Plan for Windows 8.1 Deployment: A Guide for Education

Published: April 2, 2014

Applies To: Windows 8.1

This guide covers the key considerations and questions that should be answered as a part of a typical Windows 8.1 deployment in educational institutions. This guide is designed for IT pros, school administrators, and other faculty members who are responsible for the deployment of devices running Windows 8.1 in these institutions.

Windows 8.1 provides an incredible opportunity for educators and students to take advantage of the new world of digital education and exciting new devices, leveraging the worldwide standard Microsoft platform and cloud services to ensure seamless manageability, robust security, backward compatibility, and cost effectiveness. Running Windows 8.1 on devices designed for Windows 8.1 can help you meet the challenges and maximize the benefits of using Windows 8.1 in education.

Some of the keys to success in a Windows 8.1 (or any technology) deployment that are covered in this guide are as follows:

  • Develop and communicate your Windows 8.1 deployment plan before you deploy devices.

  • Start the planning process and validate your design as early in your deployment project as possible, because bad design decisions become difficult to correct the later you discover them in the process.

  • Include representatives from curriculum and technology leadership (in addition to those who are responsible for performing the actual deployment) to help ensure that the final solution meets or exceeds curriculum and learning outcome requirements.

Each section in this guide lists the key planning considerations and questions for the topics covered in that section. Each section also includes links to additional resources to help in the Windows 8.1 deployment planning process discussed in that section.

noteNote
Classroom curriculum design is outside the scope of this document. In addition, although most of the planning decisions in this guide are applicable to Windows RT 8.1, Windows RT, and Windows 8, this guide focuses on Windows 8.1 deployment only.

In this guide:

Note the following key Windows 8.1 purchase and licensing planning considerations:

  • How many users do you need to enable?

  • How many new devices will you buy with Windows 8.1 preinstalled?

  • How will you upgrade existing Windows 8 devices to Windows 8.1?

  • How many Windows 8.1 licenses do you need to purchase to upgrade existing devices (note that some products will require license upgrades, such as Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition)?

  • How does your institution handle Windows 8.1 licensing for personally owned devices?

  • How can faculty and students purchase Windows 8.1 licenses at educational prices?

  • What educational pricing and licensing programs are available for educational institutions?

Each physical device or virtual machine (VM) running Windows 8.1 must have a valid license. Most device hardware vendors provide a Windows 8.1 license for each device the institution purchases. However, you must obtain Windows 8.1 licenses for any existing devices running previous versions of Windows that will be upgraded to Windows 8.1 (such as devices running Windows 7).

noteNote
Existing Windows 8 licenses can be upgraded to Windows 8.1 licenses without additional licensing fees for the same edition of Windows 8.1. For example, a Windows 8 Pro license can be upgraded to Windows 8.1 Pro without additional licensing fees. However, upgrading a Windows 8 license to Windows 8.1 Pro would require the Windows 8 Pro license prior to upgrading.

Microsoft works with organizations in the public sector through the Shape the Future program.

The list below provides the Windows 8.1 licensing considerations for devices based on their ownership:

  • Institution owned. Educational institutions can acquire licenses for Windows 8 (and other Microsoft products) through the Microsoft Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) program. The Microsoft EES program is an easy, cost-effective offer that provides qualified academic customers a simplified way to acquire Microsoft software and services under a single subscription agreement. For more information, see Programs for Educational Institutions.

  • Personally owned. Faculty and students are responsible for having the appropriate Windows 8 licenses for their devices. In addition to potentially being able to purchase Microsoft software through the educational institution, faculty and students can individually purchase Microsoft products at educational discounts through resellers such as:

    For more information, see Microsoft in Education.

Use this information to determine the number of Windows 8.1 licenses you must obtain for your educational institution. Also, use the information to determine institution-sponsored Microsoft educational benefit programs for faculty and students.

Note the following key Microsoft Volume Activation planning considerations:

  • Which licensing models are available for Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013?

  • What technologies are available to activate volume licenses?

  • What type of connectivity is available for devices to perform activation?

The following list shows the Volume Activation technologies and provides a brief description of each:

  • Active Directory-Based Activation (ADBA). ADBA is a role service that allows you to use Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) to store activation objects, which can further simplify the task of maintaining Volume Activation services for a network. With ADBA, no additional host server is needed, and activation requests are processed during computer startup. ADBA works only for devices running Windows 8 that are domain joined.

  • Key Management Service (KMS). KMS is a role service that allows organizations to activate systems within their network from a server on which a KMS host has been installed. With KMS, IT pros can complete activations on their local network, eliminating the need for individual computers to connect to Microsoft for product activation. KMS does not require a dedicated system, and it can be cohosted on a system that provides other services. By default, volume editions of Windows 8 connect to a system that hosts the KMS service to request activation. No action is required from the user.

  • Multiple Activation Key (MAK). A MAK is a volume license key that is used for one-time activation with activation services that Microsoft hosts. You can activate MAKs over the Internet or by telephone.

Table 1 lists the Volume Activation technologies and the information necessary for selecting the appropriate technologies for your institution. You can select any combination of these technologies to design a complete Volume Activation solution.

