back to article Microsoft tears the wraps off Windows 8 Enterprise

Remember the enterprise? Despite what has become a fanatical focus on consumers to beat Apple with Windows 8 tablets and Windows phones, Microsoft does – just about. Microsoft on Monday revealed three main editions of Windows 8, due later this year: two for tablets and Windows Pro for “business/technical professionals”, which …


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  1. Richard Wharram

    Boot from USB?

    Welcome to five years ago Microsoft :)

    1. dogged

      Re: Boot from USB?

      so.. you think it's a bad feature and shouldn't be included?

      or were you just being snide?

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: Boot from USB?

        Smileys usually indicate a light-hearted remark.

    2. hplasm

      Re: Boot from USB?

      But iPads don't have USB to boot from.... What? There are other BYODs?

    3. P. Lee

      Re: Boot from USB?

      In five years time, perhaps they'll put out a revolutionary system of booting off an http server.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Boot from USB?

        "[...]a revolutionary system of booting off an IIS server."

        Fix that for you.

        They'd never let you use a vanilla HTTP server.

        1. BlueGreen

          Re: Boot from USB? (@David D. Hagood & P. Lee)

          How does one boot from http then? Nearest I know of is PXE and that's much lower level stuff.

          Would like to know, ta.

          1. Steven Raith

            Re: Boot from USB? (@David D. Hagood & P. Lee)

            Never booted from http, but I've built from http - Debian, some years ago, boot from CD, pick your options, it downloads it all from 't net.

            Makes for tiddly boot media.

            Never though of boot from http.

            Two seconds on google found this though:


            Which sounds like the ticket. Must remember that one....

            Steven R

          2. Anonymous Coward

            Re: Boot from USB? (@David D. Hagood & P. Lee)


    4. Ramazan

      re: USB boot, Welcome to five(?) years ago Microsoft

      I booted live Debian from USB at least 11 years ago, and this wasn't rocket science even then, though it had to be manually adapted for the purpose using some package from "main" repo

  2. MJI Silver badge

    Small / Medium businesses

    The ones with 5 - 15 PC networks, we have everything from 2000 to 7 out there, even 1 Vista, and not long ago Win 98 OSR2.

    Where is their replacement operating system for new PCs?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Small / Medium businesses

      IMVHO that would be Windows 7.

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: Small / Medium businesses

        And it is.

        I am rolling out Win7 machines to several small businesses (we buy pcs ready to go with an OEM OS license) now before Win8 is the standard build on machines.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Small / Medium businesses

      Microsoft always took the view that if the computer didn't run the latest version of windows very well, you got a new computer

  3. Anonymous Coward

    But will users be left wondering

    what the fuck happened to the start button?

    Windows 8 so far is baking up to becoming an epic failure. with UI changes to alienate users, and application backward compatibility issues with Metro to alienate businesses.

    1. MacGyver

      S.S. Microsoft?

      Seriously, who's steering the ship over there? I tried using the beta and couldn't use my computer for basic file management, it's like they have confused what an Operating System is with what a Web Browser does.

      I think we will see a haphazardly released "Service Pack" on day 2 of the Windows 8 release, that will allow users to switch to the interface that users actually want, rather that what MS thinks we ought to have. Either that or we will see market share for the various Linux packages jump ten-fold in the days following.

      Change that doesn't improve functionality or efficiency is not welcomed anywhere.

      1. Vic

        Re: S.S. Microsoft?

        > Either that or we will see market share for the various Linux packages jump

        Sadly, most of the major Linux distributions seem intent on making pretty much the same mistake :-(


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: S.S. Microsoft?

        "it's like they have confused what an Operating System is with what a Web Browser does."

        Microsoft, confusing OS and web browser since Internet Explorer 4.0.

  4. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I suppose they had to do something to combat the ubiquitous 'Ubuntu on a stick' that's gaining momentum these days.

    1. eulampios

      reinventing the wheel...

      Just a live usb feature (many years later) is not enough to make it as usable and secure as Ubuntu. BTW, does MS have any persistent filesystem on stick already (like casper-rw, with possibility to resize2fs and so on) , or one has to wait for another [5-9]+ years to learn about another innovative wheel?

    2. h4rm0ny

      I don't think it's about competing with Ubuntu on a stick (though their Metro interface seems an attempt to compete with Ubuntu's Unity for Biggest Fundamental Error of Judgement in a GUI).

      The way I read the break down above is that you have three categories for actual computers: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise. The basic is your home user package. - the let it find your router and go crowd. The Pro includes all the features you'd really want if you were a business user: seamless file encryption, domain joining, etc. And Enterprise is not Even More Pro. Enterprise is for those that want others to manage their computer. So there's nothing extra in there that a business user has to have themselves, the extras are about integration into a larger organization's systems. So you have the secure remote file management tools, more sophisticated remote PC control and setting up of corporate cache.

