Have you ever wondered why you just can’t enforce rules using AppLocker or why you cannot install Windows in a USB drive? This is because you are not using Windows 8 Enterprise edition. Windows 8 Enterprise edition is purely intended for business customers and it far exceeds in features, capabilities, deployment and security when compared to the regular Windows 8 edition or Windows 8 Pro edition. In this quick explanation, let us see the top three features that are only available in Windows 8 Enterprise edition.
1. App Sideloading
Ever since Microsoft introduced Modern (Metro) apps, everyone is wondering whether you can sideload apps just like in the Android phone or tablet. To the users’ disappointment, Microsoft decided not to allow users to sideload apps in their Windows 8 tablets or desktop PC’s. Of course, you can sideload your own Windows 8 Store apps for development purposes, but you cannot sideload them for your regular usage.
If you are a business and have a volume licensing for Windows 8 Enterprise edition, then you can sideload Windows 8 apps. Moreover, according to Microsoft, if you are side-loading apps into your Windows 8 machine then you are responsible for signing, validating, and updating those said apps. If you are interested, you can know more about side-loading stuff from this handy Microsoft library.
AppLocker is a fairly powerful feature with which you can easily control how other users are using your Windows PC. For those who don’t know what AppLocker is, it is a security feature in which a Windows admin can whitelist or blacklist the apps or programs that can or cannot be run by other non-admin users like guests, friends, etc. Simply put, AppLocker ensures your security by restricting users to run only allowed programs or applications.
Surprisingly, AppLocker is available to all the Windows 7 Ultimate users, and even though you have AppLocker enabled in the Windows 8 Pro version, you cannot enforce the rules you created unless you are using the Enterprise edition. If you want AppLocker to be working on your Windows 8 machine, the Enterprise version is the way to go.
3. Windows To Go
Windows To Go is a real handy feature with which you can install Windows 8 on any USB drive or external hard disk. Once installed, you can plug in your USB drive on any computer and use Windows 8 without actual installation, just like the Linux live CD. No matter how handy this feature is for even normal users, it is strictly restricted to the Windows 8 Enterprise edition which is available through volume licensing.
Because Windows 8 Enterprise edition is mainly used by businesses, Microsoft placed some restrictions for security purposes on Windows To Go features like disabling internal hard disks when booted from USB, not using TPM (Trusted Platform Module), disabling the ability to install apps, etc. If you are interested, you can learn more about this Windows To Go feature from this Microsoft library.
The above-mentioned features are some of the best alongside other exclusive features like RemoteFX virtualization, BranchCache, Subsystem, support for NFS (Network File System) protocol, etc. Obviously, even though some features are very helpful for every Windows user, Microsoft deliberately chose to enable all these awesome features only for the Enterprise users.
What do you think of these exclusive features that only Enterprise users can get? Would you upgrade to the Enterprise version just for these features? Let us know what you think in the comments below.