Table 1. Volume Activation Technology Selection

 

  ADBA KMS MAK

Device must be domain joined

Yes

No

No

Devices must connect to the network at least once every 180 days

Yes

Yes

No

Supports Volume Activation of Windows 8.1 and Windows 8

Yes

Yes

Yes

Supports Volume Activation of Windows 7

No

Yes

Yes

Supports Volume Activation of Microsoft Office

Yes (Office 2013 only, not Microsoft Office 365 or previous versions of Office)

Yes

Yes

Can use Volume Activation services in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012

Yes

Yes

N/A

Can use Volume Activation services in operating systems prior to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012

Yes, but requires that the Active Directory schema be updated to Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2

Yes

N/A

Microsoft Volume Licensing information is stored in AD DS

Yes

No

No

Can be activated with Internet access only

No

No

Yes

Can be activated by telephone

No

No

Yes

Required infrastructure

AD DS

KMS server, however having AD DS makes KMS management easier

Internet access or telephone

For more information about Volume Activation and Windows 8.1 Volume Licensing, see the following resources:

Because Windows 8.1 devices are not just cloud-connected devices (they work offline too), your existing network infrastructure will often be adequate to support Windows 8.1. As part of the planning process, determine any network infrastructure remediation that you must perform prior to deploying Windows 8 devices.

Internet ingress and egress

Note the following key Internet ingress and egress planning considerations:

  • What TCP and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) traffic must be allowed to and from the Internet?

  • Which websites must be added to the approved sites list for edge-of-network appliances?

  • What are the requirements for being compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)?

  • Which firewalls should you use (firewall appliances and Windows firewall)?

One of the key features in Windows 8.1 is the integration with Internet-based content and services, especially the Windows Store. You must plan any necessary changes to your Internet ingress and egress to provide access to such content and services, as described in the following list:

  • TCP and UDP traffic. Plan the TCP and UDP traffic that must be allowed to and from the Internet. Specifically, allow the traffic required for any new Windows Store app or desktop applications that will be added as part of the Windows 8.1 deployment process.

  • Approved website list. Many edge-of-network appliances (such as firewalls or web proxies) support a list of approved websites. In your plan, specify that the list includes the Windows Store and other supporting sites.

  • CIPA compliance. Your educational institution may need to comply with CIPA, which imposes certain requirements on schools or libraries that receive discounts for Internet access or internal connections through the E-rate program, which makes certain communications services and products more affordable for eligible schools and libraries. For more information about CIPA, see Children’s Internet Protection Act.

  • Firewall usage. You can use firewall appliances and Windows Firewall to protect devices and provide security defense in depth. If you use both, ensure that you provide the appropriate access to the Windows Store and other Internet-based content and services by configuring both firewalls. You can specify that the Windows Firewall be configured by using Group Policy firewall settings. For more information on using Group Policy to configure Windows Firewall, see Configure Firewall Port Requirements for Group Policy.

Network bandwidth

Note the following key network bandwidth planning considerations:

  • Can the LAN and Wi-Fi network support a high density of devices?

  • Does the necessary available network bandwidth exist for connecting to on-premises resources?

  • Does the necessary available network bandwidth exist for Internet access?

The use of technology in most curriculum plans requires access to local and Internet-based resources and content (such as document storage libraries, multimedia files, or online study resources). The following is a list of planning considerations that relate to network bandwidth:

  • Support for a high density of devices. Educational environments tend to have a high concentration of devices in a small geographic area. Faculty and students require network access from classrooms, labs, and common areas. These numbers can range from 20–30 devices in a classroom to hundreds of devices in a common area (such as a library or student center). Typically, this number implies that each classroom may require a dedicated network connection to the on-premises network, and common areas may require multiple dedicated network connection to the on-premises network to support the number of devices in a given geographic area.

  • On-premises available network bandwidth. All devices typically need high-speed, persistent connections to on-premises content and resources (such as printers, file services, or intranet-based sites). Ensure that the on-premises network has sufficient bandwidth to provide reasonable response times when accessing the on-premises resources. Also, include Internet traffic when evaluating your on-premises network, because devices connect to the Internet through the on-premises network. You can estimate this traffic by observing the typical intranet traffic a device generates, then multiplying that by the number of devices within a given geographic area.

  • Internet available network bandwidth. All devices typically need access to Internet-based content and resources (such as the Windows Store and other Internet-based websites). Ensure that the Internet connection has sufficient bandwidth to provide reasonable response times when accessing the Internet. You can estimate this response time by observing the typical Internet traffic a device generates, then multiplying that by the number of devices within a given geographic area.

The physical network design is specific to the type of devices and the vendor specifications for each device. Contact the network infrastructure vendors for planning tools and resources to help in determining network bandwidth.

Wireless networking

Note the following key wireless network planning considerations:

  • How many Wi-Fi wireless devices will be used within each classroom and in common areas (device density)?

  • What Wi-Fi technologies do you need to support (such as Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] 802.11n, 802.11g, or 802.11b)?

  • Will broadband (cellular) device connectivity be supported?

Most modern devices use a wireless connection to access networks. Although wireless connection reduces the clutter and problems associated with wired network connections, it adds to the complexity of planning and supporting networks.

  • Wi-Fi–supported standards. Most devices support a variety of the IEEE 802.11X Wi-Fi standards, such as 802.11n, 802.11g, or 802.11b. Ensure that the wireless access points (WAPs) support the highest speed standard the device supports. Support the slower speed standards to provide compatibility with older devices. For example, most new devices support IEEE 802.11n, but older devices may only support IEEE 802.11b.

  • Network frequency. IEEE 802.11X wireless standards use the 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) and 5.0 GHz frequencies for communication based on the standard used. Most modern WAPs support both frequencies. Most new devices support 5.0 GHz frequencies, while older devices only support the 2.4 GHz frequencies. Ensure that your WAPs support the correct frequencies to support the planned device population.

  • Wireless device density. This consideration is similar to the planning decisions for wired networks. From the wireless perspective, determine the number and placement of WAPs. Most enterprise-class WAPs can support up to 50 devices; however, wireless network performance will degrade dramatically as the number of devices approaches the maximum value. A WAP typically has a single wired network connect, which means that all devices connecting through the WAP share that single wired network connection. For example, if you have a WAP that supports 30 students and has a gigabit wired network connection, those 30 students share that single gigabit network connection. In areas with a large concentration of devices, multiple WAPs may be required.