      The breakdown makes sense to me: Home, Professional, Professional + Tools for Corporate Integration and Management. Users are going to mostly fall into one of those three categories quite naturally and it makes a lot more sense than the rather forced differentiaion between Professional and Ultimate previously.

      Anyway, the bootable USB fits into this quite nicely. If you read the actual press release it suggests it is more than just a simple copy of Win8 on a USB drive. It's actually a manageable corporate instance so that you can, for example, give temporary contractors, auditors, etc. access to your systems in a more secure way or (from their press release) support the "Bring Your Own PC" crowd.

      Personally, I quite like how the features break down into Home, Pro and Enterprise. Now if we can just have a way of turning off Metro, I think this could be good.

  5. Mike 29

    We're about a year from migrating to windows 7. Win 8 enterprise is will rapidly follow vista into the list of OS's the enterprise skipped.

  6. pip25

    "With Enterprise it’ll be possible to boot from a USB with Windows to Go"

    Meaning, no other edition will have this feature? Seriously, WHY? Why limit this to an edition that most people cannot even get, when there are so few features which are not Metro/WinRT (read: pointless) in Windows 8 already?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "extension of SA to cover any machine using Windows to Go"

      Because it's turning booting from that enterprise-y windows USB stick into one more "seat" covered under that wonderful "software assurance" programme*. BYOD spun as a licence to print money for redmond.

      * You know the one. Pay now, get The New Windows[tm] later, when it's ready. Only vista got delayed and delayed and delayed and then the contract was up, leaving nothing but empty promises and angry customers. This is even more insidious, as it's visibly wilful.

  7. Ian Ferguson

    Three versions, eh

    So there's three versions of Windows 8 in the same way that Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a trilogy?

    1. P. Lee

      Re: Three versions, eh

      More like Aliens 3 (or 4)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great, just what we need more client side cache to eat up disk space!!!!!

    1. Audrey S. Thackeray

      I don't know if we're representative but all our Windows clients have a huge amount of otherwise redundant disk space - (secure) cache is as good a use for it as anything.

      1. Harry McGregor

        That's if your using hard drives.... I have been moving all the small biz I deal with to 120GB SSD drives for the windows machine, and then networks storage (linux/samba) for the real data.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I think windows 8 is actually a "skinny" version of Windows 7 when compared. It's like a really well working build or service pack. Minus the "Metro" interface that is. ;)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suggest they fix the current version before releasing the next.

    In related news, there appear to be showers in the reg's rackspace cloud too!

    1. jbuk1

      What isn't working for you in Win 7 that you suggest they fix? I'm genuinely interested.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Oh, I don't know, how about these ones, bugs and annoyances, to be honest the thing that bugs me the most is you cannot _rely_ on the OS doing the same thing twice.

        Select a pile of files, delete. All? Yes. deleting...... this one's read only delete? YES. deleting..... this ones a system file delete? YES, delete the fsucking files.

        Or how about the number of times the same file is updated due to a security flaw? Windoze might be millions of lines of code, but individual dll/sys files don't. When tcpip.sys needs a fix, why not make sure, for instance, all buffers in the source for the particular your working on have bounds checking

        1. Semaj

          The deleting thing, yeah ... I guess though more annoying (IMO) is when something has locked thumbs.db or similar and you can't delete the folder containing it.

          The second point though - the reason they wouldn't go looking for bugs is that they won't get paid for doing it. The bug will be reported to them, they'll fix it and get paid for it then move onto the next. In a company as big as MS, it's not the job of the bug fixer to go testing - though they could probably email a tester and say "this class is shit - please look for issues similar to bug x".

        2. Blitterbug

          Re: Oh, I don't know...

          Extreme ignorance alert

  10. Anonymous Coward

    IMO they did one thing right.

    Honestly; a Professional version should be enough for professional & power users. When looking at Windows7 and the difference between Ultimate & Professional then I honestly have no desire what so ever to touch Ultimate. Not even if I could get it for the same price; its overkill for the stuff I need to do.

    Professional otoh does provide me with everything I want which isn't available in the regular Home editions.

    So in that respect I think they're doing the right thing to cut back and push Professional forward.

    Having said that... otoh.. Sad times ahead. Don't get me wrong; I think MS deserves what I suspect they'll get when they try to push Metro down our desktop throats.

    What I find sad is that it takes away the attention from everything they did manage to accomplish. And there are some impressive feats in there (all IMO of course).

    I take my Windows Phone, I point the camera onto this screen and see my typed message in Dutch (my native language). Almost instantaneous! That is IMO very impressive.

    I put the stuff on record, I record a French or German spoken sentence and it then reads it out aloud, but in Dutch.

    THAT is what I honestly consider sad. They have quite some potential available already, but they're not using it. All they seem obsessed with (IMO the author worded it quite well) is tablets and mobility.

