Microsoft says that its new version of Windows 8 will be better set up for employees are bringing their personal laptops, tablets and smartphones to work.
For a while now IT managers have been under pressure to include personal toys on company networks.
Writing in his bog Microsoft’s Management Systems group manager Jeffrey Sutherland, said that Vole had factored in a move towards the consumerisation of IT, when it came to designing Windows 8.
He said this means that devices running Windows RT including tablets, hybrid tablet/laptops and as well as small laptops running on power-efficient ARM chips from Qualcomm, Nvidia or Texas Instruments will all play fair with company networks.
There has been some speculation that Microsoft has not been able to include all of the corporate “enterprise” features that it originally intended to be on Windows RT, however it turns out that this is not the case.
Sutherland’s blog said that business apps, like home-grown apps developed by IT departments, are one of the most important use cases for consumer devices in the enterprise.
He said that some organisations want to directly control and manage access to their internal LOB apps, including the distribution of the app binaries for installation.
He said that within Windows there are two parts to the WOA management client. There is the built-in system component, which we’ll call the agent; and a Metro-style app, and the self-service portal, or SSP. This last part allows the consumer user to browse for and install LOB apps made available to them.
An IT admin specifies the group of Active Directory (AD) domain users who are authorized to connect devices into the service. They also have the option to specify the maximum number of devices allowed per user and there is a new Control Panel applet on their device. The user supplies their company email address and password, just like they do to set up an Exchange email account. The agent then performs a service lookup to locate the organisation’s management infrastructure based on the user’s email address.
But it is also possible to enforce company security policies on consumer devices while they are on the company network, he said.