This week we celebrated the release of Windows 8 across the globe, with a huge kick-off in New York where we officially launched Windows 8 to the world.  Windows 8 is available for everyone to purchase – including small and midsize businesses. Let’s walk through some key features and highlight the benefits some of customers are already seeing.

Windows 8 Pro includes everything you love about Windows 7 Professional but is faster, higher performing and more beautiful. There are lots of great features included but here are some that I see being the most important to small and midsize businesses:

  • Mobility was a key asset almost every small and midsize business we talked to was looking for. However, they didn’t just want a mobile solution, but a solution that offered mobility and productivity so they stay competitive. In Windows 8 Pro there are great new features such as built-in mobile broadband, Remote Desktop and Offline Files that make it easier for businesses to get connected and stay connected, whether you’re on-site with a customer, waiting for a flight or working from a coffee shop.
  • Security continues to be a growing concern amongst businesses. Today, small and midsize businesses are doing more and more business online and the importance of protecting both customer information and sensitive business data is extremely important. That’s why improving end-to-end security was one of our top priorities. Windows 8 Pro includes built in features like Trusted Boot, Windows Defender and Windows SmartScreen, to ensure you’re secure from power-on to power-off. Additionally, Windows 8 Pro now has BitLocker drive encryption which was previously available only to larger enterprises. BitLocker helps protect business data on PCs with enterprise-grade encryption and it works silently in the background, helping to keep data safe without getting in the way.
  • Compatibility is one of the strongest features of Windows 8 Pro as the operating system gives businesses a more simplified experience. First, Windows 8 Pro is built so it can deploy right alongside existing Windows 7 systems, meaning existing processes and tools for managing and updating systems will keep working the same way. Additionally, we understand that there are many apps that small and midsize businesses have grown to know and love on Windows 7, and that’s why we made sure that most of those Windows 7 apps are compatible with Windows 8 Pro.

  • Finally, you can’t talk about Windows 8 Pro without considering the amazing new hardware that’s coming to market with this release. Whether it’s a notebook, a tablet or an all-in-one, whether it’s a touch-based system or a keyboard-and-mouse-based system, there will now be the broadest choice ever of exciting PCs and tablets available to fit every small and midsize businesses wants and needs. Business owners are telling us Windows 8 devices are the tablets they’ve been waiting for, as these devices bring together the convenience and mobility of a tablet with the productivity of a PC. I love hearing this from customers, because it’s exactly why we designed the system to work the way it does. I like to tell them “the tablet just got a promotion.”
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