Businesses have been shy about making the switch to Windows 8.1, and that goes double for bringing the less capable Windows 8.1 RT into the mix. Even so, Microsoft isn’t shy about reaching out to businesses and their IT departments to let them know why Windows RT 8.1 and the Surface 2 combine to make the perfect office companion, and the company has posted a blog outlining the reasons why it feels that businesses should be excited about it.
It’s true that the RT-powered Surface 2 tablet has a number of valuable features for professionals including, but not limited to, its USB 3.0 port and the optional keyboard with track pad. Along with its portability and connectivity options, Microsoft is standing behind the Surface 2 as a portable business devices. The company goes as far to state that the device is “business-ready”, citing the ability for users to get any business-related task done.
Microsoft notes that last fall’s update to Windows RT 8.1 has brought a number of new features to the Surface 2, including remote desktop access, network data access, and enhanced manageability. These features not only help users get access to their important business data, they also help allay any IT fears about security and connectivity when bringing Windows RT 8.1 on board.
With Remote Desktop Services, Surface 2 users can access any business notebook or desktop running Windows Server 2008 R2 or later. This feature ensures that, even with the limited capabilities of Windows RT 8.1, business users will still access their business notebook or desktop. For mobile workers, this is especially important, since they will need access to their data while traveling out of the office.
Network Data Access is the next feature that Microsoft touts as making the Surface 2 a business contender. Notebooks and desktops running Windows Server 2012 R2 and later are compatible with “work folders” on the Surface 2. With access to corporate file servers, the work folders features allows business users to access all the important data hosted on their company?s network. This feature also means that IT departments can keep files centrally located, without worrying that workers will have issues accessing necessary data.
The final feature that Microsoft believes will pull businesses into Windows RT 8.1 is Mobile Device Management (MDM). It arrived alongside the Windows RT 8.1 update, and it allows IT to make use of providers such as Windows Intune, AirWatch, MobileIron, and Citrix to easily manage groups of mobile devices.
These features, coupled with the portability and expandability of the Microsoft Surface 2 are what Microsoft thinks will appeal to businesses and their IT departments. With the Surface 2 running Windows RT 8.1, the compay points out that users can access all their files while on the go in an easy-to-use format, without IT worrying about security. Coupled with the available ports and keyboard case, business users will be able to get work done away from the office.
Curiously, Microsoft didn’t tout the Surface 2’s ability to run Office. Perhaps this is because the versions of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint that come with this tablet aren’t optimized for touchscreens, unlike the newly-released Office for iPad.
The question still remains as to whether or not businesses will ever be on board with Windows RT 8.1, considering they still haven’t warmed up much to Windows 8 or 8.1 for desktops and notebooks. However, perhaps the rise of mobile computing and compatibility with business programs will attract businesses and their IT departments to devices such as the Surface 2.
Be sure to read our Microsoft Surface 2 Review.