Windows 8 offers no management help for ARM devices

But the new OS makes migrating from XP simpler

Organizations looking to deploy Windows 8 on ARM-based (WOA) devices will have to do so without being able to manage them, according to a Microsoft advisory outlining the business benefits of the new operating system.

While WOA scrimps on battery life, it falls short in management and compatibility with legacy applications, making it less than ideal for business.

This is among the Windows 8 characteristics outlined in the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Business posted to the Microsoft Web site as the official preview of the operating system is scheduled to launch today.

The upside is that non-ARM tablets - both 32-bit and 64-bit - do integrate with existing Windows management, the document says.

Windows 8 offers some incentive for businesses to migrate from the still popular Windows XP with an upgraded feature called User State Migration Tool. USMT now supports migrating data from Windows XP machines to Windows 8 machines, potentially making such migrations more attractive as the end of support for XP nears.

Also touted for business is Windows To Go, a new capability in which a USB drive boots a separate business-only drive on users' personal devices. It creates a more secure desktop environment when using untrusted machines for work and includes a full complement of business apps that appear on the regular corporate desktop.

The drive can be removed and plugged into another machine, giving users flexibility to move from machine to machine, even if those machines aren't corporate owned.

SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service, is integrated with Windows 8, and the company says it is suitable for small businesses that want to store data offsite. SkyDrive can be configured to designate some files private, some public and to grant access to specific users.

Branch Cache, an existing feature in Windows 7 that persists in Windows 8, caches frequently used data in branch offices to reduce the amount of traffic crossing the WAN. New database features that come with Windows 8 make Branch Cache faster and able to store larger caches.

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