One concern some analysts expressed, when the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 came out, was that devices running Windows RT (the version of Windows 8 that will run on ARM-design processors and formerly called Windows on ARM or WOA) would not be able to join Active Directory.
Active Directory is one of the tools that businesses’ information-technology (IT) departments use to manage everything from security to desktop configurations for a large number of devices.
Now Microsoft is providing some details on what Windows RT will provide in terms of manageability.
In an official blog post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Jeffrey Sutherland, a program manager lead, says: “For WOA, we have integrated a new management client that can communicate with a management infrastructure in the cloud to deliver LOB apps to users.” (LOB stands for line-of-business. “Line-of-business apps require users to authenticate using corporate credentials, access internal information, or are designed specifically for internal use, according to Microsoft.)
It sounds like this new management client would allow companies’ IT departments to add or remove apps, set policies, and perform other actions that would typically be done with group management.
Wes Miller, an analyst with the independent research firm Directions on Microsoft, says the new details “resolves a fair amount of the questions” that some IT professionals had about WOA/Windows RT. “I think what it does is introduce stronger management framework for Windows RT than tablets such as the iPad. It rectifies a lot of concerns people had about it not being able to join Active Directory.”