Windows 8 + Exchange ActiveSync

The Windows Team Blog has post about the Windows 8 editions which will be available, It’s a much simpler line up consisting of Windows 8 (consumer), Windows 8 Pro (pro-consumer, business) and Windows RT (ARM powered devices). There will also be an Enterprise SKU of Windows 8.

For me there are a couple of interesting items in the feature table. First off all editions support Exchange ActiveSync suggesting to me support for "Exchange” is built in – great. This also potentially plugs a gap for me which is missing from Outlook – the ability to remotely remove (either selectively or by device wipe) corporate mail from a device, be it personal or company issued.

With Exchange ActiveSync we can also enforce policies on devices, which covers off how we can secure Windows RT devices with a policy which cannot be domain joined. Exchange is great at doing this and I know RBAC roles could be created for a Mobile Team, but mobile is such a broad topic I don’t believe Exchange is the best place to manage this. What happens if you want to secure a Windows RT device with policy, but it doesn’t need email? Maybe in time ActiveSync security polices will evolve in to more of a broad MDM (Mobile Device Management) product.

There seems to be 2 types of encryption. Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro get BitLocker and EFS while Windows RT gets “device encryption”. I’m guessing the latter is similar to that of iDevices and Windows Phone controlled by ActiveSync policy or a local switch.

On a related note, I’m not sure Windows RT is a great name. Windows on Arm (WOA) sounds way better.