It’s a Windows 8 World: What the New OS Means for Public Safety and National Defense Organizations

The October 25 launch of the new Windows 8 OS was historic in more ways than one. For the first time ever, an operating system offers the convenience of a tablet with the productivity of a PC. It provides new ways to stay productive on the go. But most importantly, it reflects the way people live and work today – at home, at the office and anywhere around the globe.

We’ll be sharing lots more information in the days and weeks that follow, but I want to start the conversation at On Safety and Defense by touching on a few of the most important features for public safety and national security organizations: Windows 8’s improved data security, lower total cost of ownership, and increased mobility for better productivity than ever before.

First, security: defense and justice organizations manage some of the most sensitive information in the world. Consider the devastating impact to your agency and your mission that would occur if a malicious actor accessed your unprotected data. Windows 8 builds security into the device by using an innovative trusted computing security model that extends beyond encryption and two-factor authentication to protect PCs and mobile devices from power-on to power-off. Security is the foundation of the Windows 8 computing experience.

Agencies managing tight budgets will also appreciate the cost efficiencies of Windows 8. Enterprise-ready by design, it builds on what users love about Windows 7 while creating a modern platform designed for a new generation of hardware experiences. It works well with today’s hardware options and, combined with tools that simplify compatibility testing and deployment, it integrates seamlessly into most existing client management infrastructures. This ongoing technology refreshment will also enable faster boot times, longer battery life, better performance, faster Wi-Fi reconnections, multi-monitor improvements, more powerful file explorer and an improved task manager, without the mandatory cost of purchasing new hardware.

Windows 8 allows both of these benefits while also enabling unprecedented mobility. Forrester estimates that 66% of information workers in North America and Europe work remotely, and IDC reports that by 2013 more than a third of the world’s workforce will be mobile. Windows To Go lets users can take their entire managed corporate desktop with them on a USB drive so they can access their personalized work environment, from anywhere, with the same security built in. Plus, the new Windows 8 application environment also enables mobility and creates connected experiences whether you’re working from a PC or a smartphone. Just imagine the improvements in efficiency and cost savings realized during a disaster recovery operation when your agency needs to get temporary or contract staff on the front lines up and running immediately.

In addition, soldiers using laptops in their vehicles will epitomize “traveling light”, essentially holding their own desktops in their pockets, because Windows To Go with BitLocker encryption lets them keep their own apps and settings across any laptop while protecting their data even if the USB is lost or stolen.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring the Windows 8 experience for national security and public safety in much more depth, but in the meantime, I encourage you to visit the Windows 8 website for more information on these features and more.

About the Author

Mark Whittington | General Manager, Worldwide Public Safety and National Security

Mark brings over 20 years of experience to the Public Safety and National Security arenas. Today, his Microsoft team works with organizations around the world to leverage technology to help better defend nations and protect citizen safety and security. Read More