Ina Fried

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Microsoft Won’t Support Some Business Features on ARM, but Will Offer “Windows to Go”

While Windows for ARM-based processors will offer many of the same features as the version for traditional PC chips, the list of differences is growing.

Microsoft disclosed on Wednesday that Windows on ARM won’t offer the same manageability features that businesses have come to rely on for overseeing their legions of computers.

“Although the ARM-based version of Windows does not include the same manageability features that are in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, businesses can use these power-saving devices in unmanaged environments,” Microsoft said in a document released ahead of its Windows 8 event in Barcelona.

A lack of manageability isn’t the only reason many big businesses probably won’t want to go Windows on ARM. It also won’t work with any traditional desktop apps other than Office.

Microsoft also outlined a “Windows To Go” feature that allows businesses to offer workers access to Windows 8 and corporate apps on a thumb drive.

“Growing mobility and consumerization trends pressure IT professionals to provide users with secure access to a corporate operating system and apps in situations when a device or network is out of the IT department’s control,” Microsoft said. “Windows 8 includes the ability to provide users with a full corporate copy of Windows (along with user’s business apps, data, and settings) on a USB storage device.”

The feature works with both Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines.

“When users insert their device into any Windows 7 or Windows 8 compatible PC and restart the PC, they get their entire personal environment, and operate as a fully managed device,” Microsoft said. “When they sign out, they can remove the USB device, and it is ready to use on another PC.”


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