    Their loss.

  11. Paul Shirley

    "side-load internal, Windows 8 Metro style apps"

    Or maybe it means it will be possible to install Metro apps without going through the Windows store or using a developer machine. Sure I saw some suggestion last year they were thinking about forcing everyone through their own store. What else could 'sideload' mean?

    1. Risky

      Re: "side-load internal, Windows 8 Metro style apps"

      Sounds right. In a proper professional environment no machine will be aple to access the intenet app-store.

    2. MacGyver

      Re: "side-load internal, Windows 8 Metro style apps"

      I used to own iPods, not anymore, not since they encrypted the database and I was forced to use iTunes. I don't own an iPad or an iPhone, I own Galaxy Tabs and other Android devices, because I can load any damn .apk I want. If Microsoft thinks for one second that I will own an operating system that only allows me to install programs that they have made available in their App store, they have GROSSLY misjudged their customer base.

      Someone at Microsoft has clearly lost their god-damned mind.

  12. Ged T

    Windows 8 will be another "by-pass" release for Enterprises

    With most businesses still looking at Windows 7 desktop and Server 2008 R2 deployments, it is (IMHO) very unlikely that Microsoft will "enjoy" much success with Windows 8 Enterprise (Pro is 'at risk' if it does not have sonme the features only availeble to Enterprise users).

    There's not that much "talk" (and even less substance) about support for legacy applications that most enterprises drag around, for instance. I think, too, that it will dawn on Enterprise class customers that their primary concerns are likely not to be about Windows 8 - IPV6 is just one infrastructuyre "Enterprise growth" factor, for example...

  13. Snert Lee

    A Prediction

    Windows 8 with be adopted by enterprise computing with almost as much enthusiasm as they used to greet Windows Vista.

    1. Blitterbug

      Re: A Prediction

      You're probably right that Biz will treat Win8 like Vista, though ironically Vista + SP1 & 2 is essentially a fast, robust, slightly plumper version of Win7 (you may recall SP2 brought the Win7 driver model and masses of stability & speed improvements to Vista).

      I support many enterprises and private users who are perfectly happy with Vista, once properly set up. I can get Vista SP2 to boot in around only 5 to 8 secs less than Win 7 on the same hardware, and once up-and-running there will be no discernable difference between the two, performance wise.

      What didn't help was that Vista co-incided with a rash of demoware & crippleware from the PC manufacturers, to the point where I have seen > 100 running processes on a default install of Vista, and > 90 on some Win7 units (Yes Sony & HP all-in-one PCs, I'm talking about you).

      A well-configured copy of Vista should typically run ~ 55 processes, and Win7 ~ 45. Check yours in Task Manager.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A Prediction

        Well-configured to run nothing useful or not be connected to anything from HP or contain a decent video card.

        1. Blitterbug

          Re: Well-configured to run nothing useful...

          You represent PC manufacturers, perchance? Or you wouldn't say anything quite so fatuous. You are telling me that you will *always* need, on all your PCs:

          Biometric services for fingerprint scanner.

          Graphic tablet service (I have a touchscreen laptop; it does not require this service).

          Fax service.

          Smart card services (2 of 'em). Do you run a company that uses smart cards, like tacho cards? I only have one customer who does, so on their PCs this service stays.

          Acoustic silencer service for CD drives.

          NVidia / ATI external events service (these only add additional UI right-click interaction).

          UPS service (I have a UPS but only intelligent UPSs can use the service).

          Auto update service for Google tooolbars. Bleugh.

          These are just a few arguably useless services you can ditch. There are many, many more. On machines that don't support auto brightness I kick out the ambient light level monitor. On my own machines I disable the Homegroup listener, and also SQL Server (Installed by Office) on PCs that don't need it.

          Yes, if you wish to be brutal you can cripple a highly-functional machine. If you're an idiot.

          1. Blitterbug

            Re: Sorry to double-post but...

            Just wanted to add, cos it made me cross, that I am an ardent gamer and pay for mid to high-end cards. You can't 'cripple' these unless you disable their drivers. You *do* know the difference between a service and a driver?

  14. sgb


    Sounds like a waste of this tech. I can say that in our place it would be the other way around. People would carry their encrypted boot drive around with them and just boot up from whatever device is local.

    That being said, we're in 24/7 service roles where everyone is expected to be available all the time. It would save us a lot of misery to just carry around the boot drive.

  15. Greg D


    Are they still making you use IPv6 for DA? Thats the sole reason we didnt use it with Windows 7 when we rolled out last year (none of us really understand IPv6 properly). Although I still really want to use it cos I cant find another VPN thats available before a user logs on.

    Did manage to get DA working in a test environment, but so much stuff going on that we didnt get (mainly with IPv6), that we decided it would be too difficult to support so ditched it.

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