Microsoft announced today that Windows 8 for ARM will not include some of the business manageability features that are available in the x86 editions of Windows. ARM devices will not support Active Directory domains, nor be accessible remotely via the Microsoft System Center environment. Microsoft explains that for businesses, Windows on ARM is intended for unmanaged environments. This may make the platform a little less attractive to large enterprises.
Touting the long battery life of ARM-based devices, the guide tempers expectations: "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." That means ARM devices won't be able to be added to Active Directory domains and have their user access managed by system administrators, or be remotely managed through Microsoft's System Center environment.
The 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 8 for x86 systems will integrate into existing management systems, according to Microsoft, allowing administrators to continue to use the same tools for system configuration, security management, and other tasks. And as an alternative for organizations requiring more secure access from mobile users, Microsoft outlined a "Windows to Go" version of the operating system that can use a USB drive to boot a PC from an approved corporate Windows 8 image, allowing the user to connect to the enterprise network remotely from an untrusted system without giving the locally installed operating system access to the network.