Is Windows 8 RT Ready for the Enterprise?

Microsoft’s new OS, Windows 8 was designed (some would say, primarily designed) to work on tablets and smartphones.  A version of the OS, Windows RT, was engineered to work on the ARM processor, a departure from the Intel family that all Windows OSs previously had run on.

Windows 8 RT powers one version of the successful Windows Surface, the Surface RT.  The 32-bit processor does not run native Windows applications, delivering most of its functionality through apps in the Microsoft Store.

However, a version of Office – Office 2013 provides users with the Office functionality they are used to on traditional Windows-Intel platforms.

The question for many then, is whether businesses would choose to adopt ARM-based, Windows 8 RT platforms or gravitate towards Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets?

A recent customer panel in Europe made up of representatives from BT, Poste Italiane and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service have given some indications about the direction businesses will take.  They all declared that they were unlikely to invest in Windows RT.

Techworld reports on the meeting;

“I don’t think we’ll see BT buy many RT devices,” said Peter Scott, consultant at BT. “Obviously we’ll see them appear in the BYOD (bring your own device) space.”

Edwin MacGillavry, deputy director of the Bureau for Criminal Law Studies at the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, said that the DPPS would not be using Windows RT because it does not offer the complete range of security options.

“I would say it’s nice for some people but for us security is paramount so from that point of view we will stick to the Intel x86 machines,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vincent Nicola Santacroce, head of research and development at Poste Italiane, said that the organisation was still investigating Windows RT, but that it “doesn’t want to move to something that looks like an iPad with all the limitations of that”.

The major issue with Windows RT is that it will only be able to run software that has been certified by Microsoft and placed in the Windows Store. Other than an RT- ported Office Suite, other Windows applications cannot be directly run on RT-based devices.

Microsoft has acknowledged that Windows 7 business apps will not run natively on the Windows RT operating system. However, they insist that Microsoft’s RemoteApp technology will allow such apps to run remotely on a server and offer similar performance to locally run apps.

Do these aree with these businesses? Would you consider ARM-based devices in your business?

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