  • Wireless coverage. Ensure that each device has wireless connectivity within the areas where the devices are used (classrooms and common areas) by properly placing WAPs. Placing WAPs too far from each other results in areas where devices will not be able to connect. Placing the WAPs too close to each other can increase your cost by creating unnecessary WAPs. Ensure that the coverage areas for WAPs overlap slightly. WAPs that overlap each other should use a unique channel (frequency).

  • Hidden service set identifier (SSID). You can configure WAPs not to broadcast their SSIDs, also known as a hidden SSID. Hidden SSIDs are typically used as a security measure; however, avoid the use of hidden SSIDs, because it is more difficult for a device to join a hidden SSID, and there is minimal security benefit in hiding SSIDs in educational solutions. Because users tend to roam, hidden SSIDs can lead to poor user experience and delays in wireless network association time.

  • Broadband cellular support. Many devices may have broadband cellular network adapters that provide Internet connectivity. Broadband cellular connectivity can reduce the network congestion on your wireless Wi-Fi networks. However, broadband cellular connectivity also requires a contract with a cellular provider.

  • Rogue Wi-Fi hotspots. Many users may bring Wi-Fi–enabled devices that can act as Wi-Fi hotspots (such as hotspots provided by cellular providers or smartphones). Ensure that you specify a list of published SSIDs in your design for the faculty and students. Also, specify policies and procedures that discourage faculty and students from starting an unauthorized Wi-Fi hotspot.

You can specify the use of Group Policy to configure the wireless network adapter settings for devices. Doing so allows you to provide consistent wireless configuration settings for domain-joined devices.

For additional help in planning your wireless network, see the following resources:

Note the following planning considerations for users with special accessibility needs:

  • What Ease of Access and Personalization options do faculty and students require?

  • What assistive technologies do faculty and students require?

Windows 8.1 provides essential accessibility to computers for those with significant vision, hearing, dexterity, language, or learning needs. These features are available in Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT 8.1.

Note the following planning considerations for Windows 8 accessibility:

  • Ease of Access and Personalization options. These options in Windows 8.1 make devices easier to see, hear, and use; they include screen magnification, speech recognition, narration, on-screen keyboard, keyboard shortcuts, sticky keys, and visual notifications.

  • Assistive technologies. The built-in assistive technologies in Windows 8.1 work with both Windows Store apps and Windows desktop software to provide seamless access to the entire Windows experience. Devices running Windows 8.1 also allow you to use assistive technology software from specialty assistive technology vendors.

Use the following resources to plan Windows 8.1 accessibility features and options:

Note the following key printer planning considerations:

  • Which printer drivers does Windows 8.1 support?

  • What is needed to support Windows Store apps and Advanced Print Settings for Windows Store apps?

  • How will users connect to printers?

  • Which will require secured access?

Faculty and students need to connect to printer resources. You need to plan for user connectivity to institution-owned printers. Typically, these printers are network-based (through wireless or wired networks). However, in some instances, these printers may be connected to the Windows 8 devices by USB cables.

Note the following planning considerations for Windows 8 printer connectivity:

  • Printer drivers. Windows 8.1 supports the v3 printer driver model (used in Windows 7) and the v4 printer driver model (used in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8). Printers that are connected to Windows 8.1 devices with v3 printer drivers installed will continue to work as they currently do with desktop applications. Some limitations exist to using printer drivers based on the v3 printer driver model for Windows Store apps.

  • Windows Store device app and Advance Print Settings support. The v4 printer driver model supports the installation of a Windows Store device app. A Windows Store device app is a vendor-specific app that provides the Advanced Print Settings UI and support information that are specific to the printer manufacturer and model. For example, if a printer manufacturer can write a Windows Store device app for a printer that they manufacture. The Windows Store device app would provide additional information, diagnostics, and troubleshooting tools for that specific printer.

  • User connection to printers. For many Windows 8.1– and Windows 8–certified printers (v4 printer driver model), Windows 8.1 automatically discover the printers and installs the necessary drivers. Otherwise, you can specify the Group Policy settings for printers for domain-joined devices. You can also specify that users manually add and configure printers as they did in Windows 7. Ensure that you specify a list of available printers (including any necessary IP information) to students and faculty.

  • Security for printing. In some instances, you may want to limit printer usage to authenticated users. Doing so requires that those who need to use these printers have accounts in an AD DS domain so that the appropriate permissions can be applied to each printer.

  • Protected printing. Windows 8.1 includes support for protected printing, which allows users to specify a PIN that is then used at the printer prior to the job being printed. Windows 8.1 also allows you to specify a default PIN to reduce wasteful paper consumption related to content that is printed but never retrieved.

noteNote
Ensure you have Windows 8.1-certified printer device drivers for as many printers as possible.

Use the following resources to help you plan Windows 8.1 printer connectivity:

Note the following Internet planning considerations:

  • Which edition of Windows 8.1 is necessary to support the desired security and privacy features?

  • How are users and devices protected when connected to the Internet?

  • What methods are available to prevent users from installing or running unauthorized apps?

  • What methods are available to protect user privacy when running Windows Store apps?

  • What methods are available to protect devices and the information on them?

  • What policies should you consider implementing with students, parents and faculty?

Windows 8.1 includes several new security and privacy features. Table 2 lists the security and privacy technologies by Windows 8.1 edition. Use this list to determine which edition of Windows 8.1 you need to support the security and privacy technologies you want to use. Select the appropriate Windows 8.1 edition that provides a complete security and privacy solution that you can then customize for each user.

