New customer needs surface regularly and where possible Microsoft adjusts licensing policies to enable new and desirable scenarios. A good example of this is the April 1st change to align Volume Licensing programs across Windows Embedded (Industry) and Windows Client, which will facilitate the flexibility enterprise customers are seeking to build intelligent systems powered by the best Microsoft platform for the job.
Why the update?
Looking across the marketplace, we see significant and rapidly growing interest to deploy industry specific intelligent systems and industry devices on Microsoft technologies. Windows Embedded (Industry), the latest product in the Windows Embedded family, brings all the capabilities of Windows 8.1, plus the functionality needed to enable industry scenarios. This industry application oriented OS plays an important role in retail, health, manufacturing and financial services.
Scenarios across these markets require increased control over the user experience to help ensure a device is being used for the intended purpose. In Windows Embedded Industry, this is possible through Advanced Lockdown functionality like gesture filters, keyboard filters, write filters, and USB filters. These technologies provide the flexibility to customize the lockdown as well as rigidity, or depth of lockdown, to meet a variety of needs.
For example, potential applications which benefit from these capabilities are a point of sale device booting to a single line of business application, or a customer facing kiosk locked down to a defined series of applications, or an industry tablet providing a different lock down experience based on user role.
These line of business (LoB) applications represent a significant focal point for IT departments over the next several years. According to market research firm IDC, by 2017 60% of operational spending on software will be associated with LoB applications1. By aligning the two Windows licensing programs, organizations gain flexibility to use the best suited Windows edition for any scenario, on any device. This stems from the fact that devices with Software Assurance (SA) for Windows or Software Assurance for Windows Embedded (Industry) will get a new benefit called Enhanced Edition Rights which provides rights to both editions. Also as part of this alignment, Embedded customers get additional SA benefits to include VDA (Virtual Desktop Access), Roaming Rights, and the ability to purchase the CSL (Companion Subscription License).
Common scenarios enabled with Enhanced Edition Rights include the ability to standardize PCs and Industry devices on a single image, the ability to repurpose existing Windows devices as industry devices (e.g., thin clients) as well as converting a Windows tablet to an industry tablet by installing Windows Embedded (Industry).
Intelligent systems built on the Microsoft platform drive operational efficiencies, enhance customer experiences, and bring people, process and information together through operational intelligence. We are delighted to enable these changes and offer added flexibility to our partners and customers to move their business forward with Microsoft technologies. For more information, you can read about customer success stories >> HERE
1 IDC reference: Worldwide Software Pricing and Licensing 2014 Top 10 Predictions, by Amy Konary (March 2014) doc# 247103