The BYOD phenomenon is widely expected to take over the corporate world by storm within the next few years, and Microsoft’s enhanced focus on the enterprise sector means it remains a priority for the software giant.
Redmond is all set to unleash new options that help enable BYOD for companies.
And one such new feature in the upcoming Windows Server 2012 R2 is Work Folders — this new option allows users to synchronize their data across multiple devices for offline use.
For instance the user may synchronize a folder with his or her laptop (or tablet, for that matter) and edit documents in that folder while working offline. All these changes are then synchronized and reflected the next time the user connects to the network.
The Work Folders feature can be enabled as a component of the File and Storage Services Role, through either the Server Manager or PowerShell.
Synchronization occurs on a per-user basis, and sync share can use either aliases or email addresses.
Users can connect to a designated Work Folder from their devices, and this depends on the type of device they work from. Windows 8.1 already comes with client connectivity built in, but clients for other platforms are likely to show up on app stores soon.
Insiders at Microsoft have indicated that this feature will support Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 7 and iOS, all in due time, of course. But this is another small step in enabling BYOD for enterprises and organizations, large and small.