Table 2. Security and Privacy Technologies by Windows 8.1 Edition

 

  Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 Pro Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Windows Store App privacy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Family Safety

Yes

Yes

Yes

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Secure Boot

Yes

Yes

Yes

SmartScreen Filter

Yes

Yes

Yes

Windows Defender (malware protection)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Windows Firewall

Yes

Yes

Yes

Picture Password

Yes

Yes

Yes

BitLocker Drive Encryption and BitLocker To Go

No

Yes

Yes

Encrypting File System (EFS)

No

Yes

Yes

Domain membership

No

Yes

Yes

Group Policy objects (GPOs)

No

Yes

Yes

AppLocker

No

No

Yes

Microsoft DirectAccess

No

No

Yes

Auto-triggered VPN

Yes

Yes

Yes

Windows To Go

No

No

Yes

For institution-owned devices, Windows 8.1 Pro or Enterprise is recommended (depending on the features desired) for institutions that require management of devices by using Microsoft management products and technologies, such as Group Policy and Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager. In managed environments Windows 8.1 should be a factor for personally owned devices in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios.

The subsequent sections will look at how these features are used for Internet access, application access, and device access. For more information about the features in Table 1, see the following resources:

Internet access

When users connect to the Internet, they are at their greatest risk of having security attacks from malicious users and software. Windows 8.1 includes several built-in features that help protect users during access. You can enable and enforce many of these features by using Group Policy. For example, you can use Group Policy to enable Windows Defender and Windows Firewall. These security features are enabled in Windows 8.1 by default.

Specify security policies that implement safety features when connecting to the Internet, where applicable. For example, guardians of students can use the Family Safety feature to restrict access to websites based on user age (such as restricting the types of apps that users can view in and install from the Windows Store).

There is no centralized management of the Family Safety feature by using Group Policies. The Microsoft account should be viewed as a personal account for use by students or their guardians.

Application access

Application-related security and privacy are divided into controlling:

  • The installation and running of approved apps only. For institution-owned devices, ensure that users run only approved apps. You can enforce which apps can be installed and run on institution-owned devices by using technologies such as Family Safety, AppLocker, and Group Policy. For personally owned devices, educate faculty members, students, and guardians on how to use Family Safety features to show age-appropriate content only.

  • Any personal information the apps collect while it is running. Some Windows Store apps can collect private information while the app is running (such as location or options selected in the app). Windows Store apps include the ability for users to opt in or provide consent to collect such information by design to pass Windows Store app certification. Because the user must provide consent, educate users on the information that could potentially be collected and the risks of providing the information. This would be true for institution-owned devices and personally owned devices.

Device access

Device security and access represent one of the largest opportunities for data loss, forgotten passwords, and other security-related issues. Help users mitigate the risks of device access by using Windows 8 features. For example, you can use BitLocker to prevent confidential data being obtained from a lost or stolen device. This is particularly important for devices that store faculty or student information on the device.

Table 3 lists the device access security and privacy technologies and the necessary information for selecting the appropriate technologies for your institution. You can select any combination of these technologies to design a complete solution.

Table 3. Device Access Security and Privacy Technology Selection

 

  EFS BitLocker and BitLocker To Go Picture Password Windows To Go

Encrypts confidential information

Yes (individual files and folders)

Yes (entire fixed or removable disk volumes)

N/A

N/A

Reduces the complexity of signing on

N/A

N/A

Yes

N/A

Reduces the risk of information loss when a device is lost or stolen

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes (if encrypted with BitLocker)

Reduces the cost of replacement when a device is lost or stolen

N/A

N/A

N/A

Yes

Infrastructure

None

None

None

None

Ownership scenarios

Personally or institution-owned

Personally or institution-owned

Personally or institution-owned

Institution-owned

Domain membership required

No

No (but recovery keys can be stored in AD DS for domain-joined devices)

No

No, but requires Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition

Note the following remote connectivity app planning considerations:

  • Which users require remote connectivity to resources on the institution’s intranet?

  • How can users access intranet resources?

  • What types of devices require remote connectivity?

  • What level of technical expertise do the users have?

  • What changes must you make to the network infrastructure to support remote connectivity?

Table 3a lists the remote connectivity technologies included in Windows 8.1. These technologies allow users to access resources on your institution’s intranet. Select the right combination of remote connectivity technologies to create your solution.

 

  DirectAccess Virtual private network (VPN)

Works across multiple operating systems

Yes (only Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 or later operating systems)

Yes (including Windows XP and later Windows operating systems, Apple iOS, Mac OS X operating systems, and Android

Included as part of Windows 8.1

Yes

Yes

Provides automatic connections

Yes

Yes (by using the Auto-Triggered VPN feature in Windows 8.1)

Supports server endpoints from other vendors

No

Yes (VPN support for Check Point VPN, F5 VPN, Juniper Networks Junos Pulse, Microsoft, and SonicWall Mobile Connect VPN server endpoints included in Windows 8.1)

Supports “manage-out” remote management scenarios

Yes

No

Supports offline domain join

Yes

No

Works with Windows To Go

Yes

Yes

Devices must be domain joined

Yes

No

Can be used on institution-owned devices

Yes

Yes

Can be used on personally owned devices

No

Yes

Infrastructure requirements

  • AD DS

  • Remote Access Server configured for DirectAccess

  • AD DS

  • VPN server endpoint (could be Microsoft Remote Access Server or partner VPN server solution)

Can be managed by Windows PowerShell

Yes

Yes

DirectAccess

DirectAccess provides intranet connectivity to devices when they are connected to the Internet, much like a VPN. DirectAccess initiates the connection to the intranet as soon as the device connects to the Internet (unlike traditional VPN connections, which users must explicitly initiate and terminate). DirectAccess can work in IP version 4 (IPv4)–only networks, IP version 6 (IPv6)–only networks, or a combination of IPv4 and IPv6 networks. Support for IPv4-only networks requires Windows Server 2012 R2.

