Microsoft has unveiled the fourth version of its Windows 8 operating system, Windows 8 Enterprise. According to their official blog post, this version features all the capabilities that customers get with Windows 8 Pro, plus premium features designed to provide the mobile productivity, security, manageability and virtualization needs of today’s businesses. Here’s an overview of some of the key features that will be available exclusively to Windows 8 Enterprise customers (this is not an exhaustive list):

Windows To Go is a fully manageable corporate Windows 8 desktop on a bootable external USB stick. This will allow IT organizations to support the “Bring Your Own PC” trend and businesses can give contingent staff access to the corporate environment without compromising security.

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Windows 8 Enterprise announced!

DirectAccess allows remote users to seamlessly access resources inside a corporate network without having to launch a separate VPN and it helps IT administrators keep remote users’ PCs in compliance by applying the latest policies, software updates, is easier to deploy, and it can be implemented with the existing IPv4 infrastructure. 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. VDI enhancements: Enhancements in Microsoft RemoteFX and Windows Server 2012, provide users with a 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. In addition to these features, customers will get improvements to the fundamentals, including end-to-end security and better manageability. Businesses will also benefit from the 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.

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