Windows 8.1 understands we have work and home lives, BYOD enabled


One of the new features in the Windows 8.1 preview is Workplace Join, it’s the ability to join your computer to your Workplace network securely to enable additional functionality. First of all your workplace has to enable this functionality and be running Windows Server 2012 R2 before you’ll be able to connect, but once you do, you can turn on a switch to allow apps and services on your computer to be pushed remotely from IT administrators.

Also new in Windows 8.1 is a new component in the Control Panel called Work Folders. This allows you to keep files from work and your personal files completely separate on the disk. This is a real recognition that BYOD has arrived and that employees don’t just want the beige box supplied by their workplace, but want to choose the equipment they use while accessing the work resources they need..

Here’s the official PR talk for these new features in Windows 8.1.

Workplace Join

A Windows 8 PC was either domain joined or not.  If it was a member of the domain, the user could access corporate resources (if permissioned) and IT could control the PC through group policy and other mechanisms.  This feature allows a middle ground between all or nothing access, allowing a user to work on the device of their choice and still have access to corporate resources With Workplace Join, IT administrators now have the ability to offer finer-grained control to corporate resources.  If a user registers their device, IT can grant some access while still enforcing some governance parameters on the device.

Work Folders

Work Folders allows a user to sync data to their device from their user folder located in the corporation’s data center. Files created locally will sync back to the file server in the corporate environment. This syncing is natively integrated into the file system.  Note, this all happens outside the firewall client sync support. Previously, Windows 8 devices needed to be domain joined (or required domain credentials) for access to file shares.  Syncing could be done with third-party folder replication apps. With Work Folders, Users can keep local copies of their work files on their devices, with automatic synchronization to your data center, and for access from other devices. IT can enforce Dynamic Access Control policies on the Work Folder Sync Share (including automated Rights Management) and require Workplace Join to be in place.

Remote Business Data Removal

Corporations now have more control over corporate content which can be marked as corporate, encrypted, and then be wiped when the relationship between the corporation and user has ended. Corporate data can now be identified as corporate vs. user, encrypted, and wiped on command using EAS or EAS + OMA-DM protocol. This capability is requires implementation in the client application and in the server application (Mail + Exchange Server). The client application determines if the wipe simply makes the data inaccessible or actually deletes it.


More info @ TechNet

This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.

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