DirectAccess also supports performing an offline domain join. An offline domain join does not require the device to be physically connected to your intranet to join your AD DS domain; instead, you create a file that is provided to users along with the information needed to configure DirectAccess. When the user configures DirectAccess, the information for performing the offline domain join is used to join the device to the domain. For example, the offline domain join feature would allow faculty members to domain-join computers at their home without requiring them to bring the computers to campus.

DirectAccess also supports “manage-out” remote management scenarios, which allow you to deploy software updates, collect software and device inventory information, and perform other management operations anytime the device is connected to the Internet. You can perform all of these actions in the background without interrupting the user or requiring user interaction by using technologies such as System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and Group Policy.

For more information on DirectAccess, see Remote Access (DirectAccess, Routing and Remote Access) Overview.

Virtual private network

VPN has been a common remote connectivity technology for decades. Most remote connectivity vendors provide support for VPN. Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 provide support for most industry-standard VPN solutions, including L2TP, PPTP, and SSTP VPN connections.

Windows 8.1 includes the new Auto-Triggered VPN feature, which allows Windows to automatically initiate a VPN connection by:

  • Referencing a Domain Name System (DNS) domain name suffix. This allows you to configure Windows 8.1 to automatically initiate a VPN connection when a user attempts to access a resource with the DNS domain suffix. For example, you could configure Windows 8.1 to automatically initiate a VPN connection anytime the user attempts to access a resource with a DNS suffix of corp.contoso.com (such as dc.corp.contoso.com or intranet.corp.contoso.com).

  • Starting a specific Windows Store or desktop app. This allows you to configure Windows 8.1 to automatically initiate a VPN connection when the user starts an app. For example, you could configure Windows 8.1 to automatically initiate a VPN connection when the user starts the Bing Finance app or the Weather app. You can also configure Windows 8.1 to automatically initiate a VPN connection for desktop apps, such as Word.exe or Excel.exe.

The Auto-Triggered VPN feature works with any of the VPN server endpoints that Windows 8.1 supports, including Check Point VPN, F5 VPN, Juniper Networks Junos Pulse, Microsoft, and SonicWall Mobile Connect VPN server endpoints.

For more information about VPNs and the Auto-Triggered VPN feature in Windows 8.1, see Remote Access (DirectAccess, Routing and Remote Access) Overview and Windows Server 2012 R2 Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate VPN Auto trigger.

Note the following Windows Store app planning considerations:

  • Which user accounts are required to access the Windows Store?

  • How can Windows Store apps be deployed?

  • How can Windows Store apps be managed in the classroom?

  • How does single sign-on (SSO) work with Windows Store apps?

  • What changes must you make to the network infrastructure to support the Windows Store?

  • How are Windows Store apps obtained?

The Windows 8.1 operating system includes many new feature and capabilities, but one prominent feature is Windows Store apps. Educational institutions can purchase or create apps for Windows 8 that use the new UI. Windows Store app planning considerations are discussed in Windows Store Apps: A Deployment Guide for Education.

Note the following key user account planning considerations:

  • When are Microsoft and Windows accounts required?

  • Do age restrictions exist for accounts?

  • How can Office 365 or Windows Azure Active Directory (AD) accounts be used?

  • What is the relationship among Microsoft, Windows, and Windows Azure AD accounts?

  • How can you provide an SSO experience for users?

Faculty and students need user accounts to log on to their Windows 8 devices, access the Windows Store, access on-premises resources, and access Internet resources. As a part of the planning process, determine the user accounts that faculty and students will use, the age restrictions for accounts, and how to provide the best SSO experience for users.

Note the following planning considerations for user accounts:

  • Determine the user accounts to use. Table 4 lists the user account types available for use in Windows 8. Use the information in Table 4 to determine which user account types faculty and students will use.



    Table 4. User Account Types and Descriptions

     

    Account Type Description

    Windows Account

    This account is stored locally on the Windows 8.1 device (local Windows account) or in an on-premises AD DS domain. This account is identical to the user accounts that Windows 7 uses. You can associate a Microsoft account with a Windows account to provide access to resources that use a Microsoft account (such as the Windows Store or OneDrive). This account is always required to log on to a Windows 8.1 device.

    Microsoft Account

    This account is an Internet-based account used to access the Windows Store or other services that use Microsoft accounts (previously known as Windows Live ID). You can associate a Microsoft account with an existing Windows account. This account is typically required but could be optional if no services that use Microsoft accounts are used (such as not accessing the Windows Store).

    Windows Azure AD Account

    This account is an Internet-based account stored in Windows Azure AD services (which may have been migrated from or integrated with an on-premises AD DS infrastructure). Office 365 uses Windows Azure AD services to store Office 365 credentials. This account is required if email and other services use this type of account (such as using email or Microsoft SharePoint Online in Office 365).

  • Account management. You can centrally manage domain-based Windows accounts and Windows Azure AD accounts. You cannot centrally manage Microsoft accounts and local Windows accounts (for example, you cannot manage a Microsoft account that a student or faculty member creates). However, users can manage their respective Microsoft accounts without requiring assistance from IT resources. Use these considerations as you select user accounts.

  • Determine account age restrictions. Microsoft accounts in the United States comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) regarding online account creation for children under 13 years of age. To verify that an adult is giving a child permission to create a new Microsoft account, COPPA requires that a small amount be charged to the adult’s credit card (for a U.S. account). Although you do not need adult permission to create Windows accounts and Windows Azure AD accounts, it is recommended that adults be notified and permission obtained, as necessary.

