Microsoft: Windows 8 Pro Helps SMBs Boost Productivity, Mobility, Security

Windows 8 Pro Helps SMBs Boost Productivity, Mobility, Security, Says Microsoft; Coming Soon Windows 8, RT & Phone 8 Support to Windows Intune

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Dell XPS 12 running Windows 8 Professional

With the holidays fever in full swing, Microsoft reminds us that for small companies, Windows 8 can boost productivity, mobility, security. In a press release, the company said that the Windows 8 devices are here with vast potential to help companies increase efficiency and productivity in a variety of ways.

When it comes to helping employees be productive, few investments have more potential this year than a new PC with Windows 8 Pro. The company notes, that "according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, companies in the U.S. may be able to take advantage of enhancements to the IRS Section 179 deduction on capital expenditures, which can allow them to fully deduct the cost of equipment such as computers and certain business software."

"This holiday we wanted to make sure that small businesses are aware of some of the features in Windows 8 Pro that can help them stay up to speed with work, while also giving them time to enjoy some well-deserved R&R," Microsoft said.

In addition to the beautiful, fast and fluid user interface, Windows 8 brings together the sites, people, apps and information that you care about most right from your personalized Start screen. It makes it easy to multitask and switch between screens, and it provides an incredible choice of new hardware to make for a compelling and highly personalized computing experience.

Microsoft also notes, that Windows 8 Pro offers the best security around with BitLocker and Trusted Boot, so small businesses can know they are protected.

And, on the mobile productivity front, Windows 8 Pro offers built-in mobile broadband support and Remote Desktop. Microsoft also reiterates that Windows 8 Pro offers better performance so small businesses can get things done faster.

In other releasted news, Microsoft's upcoming release of Windows Intune service will add sideloading and management support to Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 devices--as all three are mentioned in the December 2012 update of Windows Intune Getting Started Guide available from Microsoft Download Center.

Microsoft also release another document "What's New in Windows Intune," that provides an overview of new features and functionality in the latest Windows Intune release."

In addition, a new "Windows Intune Licensing" document reveals Microsoft updating its pricing that it is available on a per-user subscription basis. Starting in December, "for $6 per user per month, Windows Intune is licensable for use on up to five devices -- any combination of Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone, iOS, Mac OS and Android," according to the document, reports ZDNet.

"Software Assurance for Windows is no longer included with all Windows Intune offerings, and pricing has been reduced accordingly," the documentation notes. But it does seem users can opt to continue to pay $11 per user per month to get Software Assurance coverage, though they will have to pay extra for sideloading licenses.

With the new Windows Intune release, "end users will be able to download and install a "Company Portal" Windows 8 and Windows RT app from the Windows Store." Via this app, "they'll be able to find and install line-of-business apps that their companies make available. And as a result of the greater integration between Windows Intune and System Center Configuration Manager, deployment of these apps also is possible through the SCCM administrative console, with apps delivered through the Windows Intune service and installed via the Company Portal app," notes ZDNet.