Three Things to Know about Using Windows RT in Business

Dell XPS 10 Tablet

The newness of Windows RT and its ARM-based architecture means that many of its features are invariably not well known. As additional Windows RT devices such as the Dell XPS 10 tablet hit the market, it makes sense to learn more about what Windows RT has to offer businesses.

It is with this thought that I highlight three things to know about using Windows RT in business below. Though the list is hardly exhaustive, I believe it represents a good start to acquaint organizations that are considering deploying Windows RT.


Though Windows RT devices are not managed as full-fledged devices in an Active Directory domain, the use of Exchange Active Sync (EAS) extensions means that it offers additional manageability superior to tablets and smartphones that are solely based on EAS.

Administrators are able to use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and the InTune SaaS product together with EAS to enforce policies that pertains to password security such as setting the maximum failed password attempts, minimum lengths and automatic expiration. Further more, Windows RT will also report back on the status of the drive encryption, auto update status, antivirus status and anti-spyware status.

Security Features

Unlike a standard laptops or Ultrabooks based on earlier versions of the Windows operating system, Windows RT comes with Secure Boot to lock down the device right from when it boots up. This effectively prevents users from loading pirated or unauthorized apps onto the devices. Moreover, the kernel will also check to see that apps are digitally signed using a trusted certificate prior to loading them.

In addition, Windows RT supports full volume encryption, which protects all data stored on the device based on Microsoft’s widely respected BitLocker technology. For safety, the recovery key is stored on the user’s SkyDrive account for easy access as necessary.

And should the device be stolen, EAS managed data can be remotely wiped; applications loaded through the Enterprise Application Store can also have their access disabled (More on the Enterprise Application Store below).


Businesses that develop internal Windows RT line of business (LoB) apps will hardy want it published on the public Windows Store. To this end, they can use the built-in Windows RT Management Agent and Enterprise Application Store in order to seamlessly publish and have them loaded onto sanctioned Windows RT tablets.

Internally developed apps aside, it is also possible to use the Enterprise Application Store to distribute apps developed by independent software vendors and licensed by the company, or even links to app listings in the Windows Store. The latter offers a convenient method for IT departments to bring useful apps to the attention of their users.

Furthermore, the system also offers the flexibility for administrators to designate as well as audit which apps are available to users. This is configured using the SCCM or InTune and can be specified based on the Active Directory domain that a user is a member of.

This is a paid post in conjunction with IDG and Dell