Microsoft has moved from promoting Win 8.1 for consumers and is now trying to convince Enterprise users that the coming upgrade makes Win8 business friendly. From The Register we heard about improvements to BYOD support, something that many Enterprise sized businesses are fighting tooth and nail to resist. Near Field Communication, and Wi-Fi Direct sharing are touted as something that Enterprise should want, thus making internet enabled printers even more of a security risk and while Miracast offers a way to connect to displays wirelessly it is unlikely that many users will have hardware which supports WiDi or the upcoming HSA standard. Workplace Join will allow limited access to the corporate network for machines that are not actually members of the domain but at least Biometric authentication support is improved which could make that less of a risk. The automatic launching of VPN when a network resource is requested while the user is outside of the corporate network could be useful with automatic authentication, something not commonly implemented in Enterprise level VPNs.
The Inquirer tells of a few other features, from the boot straight to desktop that has cheered many consumers and a confirmation of the date of June 26th being the initial preview release. They do mention native device encryption being bundled in Win8, perhaps the only feature in this list that Enterprises might see as advantageous as it would mean they would not need additional software to encrypt machines; Endpoint Encryption is a common solution and as Microsoft now owns the security vendor the migration to native encryption could theoretically be quick and easy.
"Much of Microsoft's marketing push for Windows 8 has focused on consumers, but Redmond took time at its annual TechEd conference in New Orleans to explain that its forthcoming Windows 8.1 update will include lots of new enhancements for enterprises, as well."
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