Many tablets running the next version of Windows won’t be able to use the management tools that IT departments use for regular PCs.That will eliminate one big reason why companies might choose Windows tablets over iPads — and make it a little harder for Microsoft to stop the in invasion of the iPad into the enterprise.
Microsoft actually has several versions of Windows 8.
Today, Microsoft released the first consumer preview of Windows 8 for x86 and 64-bit (Intel-type processors). Our reviewers are taking a look through it now, and we’ll post our impressions over the next couple of days.
But the company also talked a little bit more about Windows On ARM. This operating system looks a lot like Windows 8, but will run only on devices with ARM-type processors — like the iPad and nearly all other tablets have.
In a document posted last night that explains Windows 8 for businesses, (and noticed earlier by AllThingsD), Microsoft admitted that companies won’t be able to manage Windows On ARM using the same management tools as they can for Windows 8.
Those tools are important — they help companies deploy applications to lots of PCs quickly, control which apps and features users can access, and so on.
ARM-based tablets running Windows 8 are ideal for workers who are constantly on the go and need a long-lasting battery. ARM-based tablets use less power than 32-bit and 64-bit devices and workers can rely on the extended uptime of these devices. 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.
Companies will still be able to manage tablets based on the x86 and 64-bit (Intel-type) processors that are used in most PCs today. But those tablets probably won’t get the same battery life as an ARM-based tablet, so won’t be as good for workers who spend a lot of time on the road.