Feature Articles

Windows 8 - Optimized for Businesses Too!

By Wong Chung Wee - 8 Nov 2012

Windows 8: It Means Business


Windows 8 - It's Apt for Business Too

So far, we've covered many aspects of Windows 8, from familiarization to using the many new features it boasts. Don't forget that like any other Windows OS, the new Windows 8 is also built for business-minded users and supports different working styles in order to meet the myriad needs in an enterprise IT environment. It aims to improve office productivity while allowing businesses to create their own enterprise solutions that are speedy, reliable and secure. It improves on the fundamentals laid forth by Windows 7 and with Windows 8, it is more convenient for staff members in your business or organization to get connected to share common business computing resources in a safe and secure manner. We examine some of the business-oriented features that would have a broader appeal - some of which are only found on the Windows 8 Enterprise edition.


Mobile BroadBand Features

Basic mobile broadband support was first included in Windows 7; however, in order to obtain Internet access with it, the user had to install the drivers of his/her mobile broadband device to get the device working and connected to the service provider's network. In order to make it more convenient for the business-minded consumer to stay connected even while he is away from his office network, Microsoft has re-engineered wireless network stack of Windows 8 to optimize it for mobile broadband as well in an effort to enable true mobility.

A Huawei E392 4G USB Stick. (Image Source: Huawei)

Microsoft wanted to eliminate the guesswork in obtaining and installing device drivers for mobile broadband devices. They did this by working with mobile operators and mobile broadband hardware partners across the industry, agreeing on a hardware specification that device manufacturers can incorporate into their device hardware. In Windows 8, there is an in-box mobile broadband class driver that operates with all of these compliant devices and eliminates the hassle for additional device driver software. The user is able to just attach the device and obtain an Internet connection seamlessly. This mobile broadband driver stays up to date via Windows Update to ensure users have reliable mobile broadband experiences.

With the improved wireless driver stack for mobile broadband, the time to get online and connected to the Internet has been greatly reduced.

A mobile broadband modem typically comes with its own drivers and connection management software and this causes a lot of hassle for users even after a successful driver installation. This is because they would still have to grapple with the device's connection management software before obtaining a usable wireless connection. This additional software can cause much confusion to some users as it could conflict with the Windows connection manager built within the OS, showing different networks, network status, and a separate user interface. Windows 8 eliminates this by providing simple, intuitive, and fully integrated radio and connection management. It also made things more intuitive, saving much time and effort for users to get online with the mobile broadband devices.

With a carrier agnostic mobile broadband device, Windows 8 users are able to select the service provider from whom they have purchased their plans accordingly. (Image Source: Microsoft) In this example, the Windows 8 user has an AT&T plan and the connection manager of Windows 8 can provide some useful information on data usage and length of time of connection. (Image Source: Microsoft)

As we have mentioned earlier, with Windows 8 built-in mobile broadband connection software manager, it is less confusing for users.

Once the user is ready to connect to mobile broadband, he/she would just need to insert the mobile broadband device into a USB port or the appropriate data-enabled SIM card into a device that has a built-in mobile broadband modem. The new Windows operating system is able to automatically identify which mobile operator is associated with your device or SIM card and brand it with the operator's logo in the Windows connection manager. Behind the scenes, Windows 8 will also configure the PC for connecting to the mobile operator’s network, and download the operator’s mobile broadband app from the Windows Store, if they happen to have one listed in the Windows Store.


No More Bill Shock!

We have read about news where mobile broadband users exceeded their data usage cap unknowingly and continued to utilize their plans to connect online. This problem has become so pervasive that some governments have passed laws that require service provider companies to warn their subscribers should they exceed their allocated data usage. With Windows 8, this has been taken further as the operating system takes into account that most service providers have metered connections and adjust networking behavior. On a Windows 8 device that has both mobile broadband and Wi-Fi, the operating system will disconnect it from mobile broadband connectivity to the less costly Wi-Fi network automatically whenever Wi-Fi is available, reducing mobile broadband usage and the potential for bill shock. This feature should come in handy for both the casual and business users alike in staying connected on mobile broadband networks without undue worry of costs to be incurred.

You can toggle the behavior of the Windows 8 system so that device software will not be downloaded unnecessarily when you are on a metered connection like a mobile broadband connection with a data usage cap.


Another level of user control is the option to mark any wireless network as metered or un-metered by selecting "reduce data usage" in the right-click (or tap and hold) menu for that network. (Image Source: Microsoft) Windows 8 also actively keeps track of data usage in a concise manner. (Image Source: Microsoft)


Windows 8 also provides mobile operators the means to alert users whenever their data usage is about to reach their allocated limits. (Image Source: Microsoft)

In this example, the mobile operator's application tile is showing data usage information. (Image Source: Microsoft)

Join HWZ's Telegram channel here and catch all the latest tech news!
Our articles may contain affiliate links. If you buy through these links, we may earn a small commission.