    Guardians should be involved in the account creation process and the provisioning of devices to children under 13 years of age. Instruct the guardians on how the Family Safety feature can help integrate them into their child’s digital learning experience.

For more information, see the following resources:

Note the following key deployment planning considerations:

  • What deployment scenarios are available for Windows 8.1 in education?

  • What are the deployment technologies and tools available for institution-owned devices?

  • What are the deployment technologies and tools available for personally owned devices?

  • What role does virtualization play in deploying Windows 8 in education?

  • What type of connectivity is available for devices after deployment?

Windows 8.1 provides a wide range of flexibility in deployment options. This flexibility allows you to design a deployment solution that provides Windows 8.1 to all users, regardless of the device they use or where they are located.

Table 5 some common Windows 8.1 deployment scenarios and the information necessary for selecting the appropriate scenarios for your institution. You can select any combination of these scenarios to design a complete Windows 8.1 deployment solution. Each scenario is discussed in a subsequent section.

Table 5. Deployment Scenario Selection

 

  Institution-owned devices Personally owned devices Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Windows To Go

Can be domain joined (requires Windows 8.1 Pro or Enterprise editions)

Yes

Yes (but many users will not want their personal devices to be domain joined)

Yes

Yes

Institution has full control of the device

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Can manage operating system deployment

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Deployment tools available for deployment

  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)

  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

  • Windows Deployment Services

  • Interactive (manual)

N/A

  • MDT

  • System Center Configuration Manager

  • Windows Deployment Services

  • Interactive (manual)

  • Interactive (manual)

  • Windows PowerShell scripts

Infrastructure

Deployment tools requirements

None

  • Deployment tools requirements

  • VDI requirements

None

Can support devices running operating systems prior to Windows 8.1

Yes (by using VDI or Windows To Go)

Yes (by using VDI or Windows To Go)

Yes

Yes (but device must meet Windows To Go hardware requirements)

Windows 8.1 licenses required by institution

Yes, most often purchased with a new device

No (except VDI sessions that users access)

Yes

Yes

Requires system hardware upgrades for existing devices by institution

Not often (Windows 8 requirements are same as Windows 7)

No

No

Not often (Windows To Go supports any device that is certified for Windows 7)

Required full-time connectivity to institution intranet

No

No

Yes

No

Institution-owned devices

Institution-owned devices represent the largest area of deployment responsibility. These devices can be divided into devices that currently run:

  • Windows 8.1. These devices will typically be new devices that are purchased with Windows 8.1 installed. The challenges here are ensuring that the devices have the correct Windows 8.1 edition and also have a standard operating system image.

  • Operating systems prior to Windows 8.1. To use these devices, perform one of the following tasks:

    • Upgrade to Windows 8.1. The system resources for these devices must be sufficient to support Windows 8.1. If the existing system resources are inadequate, then must be upgraded as a part of the Windows 8.1 upgrade. Upgrades from Windows 8 are available at no additional licensing fee. Upgrades from prior versions of Windows (such as Windows 7) are available for educational institutions. For more information, see the Windows 8.1 purchase and licensing section earlier in this guide.



      You can determine if an existing device can run Windows 8.1 by using the free solution accelerator Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit.

    • Connect to Windows 8.1 in VDI. If the system resources are inadequate or the cost of upgrade is prohibitive, these devices can run Windows 8.1 in a VDI environment. This has the advantage of allowing users to continue to use existing devices while running the latest apps in Windows 8.1.

  • Operating systems other than Windows 8.1. These devices (such as devices running iOS or Google Android operating systems) can run Windows 8.1 and apps in a VDI environment. This has the advantage of allowing users to continue to use existing, institution-owned devices while running the latest apps in Windows 8.1.

    noteNote
    It is possible to run Windows locally on certain Apple computers or to run Windows in a virtualized environment on the Mac operating system. In these instances, these computers can be managed and supported as Windows 8.1 devices.

You can automate Windows 8.1 deployment to institution-owned devices by using the MDT 2013, Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, or Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2012 R2. You can also perform manual deployment of Windows 8.1 from the distribution media. You can upgrade to Windows 8.1 from distribution media or by downloading the update from the Windows Store.

Automating Windows 8.1 deployment to institution-owned devices is discussed in the following guides:

Personally owned devices

BYOD scenarios are common in educational institutions. Personally owned devices represent the least amount of deployment responsibility. These devices can be divided into devices that currently run:

  • Windows 8.1. These devices will typically be new devices that are purchased with Windows 8.1 installed. The features available on these devices will be determined by the Windows 8.1 edition.

  • Operating systems prior to Windows 8.1. To use these devices, perform one of the following tasks:

    • Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8. The upgrade to Windows 8.1 requires no additional purchase. Users can upgrade their devices from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store or from distribution media. For more information, see the section, “Windows 8.1 licensing,” earlier in this guide.

    • Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 7 or earlier operating systems. The system resources for these devices must be sufficient to support Windows 8.1. Also, the person who owns the device (such as a faculty member, student, or student guardian) must purchase the upgrade. Educational discounts are available for upgrades from prior versions of Windows (such as Windows 7) for faculty and students. For more information, see the section, “Windows 8.1 licensing,” earlier in this guide.

    • Connect to Windows 8.1 in VDI. If the system resources are inadequate or the cost of upgrade is prohibitive, these devices can run Windows 8.1 in a VDI environment. This has the advantage of allowing users to continue to use existing devices (without upgrade) while running the latest apps in Windows 8.1. However, it may require users to join their devices to domains and will also require an institution-issued Windows account.

  • Operating systems other than Windows 8.1. These devices (such as devices running iOS or Android) can run Windows 8.1 and apps in a VDI environment. This has the advantage of allowing users to continue to use existing, personally owned devices while running the latest apps in Windows 8.1.

