Microsoft Q&A: with Windows 8, the choice is yours

By Shane O'Neill , CIO |  Windows, laptops, Microsoft

Honestly, I think we've seen a bit of a backlash against tablets. You see it at conferences. In year one, everyone was sitting in the front row with their tablets taking notes. And a year later half had tablets, half had laptops. In year three, everyone is back to using a device with a physical keyboard. It's not as if they don't like tablets anymore. But for a task like typing you can't beat having a real keyboard and also just the ergonomics of a laptop is better.

But it's about choice. The whole point of Windows 8 is choice. Making sure you can choose the form factor you want without having to compromise. You can have a tablet that parks all your Windows apps and actually works within your enterprise environment.

What are some of the key enterprise features that set Windows 8 apart from Windows 7?

The security and networking features come to mind. A lot of them are direct answers to what users have been asking us for.

Trusted boot for instance [a feature that prevents malware from creeping in during boot ups and before any of the OS components are launched]. It may not seem important to someone using their PC at home, but trusted boot is a really important part of keeping your PC secure. Windows to Go [having an entire Windows 8 image transferable a USB stick that works on any Windows PC] is also a great scenario. It's another version of mobility; instead of carrying a ultramobile PC, you can just carry your work environment with you a USB stick.

A lot of the improvements to Windows 8 in general could be improvements in the enterprise. One good example is BitLocker. It's available in Windows 7 but it's been enhanced in Windows 8 to include a feature where if you exceed the number of wrong passwords you're entering to log on to a tablet, instead of wiping the machine clean like many others do, we use BitLocker to encrypt the data instead of wiping it.

So if someone steals your Windows 8 tablet and you get it back, you can use your BitLocker passcode to get your data back and not have to start over with a wiped device.

Let's talk about Metro. It really is the gateway to the heart of Windows 8 the apps, the Windows Store, Web browsing in Internet Explorer 10, but it's best used through multi-touch functionality. How effective can Metro be on laptops where the mouse and keyboard have proven to be the best way to navigate?

I promise you people will use touch on a laptop. We're on a path where your PC is the only device with a screen that you don't actually touch. In addition to smartphones and tablets, you're touching ATM screens, you touch the check-in kiosk screen at the airport.

A lot of touch-screen ultrabooks and ultrabook-tablet hybrids debuted at Computex last week. If you use a laptop that has touch on it, and someone takes it away, it drives you crazy. It's just a natural human interaction to touch.

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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