Why I’m excited about Windows 8 for government

Government employees: get ready, because the way you work may never be the same. There’s a new operating system on the way that will support your flexible work style and ease the burden of using multiple devices, all while keeping your data secure. Its name is Windows 8, and today I’m thrilled to tell you about some of my favourite features and what they mean for you.

Mobile Work — Anywhere, Everywhere
Let’s start with mobility. In today’s environment, the walls of many government offices extend far beyond a physical office space. Employees are working from home, from the airport, from coffee shops and from hotels, and need an operating system to support their mobile work style. With Windows to Go, a new feature of Windows 8, you’ll be able to carry your work environment with you wherever you go, literally, using a flash drive. When you login and connect to a network, you’ll have access to your own personalised profile and can access your documents as if you’re working from an office - all with the same security built-in. This is also a great option for government employees who only need occasional access to a computer, such as bus drivers. Rather than visiting a government facility in-person and logging into a generic computing environment at a kiosk, for instance, you’ll be able to use any computer at any time with the same personalised experience.

As employees continue to bring in personal devices to work, they (and their IT departments) can rest assured that they’ll enjoy the same enterprise capabilities for security, management, and productivity. Windows 8 provides a seamless user experience across devices, so whether you’re working from a PC or a smartphone, you won’t lose time on a learning curve. The touch-based natural user interface (NUI) of Windows 8 also offers a great option for users working on mobile devices, whereas the mouse-and-keyboard option is still available for those who prefer a more traditional experience. There’s no compromise, and workers can use whatever is most comfortable.

Secure — From the Ground Up
From a security standpoint, Windows 8 brings security into the actual device itself to make it a foundational aspect of the operating system. Microsoft is moving to a more innovative security model that extends beyond encryption and two-factor authentication to embrace technologies based on trusted computing. This means that not just the user, but the device itself, must be authorised in order to access sensitive information. The security approach we’re taking with Windows 8 extends beyond the PC, too, so government IT departments can rest assured that data on mobile devices is secured as well.

While these are just a few reasons why I’m excited about Windows 8, I encourage you to check out the Windows 8 website for government, which contains information on the features above and more. Windows 8 represents a huge opportunity for government organisations that want to move their workforce into the 21st Century. Stay tuned as we explore other features and continue to cover this topic on the blog!

By Joel Cherkis, General Manager, Worldwide Government and Security
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