Enterprise edition will offer customers when it becomes available the following exclusively features that will offer mobile productivity, security, manageability and virtualization features to today's enterprise customers: […]

Days after announcing the four different editions of Windows 8, Microsoft today has released a partial list of features in the coming Windows 8 Enterprise SKU.

Windows 8 Enterprise edition will offer customers when it becomes available the following exclusively features that will offer mobile productivity, security, manageability and virtualization features to today's enterprise customers:

  • Windows To Go is a fully manageable corporate Windows 8 desktop on a bootable external USB stick and will allow IT organizations to support the "Bring Your Own PC."
  • DirectAccess allows remote users to seamlessly access resources inside a corporate network without having to launch a separate VPN and helps IT administrators keep remote users' PCs in compliance by applying the latest policies, software updates.
  • BranchCache allows users' PCs to cache files, websites, and other content from central servers, so content is not repeatedly downloaded across the wide area network (WAN). When used with Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 brings several improvements to BranchCache to streamline the deployment process, optimize bandwidth over WAN connections and ensure better security and scalabilty.
  • AppLocker can help mitigate issues by restricting the files and apps that users or groups are allowed to run.
  • Windows 8 Enterprise and Enhanced Software Assurance Features DetailedVDI enhancements in Microsoft RemoteFX and Windows Server 2012, provide users with a rich desktop experience with the ability to play 3D graphics, use USB peripherals and use touch-enabled devices across any type of network (LAN or WAN) for VDI scenarios.
  • New Windows 8 App Deployment: Domain joined PCs and tablets running Windows 8 Enterprise will automatically be enabled to side-load internal, Windows 8 Metro style apps.

Microsoft is also offering the aforementioned Windows 8 SKU specifically designed for enterprise customers with Software Assurance agreements. In addition to Windows 8 Enterprise, Software Assurance customers also have the ability to subscribe to MDOP.

Here are some of the details of the new licensing benefits SA customers will have:

  • With Windows To Go Use Rights under SA, an employee will be able to use Windows To Go on any company PC licensed with Windows SA as well as from their home PC. Additionally, through a new companion device license for SA, employees will be able to use WTG on their personal devices at work.
  • Windows RT Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) Rights: These rights will provide access to a full VDI image running in the datacenter which will make Windows RT a great complementary tablet option for business customers.
  • Companion Device License: For users of SA licensed PCs this optional add-on will provide rights to access a corporate desktop either through VDI or Windows To Go on up to four personally owned devices.

In addition to the aofrementioned features, "Windows 8 Enterprise customers will get improvements to the fundamentals, including end-to-end security and better manageability. Businesses will also benefit from the immersive, personalized experience Windows 8 has to offer and the no-compromise business tablet that will mean businesses no longer have to choose between the functionality of a tablet or the productivity of a PC," Microsoft adds.