Windows on ARM will come with built-in support for the enterprise
Windows on ARM (known as WOA) will not be a consumer-centric offering only, according to a new blog post by Jeffrey Sutherland, a program manager lead in Microsoft's management systems group. This comes amid skepticism over Windows RT's enterprise role, and comments by observers that a WOA tablet appears to be no more manageable than an iPad.
Well, it seems that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has devoted some thinking to the hot topic of "consumerization of IT" and has apparently worked at implementing an adequate level of management and enterprise security, even as it has sought to balance that against the privacy of device owners.
In a nutshell, WOA will come with a built-in management client agent to communicate with a cloud-hosted management infrastructure to access line-of-business apps using a self-service portal. Information about the new management infrastructure wasn't given at this point, though Sutherland says that details about it will be unveiled at a later date on the System Center blog.
To configure a WOA device for the first time, the user will have to supply a company email address and password from a new Control Panel applet, in a manner similar to setting up an Exchange email account or performing an activation of a BlackBerry smartphone. Upon successful authentication with a management infrastructure over a secure connection, the user is then directed to install the SSP and the device is registered.
A regular connection with the management infrastructure is henceforth established on a daily basis, for the purpose of maintenance tasks as well as installing internally developed apps. Microsoft says most enterprise tools and methods developed for x86 should continue to work, requiring only that an appropriate app agent be authorized and deployed on the client device.
Finally, disconnecting from the management infrastructure will automatically deactivate (but not remove) installed apps, which prevents them from being launched.