For more information on deploying personally owned devices, see the following resources:

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

You can design a VDI by using the Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services server roles in Windows Server 2012 R2 or by using Windows MultiPoint Server 2012.

noteNote
This section focuses on planning a VDI solution by using the Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services server roles in Windows Server 2012 R2. Using Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 to create a VDI solution is discussed in “Planning a Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 Deployment” (see the resources listed later in this section).

Table 6 lists the VDI technologies and the information necessary for selecting the appropriate technologies for your institution. You can select any combination of these technologies to design a complete VDI solution.

Table 6. VDI Technology Selection

 

  Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services server roles in Windows Server 2012 R2 Windows MultiPoint Server 2012

Infrastructure

Managed

Managed by Windows MultiPoint Server 2012

Scaling

Multiple server deployment (as required for scaling)

Single server deployment only (limit of 20 users in Premium edition)

Availability

Multiple server deployment in clusters (as required for availability)

Single server deployment only

Supported devices

  • Devices using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) version 5

  • Microsoft RemoteFX capable as required

  • Direct video connected

  • USB zero clients

  • Devices using RDP

  • RemoteFX capable (as required and available only for RDP connections)

A VDI solution that you create by using Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services server roles in Windows Server 2012 R2 works by creating a VM template of Windows 8.1, and then running instances of the Windows 8.1 template in Hyper-V. Users remotely access the VMs running Windows 8.1 by using Remote Desktop Services.

For more information on planning and deploying a VDI, see the following resources:

Windows To Go

Windows To Go is a feature in Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition that enables users to boot from a shared device with a USB flash drive and have access to all their user settings, apps, and data. You can boot the Windows To Go workspace on any device that meet the Windows 7 or Windows 8 certification requirements, regardless of the operating system currently running on the device.

Windows To Go workspaces can use the same Windows 8.1 Enterprise image that educational institutions use for other devices. You can manage the workspaces the same way. Windows To Go is not intended to replace other physical devices or supplant other mobility offerings. Rather, it provides support for efficient use of resources for alternative workplace scenarios, such as providing a student with a Windows To Go workspace to perform classroom activities.

noteNote
Although not required, Microsoft strongly recommends that the USB-connected external drive be connected to a USB 3.0 port. Also, the USB-connected external drive should be on the certified list of devices.

For more information about Windows To Go design and deployment, see Windows To Go: Feature Overview.

Note the following key usage planning considerations for using multiple devices:Insert subsection body here.

  • What happens to user and application settings if a user uses multiple devices?

  • What happens to user and application settings if a user uses both Windows 8.1 and Windows 7?

  • What happens to user and application data if a user uses multiple devices?

  • What level of control can be used for the user and application settings that follow a user?

  • How can the necessary Windows Store apps and desktop apps be installed on multiple devices?

One of the key features of Windows 8.1 is the ability to customize the user experience. In many instances, Windows Store apps and desktop applications also store application-specific user settings and preferences (such as themes, backgrounds, or spelling dictionaries in Office Professional Plus 2013). Users typically save documents, photos, and other files to folders on devices (such as the Documents, Music, Pictures, or Videos folders). And finally, users will install Windows Store apps and desktop applications on devices.

If faculty members and students always use the same device, then all the user and application settings, user data, and apps are always available to them. But what happens when they use different devices? Somehow, the user and application settings, user data, and apps need to be available on multiple devices (also known as device roaming).

In addition, some users may use Windows 8.1 devices while on campus but may have Windows 8 or Windows 7 devices at home. The user and applications settings need to be translated between Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

Table 7 lists the technologies available to help manage user, operating system, application, and application settings on multiple devices. You can select any combination of these technologies to design a complete multiple device usage solution. Each technology is discussed in a subsequent section.

Table 7. Multiple Device Usage Technology Selection

 

  Work Folders + Workplace Join Windows Folder Redirection + Offline Files Windows Roaming User Profiles Default user profiles Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V)

Works across multiple devices

Yes (only Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1)

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Works across multiple operating systems

Yes (only Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1)

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Included as a part of Windows 8.1

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Provides detailed management of user, operating system, and application settings

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Provides centralized management of user experience

Yes

Yes (with Group Policy)

Yes (with Group Policy)

No

Yes

Yes

Works with Remote Desktop Services

Yes

Yes

Yes (but log on and log off times can be slow because the profile needs to be copied to and from the server)

N/A

Yes

Yes

Works with VDI scenarios

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Works with Windows To Go

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Devices must be domain joined

No (if using Workplace Join with Work Folders)

Yes (if centrally managed)

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Can be used on institution-owned devices

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can be used personally owned devices

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

No

Can be used to manage Windows Store apps

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Can be used to manage desktop applications

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Can be used in recovery scenarios (such as new or lost device)

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Assists with desktop application deployment

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Assists with desktop application compatibility issues

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Requires Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) subscription

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Infrastructure requirements

  • AD DS

  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) in Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Work Folders in Windows Server 2012 R2

  • AD DS

  • Network shared folders

  • AD DS

  • Network shared folders

None

  • Managed network

  • UE-V infrastructure

  • Managed network

  • UE-V infrastructure

Windows work folders and workplace join

The Work Folders feature creates shared work folders that behave similarly to the Windows Offline Files feature or OneDrive features (where files are synchronized between the device and the shared folder). While offline, changes to either the shared work folder or the offline copy of the files on the device are synchronized the next time the user connects the device to the shared work folder. Table 8 contains information that can help you determine when Work Folders is the right solution compared with other Microsoft file synchronization technologies.

