back to article Microsoft dangles carrot at SMEs, eases Windows 8 Enterprise licensing

Microsoft is loosening restrictions for business customers who want the full-fat edition of Windows – the Enterprise Edition. Redmond is making it easier and less expensive for organisations with more than five PCs to get Enterprise Edition under a licensing change from March 1. Windows Enterprise Edition is to be made …


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  1. Tom 35

    Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.

    Big woop. Unless your doing something special on a tablet no one wants not-Metro so they are going to create a desktop application just like they have been doing for years, likely already have one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.

      Could you go back and edit that post please? My eyes are bleeding and my head hurts trying to decode the cipher that you have used.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.

        I think he's using a EWRMP cipher...

        (English With Randomly Missing Punctuation)

      2. Arctic fox

        My eyes were already bleeding....... the time I had read his title. I am also not sure that letting him loose again on that post would improve the situation.

      3. JLV

        Re: Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.

        "This lets you directly install apps on the Windows 8 device when it’s joined to a managed domain."

        It goes on a bit more in the next paragraph. Perfectly plain English, albeit using some technical terms, because... it's a technical subject matter.

        Did you read on before jumping on your keyboard and commenting away? Yes, he could have defined what a 'managed domain' was, but the general idea is probably fairly obvious in the context and overkill for 90% of the readers of the article. Google/Bing/name your spyware is your friend otherwise.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.

          Sorry, the next paragraph didn't help either.

          It has been possible since the dawn of time to push apps onto a PC that joins a domain. If Win8 is *so* domain-hostile that you need a special licence to do this, then it is a no-brainer that it should never be allowed near a domain. However, I'm pretty sure Win8 can have stuff pushed onto it just like every other version, which brings us back to the question of what side-loading is in this context and why I'd be willing to pay extra for it.

          1. JLV

            Re: Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.

            Far as I understand, side-loading is putting Windows 8 new style apps onto your companies' PC, not from the MS App Store, but from your company IT dept.

            That doesn't mean that you can't install "legacy" pc software on Win8. But in the "dawn of time", Windows-wise, there were no Windows 8 app-store-style-apps. There were standard Windows programs and there still are.

            Whether or not you like this approach is another question entirely. I don't find much to like about Win8 myself, which seems a low point, even for MS. Just got a laptop with it, for work, so gonna get acquainted :(


            OK, I realize my own previous comment might have been a wee snarky, but neither was the article totally devoid of clarity so the OP was somewhat aggressive, IMHO.

            And, yes, MS is greedy. All these different flavors of Windows, Home, Pro, Enterprise, compounded with OEM/upgrade/full flavors are annoying. As a SOHO I'd rather pay $X and get a CD that I can install one one computer at a time, but keep when I get a new machine.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.

            "If Win8 is *so* domain-hostile that you need a special licence to do this"

            No - this is for Metro type apps only. All Metro apps need to be fully signed, so this is primarily about the functionality to set up your own corporate keys.

            We are running Windows 8.1 here across a fair number of users, and it's great - a significant improvement over Windows 7 in many areas. We boot straight to the desktop - no commonly used Metro apps here yet...

  2. Mark Dowling

    Microsoft got greedy

    And wanted you to be on the Software Assurance treadmill. If EE had been an upgrade earlier we might have gone with MS software encryption rather than FDE (at least on some machines), but it wasn't so we didn't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft got greedy

      BitLocker is 'FDE'.

  3. Danny 14

    side loading apps is a perk? How about keep W7 and dont bother.

    No thank you, i'll continue exercising my downgrade rights.

    1. Adam Foxton

      I was wondering that too

      Isnt this just Microsoft offering us the freedom to develop software and deploy it onto our computer? You know, one of the key things that made it succesful vs other more restrictive platforms?

      Whatever happened to Ballmers chant of Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!?

  4. Erik4872

    It's not just side loading!

    As a previous poster mentioned, MS got greedy and started pulling "enterprisey" features out of Pro to entice people to sign Software Assurance agreements. This is actually a good thing for us. Enterprise supports these features that you no longer get in Pro:

    - AppLocker

    - Windows to Go

    - DirectAccess

    - BranchCache

    - RemoteFX support (for VDI stuff)

    - NFS services

    They did something similar with Windows 7, but more features were available in Pro. In 7, they reserved multiingual OS support for the Enterprise Edition -- which we need to support some of our customers, since we're not all native speakers of the languages they use. We really don't care about side loading apps (and I doubt most companies do at least at this stage) but we really need some of these features for support.

    Maybe this means Microsoft is realizing that not everyone is going to jump on the software rental treadmill. Next thing I'd like to see is MDOP available to purchase outside of SA...we need it!

  5. Herby

    Rearranging chairs

    On the Titanic.

    Windows 7 is what people are using, and will for some time.

    1. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: Rearranging chairs

      and then what will people use when 7 is end of life?

      (rhetorical question)

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        and then what will people use when 7 is end of life?

        Win 7 EOL is 2020. Looking at the economy, my guess is "slaves." Manpower will be cheap enough - and Microsoft licensing so expensive and convoluted - by 2020 that it will actually be cheaper to just pick up a bunch of wetware and whip them repeatedly. Maybe they're more error prone than using a PC and some software to write your TPS reports, but the labour/licensing delta will mean you can just throw several hundred slaves at every TPS report and one of 'em will inevitably get it right.

        1. Robert Sneddon

          Ah, Larry Ellison's next boat

          I thought Oracle's latest roadmap looked a bit, um, people-intensive...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rearranging chairs

      "Windows 7 is what people are using, and will for some time."

      Windows 8 is already over 10% of the installed base and growing!

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Rearranging chairs

        So Windows 8 has almost reached the same % of the population as prefer to be the "submissive" in BDSM bedroom play. You'll pardon me if I think it won't be making big gains past that number.

      2. Amish-Bill

        Re: Rearranging chairs

        10% share after 18 months and marketshare that is growing slower than the product it was supposed to replace entirely.. I'm not seeing where that is a success.

  6. Amish-Bill

    So the big selling point is that when joined to a corporate domain, it can "side load" Speak-n-Spell (Metro/Modern/TIKFAM) apps that are not being used in corporate environments... ??

    This would at least somewhat make sense if it was talking about tablets unable to install normal Windows apps. The lack of an "Enterprise" option for Win8 RT nixes this possible explanation. That just leaves the idea that MS is trying to provide a way to load corporate apps that don't exist onto company computers that have not been purchased.

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