The revolution will be optimized: technology for the next generation of public safety and national defence
08 February 2013 | Wayne Phillips, Industry Lead, Public Safety and National Security business, Microsoft EMEA
Is there a revolution underway in public safety and national defence?
The answer is definitely ‘Yes’ – and Windows 8 is the catalyst, as described in the recent edition of Touch Magazine.
The recent release of Windows 8 represents a huge leap forward for the pace of modernisation in the IT industry. The touch-optimised user interface is fast becoming the way people interact with their PCs and mobile devices, and Windows 8 is providing the platform for a revolution among public safety and defence enterprises in four key ways:
Security: It’s not just in the touch user interface at which Windows 8 excels; the improved security features are also crucial for both the public safety and national security industries. Given the nature of the sensitive data that these organisations handle, and the increased challenges of cyber security, there is no room for data breaches. With Windows 8, the security of the operating system has been reimagined. Everything from switching on the PC, to the way the applications interact with the operating system, to the remote desktop capabilities, is more secure, and these upgrades deliver enormous benefits for those organisations working with some of the world’s most sensitive information.
The new OS can also isolate malware across a range of devices in a way the mainframes did in the 1980s, achieving the same level of security from the desktop PC through to convertibles, ultra books and tablet devices. Its enhanced security features include Trusted Boot, Windows Defender and Windows SmartScreen, as well as an improved version of BitLocker drive encryption.
Mobility: With Windows To Go, IT organisations can manage the security of a Windows device that is used remotely. Windows To Go is a fully manageable, secure corporate Windows 8 operating image installed on a bootable, certified USB stick. It can include the apps that a first responder or soldier has on their work PC or device, as well as their home devices, so no matter where they are, their secure, personalized environment comes with them. In addition, there are a number of devices that have been specially designed to be deployed in the field, such as a ruggedized version of Dell’s XPS tablet that the company is developing to run Windows 8.
Flexibility: The ability to deploy Windows 8 apps across multiple form factors also opens the door for new hardware innovations – for example, enabling devices that can bolt into vehicles as well as ones that can be mounted onto military uniforms. Meanwhile, commercial manufacturers will likely develop lower price, military-grade tablet computers, which can help improve situational awareness for defence organisations with limited budgets.
Productivity: Windows 8 apps are rich in functionality and tailored for specific use, and the Windows 8 apps universe continues to grow. Other stores are full of apps that are pointless or have never been downloaded, which isn’t the case with Windows Store and especially not in the safety and defence industry. At this year’s IDEX conference in Abu Dhabi, we’ll be showcasing groundbreaking aviation, public safety and disaster response apps that can make a huge impact in mission success.
I encourage you to read more on these topics in the online version of Touch Magazine, or download a copy and take it with you to learn more about how the Public Safety and National Security industry is adopting the new technology of Windows 8 in the special feature.
And, visit us at booth #04-A01, USA Pavilion, February 17-21 at IDEX 2013 – the largest defence exhibition in the world – to see these and many more revolutionary technologies first-hand. We look forward to seeing you there.
Industry Lead, Public Safety and National Security business, Microsoft EMEA