Microsoft Windows 8 and Office 2013: connected, secure and mobile.
With Windows 8, Microsoft re-imagines Windows. The last time Redmond-based company made such dramatic changes from the chipset to the user experience, was 16 years ago, with Windows 95. The new version of Microsoft Windows boasts a new user interface based on Microsoft's Metro Design Language, similar to that in Windows Phone. The redefined Windows Operating System is projected to better suit touchscreen input, along with mouse and keyboard.
It runs the ARM processor architecture like modern tablets or traditional x86 microprocessors from Intel, AMD and VIA. One of the most important features, particularly for business users, is the introduction of new and improved security components. In fact, Windows 8 integrates the new Secure Boot feature, specifically implemented to prevent unauthorized firmware or drivers as the PC boots up into Windows.
With Windows 8, touchscreen users will be able to use a picture password, a new security feature which allows them to enter a password by tracing gestures (it can be used a written password as well). The new OS comes with a new version of its traditional antivirus software, Windows Defender, fully integrated and enriched with some additional features of the Security Essentials suite. Furthermore, SmartScreen Filter, exclusive feature of Internet Explorer, is integrated in Windows 8 to help ensuring that only safe downloads will be stored on the system.
Referring to the security features, Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise versions implement Bitlocker, Bitlocker To Go, file system encryption (EFS), domain membership and group policy object management. Companies which have volume licensing agreements with Redmond Giant will benefit of Windows Enterprise version exclusive features like the new Applocker(provides the power to restrict access to specific apps), Direct Access(allows PCs to connect securely to company networks) and Windows To Go(a USB-tailored Windows edition which runs directly off a portable storage device).
Office 2013 takes you to the Cloud
Microsoft SkyDrive will be the main offering about the cloud service as Office saves docs, presentations and spreadsheets to this platform by default in order to make your content always available on all devices without having to be online to access them. According to PCWorld.com, SkyDrive is even better than other storage services such as Google Drive and DropBox. SkyDrive may offer deep integration with Google Docs, an extra 2GB of free storage compared to Google Drive's initial 5GB and it is not just on Redmond's homegrown Windows Phone platform, but across multiple devices right from your Windows and Mac OSX desktop platform.
Office Web Apps
Office Web Apps are both part of Office 365 and Microsoft's SkyDrive service. These "components" allow you to create, edit and share Office docs in a supported web browser using Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. As reported by Betanews.com, Microsoft focuses on the following key scenarios: touch support, improved authoring, co-authoring support and performance improvements.
IT and Office 365
Betanews has also reported some interesting features with high IT-management appeal:
Office Telemetry.This function collects reports from all Office clients and monitors all PCs with Office 2013. Administrators will receive information about client performance, files used and customizations implemented.
Click-to-Run. Network-based installations will have this capability and will operate for support to remote clients. The install streams in the background but lets users access features as they are streamed, rather than wait for the install to complete. While Click-to-Run is not new to Office 2013 as Office 2010 also supported, but it has been enhanced to allow large enterprise deployments.
Office-on-Demand. This option provides a single Office application on demand to users when they need it. Office application is streamed to the PC but is not permanently installed. Knowledge will be available to everyone and projects should now be available to be scrutinized and improved.
Sources: PCAdvisor, Betanews