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Tablets with Microsoft Windows RT more security-centric than Android or iPad devices

Leveraging its history of making applications for networks, Microsoft’s Windows RT affords enterprises with a type of network access control that provides a higher level of protection for corporate devices than Android and iPad tablets. This capability can check and see if the devices comply with corporate or enterprise policies regarding auto updates, anti-spyware applications, antivirus activities, data encryption routines, and password policies. This is similar to but not as comprehensive as some NAC schemes, which prevent non-compliant devices from connecting to a network.

Microsoft has earlier announced four types of Windows 8: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows RT, and Windows 8 Enterprise. Windows RT lacks much of the features included in the Enterprise version. Windows RT is a Windows 8 flavor that is packaged with hardware designed for ARM processors like power-saving tablets. These devices are expected to ship at the later part of this year up to early next year. These devices don’t run applications for the standard x86/64 computing platform. Until now, they would accept Metro-style software designed for Windows 8 only directly issued by Microsoft.

A client issued by Microsoft will check and monitor the security configuration of the devices on a network and will enable downloading proprietary applications to them. The client will connect to a cloud-based management platform system. The cloud-based management system will be announced later by the Microsoft System Center team. This client’s main role is to download and install Windows 8 Metro-type applications, which are designed to handle both ARM and x86/64 devices. Absent these agents, Windows RT device owners can only download apps that are stocked in the Windows Store or get apps via Windows Update or Microsoft Update.

Microsoft sees that businesses will want to create their Windows 8 metro apps which they can deploy to employees’ Windows RT for business purposes. The client makes this enterprise app building process possible by connecting to the corporate infrastructure as well as a self-service portal. The portal displays which applications are ready for users to download. This system allows enterprises access to a mechanism that gives enterprises a platform to offer their employees for downloading applications without having to force them to use the public Windows Store. This set-up is more secure than a public store system.

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