Operating Systems


Date: 4.29.2014

OnWindows: Communications and Media Global Outlook 2014-2017

Communications and Media Global Outlook 2014-2017 provides insight into the Microsoft and partner technologies that are being developed for communications and media companies to drive positive change and address new trends. Topics around mobile, cloud and the Internet of Things are covered in the technology roadmap and regional perspective sections of the guide. A comprehensive directory section also provides business information about some of the innovative technology suppliers in the industry, helping you to make positive technology decisions for your own company.

With its reimagined application platform and a touch-first user interface, Microsoft’s flagship operating system provides new mobility and productivity scenarios for telecommunications and media workers.

The rise of the tablet form factor and the growing use of touch interfaces in small, light mobile devices has created demand for a new user experience without dropping the essentials of mobility, manageability and security. And so was born the blueprint of Windows 8, with its focus on delivering an exceptional user experience on any type of device, from any location, while meeting the standards of an enterprise-grade solution.

More than a year on from its launch, Microsoft has released its Windows 8.1 update. Still featuring the unique tile interface that the operating system has become so well known for, Windows 8.1 builds on Microsoft’s vision to offer businesses the most powerful and flexible modern operating system across devices, help customers enable their mobile users wherever they are working, and combine that flexibility with the manageability and security that enterprise professionals demand.

One of the highlights of the Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition is Start Screen Control, which allows IT departments to control the layout of the Start screen on company-issued devices to ensure key apps are easily accessible. If preferred, IT teams can also prevent users from customising their Start screen to ensure consistency across work groups or entire companies. Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview also increases device and data security with the AppLocker feature, which creates a secure environment by restricting which files and apps users or groups can run on a PC.

Other features in the Enterprise edition include DirectAccess, which enables remote users to seamlessly access resources inside a corporate network without having to launch a separate virtual private network. In addition, with the BranchCache feature, employees in branch offices no longer need to download content multiple times across their wide area network. Files, websites and other content are cached from central servers locally on hosted cache servers or PCs.

Along with a wide array of exciting Windows 8.1-ready hardware solutions entering the market, the independent software vendors partner ecosystem that services the telecommunications and media industries has already started to deliver some great examples of line-of-business apps to support these devices.

MobileMBI, for example, meets the challenge that so many telecommunications executives are faced with: managing the wealth of critical data that is sweeping through their business. MobileMBI liberates key analysis to touchscreen tablets and smartphones where users can make the most of the insights it reveals. The data can be viewed as media dashboards, geo maps and tabular analysis. The MobileMBI app can be downloaded free from the Windows Store.

Sometimes it’s necessary to tailor an existing app or even create a new one from scratch. Windows 8.1 provides the functionality for this too, helping businesses identify key needs and implement the supporting infrastructure for deployment on Windows 8.1. Telecommunications company BT, for example, is already developing apps for its Windows 8 devices to add value to its new mobility platform. “It’s sometimes difficult to get final approval and collect signatures to confirm that work was completed,” said Martin Holloway, general manager of field engineering, OpenReach at BT. “We have a new app that the engineer can use to demonstrate to the customer what’s been done at the point of service. It’s easy to confirm that the issue has been solved so the customer is more satisfied.”

Looking ahead, Microsoft is expected to continue refining its Windows platform to support even more innovative apps and a broader wave of touch-first devices – from tablets and two-in-ones to laptops, all-in-ones and specialized industry devices.