Microsoft's introduction of the Windows 8 SKUs left many of the details of the corporate-oriented Enterprise edition unknown. The company has started to fill in the blanks in a new blog post. Windows 8 Enterprise will include a number of features not found in Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, the ARM-oriented Windows RT, or the emerging markets edition. On top of these software features, the Software Assurance license scheme is being changed to offer customers some new capabilities.
The exclusive software features include the ability to create Windows To Go portable USB installations, DirectAccess VPN-less remote access to corporate networks, BrancheCache cached access to remote fileservers, AppLocker software restrictions, enhanced 3D, USB, and touch performance in VDI deployments, and the ability to side-load Metro-style applications.
To make full use of these features, Software Assurance usage rights are changing too. Any employee with a company PC with a Software Assurance license will also have a corresponding Windows To Go license, so that they can boot a secure, corporate-controlled environment on their home PCs. This can be extended further with Companion Device licenses (for extra cost), allowing employees to access corporate environments through either Windows To Go or VDI on up to four personally-owned systems.
There will be a license change relating to the Windows RT operating system used on ARM machines: when used as a companion to a Software Assurance-licensed machine, the ARM device can be used to access a VDI image with no additional license required.