Table 8. Microsoft File Synchronization Technology Selection

 

  Work Folders Offline Files OneDrive Pro OneDrive

Summary

Syncs files that are stored on a file server with PCs and devices

Syncs files that are stored on a file server with PCs that have access to the corporate network (can be replaced by Work Files)

Syncs files that are stored in Office 365 or in SharePoint with PCs and devices inside or outside a corporate network and provides document collaboration functionality

Syncs personal files that are stored in OneDrive with PCs, Mac computers, and devices

Provides user access to institution-managed storage

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Provided as a cloud service

No

No

Yes (Office 365)

Yes (OneDrive)

Provided as on-premises solution

Yes (on file servers running Windows Server 2012 R2)

Yes (on file servers running Windows Server 2008 or later operating systems)

Yes (on servers running SharePoint)

No

Supported clients

PCs and devices inside or outside a corporate network

PCs in a corporate network or connected through DirectAccess, VPNs, or other remote access technologies

PCs, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices

PCs, Windows Phone, Mac computers, iOS, and Android devices

You can assign permissions to the shared work folder, just as with traditional server message block network shared folders. Users can access the shared work folders while connected to the intranet or on the Internet (if configured to do so).

The Work Folders feature can also work with the Workplace Join feature to allow nondomain-joined devices to securely access shared work folders on servers running Windows Server 2012 R2. The Workplace Join feature allows nondomain-joined devices to be registered in AD DS through the Device Registration Services feature in AD FS. When a Windows 8.1 device is workplace joined, a certificate is installed on the device and also stored in AD DS. The device can then be authenticated by using AD FS and AD DS.

You can also configure the level of authentication required to access the shared work folders by using AD FS. For example, you could require user authentication, device authentication, or both.

noteNote
You can use Work Folders without Workplace Join, but doing so requires that the devices be domain joined.

For more information on Workplace Join and Work Folders, see the following resources:

Windows Folder Redirection

The Folder Redirection feature in Windows 8.1 redirects the path of a known folder (such as the Documents, Pictures, or Video folder in a user profile) to a new location manually or by using Group Policy. The new location can be a folder on the local device or a directory on a file share. Users interact with files in the redirected folder as if it still existed on the local drive. For example, you can redirect the Documents folder on a domain-joined device (which is usually stored on a local drive) to a network shared folder. The folder will be redirected on any domain-joined computer on which the user signs on and receives the Group Policy settings. The folder is also accessible directly from the network shared folder independent of the Folder Redirection Group Policy settings.

When used in conjunction with UE-V, the Folder Redirection feature helps provide a comprehensive solution for users who log on to multiple devices. For more information about including the Folder Redirection feature in your design, see Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and Roaming User Profiles Overview.

Windows Offline Files

The Offline Files feature in Windows 8.1 makes network files available to a user, even if the network connection to the server is unavailable or slow. When working online, file access performance is at the speed of the network and server. When working offline, files are retrieved from the Offline Files folder at local access speeds. When the connection to the server is restored, the offline copy of the files is synchronized to the server.

You can use the Offline Files feature in conjunction with the Folder Redirection feature in Windows 8.1 and UE-V. The Offline Files feature helps ensure that users can access files stored in the local folders that are redirected to network shared folders by using the Folder Redirection feature. The Folder Redirection feature is often used with UE-V to help improve user experience when roaming.

For more information about including the Offline Files feature in your design, see Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and Roaming User Profiles Overview.

Windows Roaming User Profiles

The Roaming User Profiles feature in Windows 8.1 redirects user profiles to a file share so that users receive the same operating system and application settings on multiple computers. When a user logs on to a computer by using an account that is set up with a file share as the profile path, the user’s profile is downloaded to the local computer and merged with the local profile (if present). When the user logs off of the computer, the local copy of their profile, including any changes, is merged with the server copy of the profile. Roaming User Profiles is typically enabled on domain accounts by a network administrator.

Before choosing to deploy Roaming User Profiles, consider the following:

  • Roaming User Profiles can impact logon and logoff performance, especially if users’ profiles contain many large files (for example, videos and images).

  • Roaming User Profiles do not work across full desktop experiences and session-based VDI.

  • In mixed environments, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 user profiles are incompatible.

Because of these Roaming User Profiles considerations, UE-V is recommended for managing user experience. For more information about including the Roaming User Profiles feature in your design, see Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and Roaming User Profiles Overview.

Default user profiles

When a user logs on to a device for the first time, Windows must provide the user with a user profile. If the user profile is centrally managed through UE-V or Roaming User Profiles, the user profile is obtained from these technologies. However, if the user profile is not centrally managed, then Windows creates the new user profile based on the default user profile on that device. The default user profile is used as a template when creating a new user profile. You can use CopyProfile setting in the Microsoft System Preparation Tool to customize a user profile, and then copy that profile to the default user profile.

Because of default user profile limitations, Microsoft recommends UE-V for managing user experience. For more information about including default user profiles in your design, see How to Customize the Default User Profile by Using CopyProfile.

User Experience Virtualization

UE-V is an enterprise-scale user state virtualization solution that that keeps users’ experience with them. UE-V provides users the choice of changing their device and keep their experience so that they do not have to reconfigure applications each time they log on to different Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 computers. UE-V integrates with the Folder Redirection feature in Windows 8.1 to help make user folders accessible from multiple physical or virtual devices. UE-V supports desktop applications that are deployed using different methods (such as locally installed apps, App-V sequenced applications, or Remote Desktop applications). UE-V is a technology in the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), which is a suite of technologies available through SA subscriptions.

For more information about including UE-V in your design, see the following resources:

Microsoft Application Virtualization

App-V virtualizes desktop applications so that they become centrally managed services deployed to a virtualized desktop application environment on devices without using traditional installation methods (known as application sequencing). The sequenced desktop applications run in their own self-contained virtual environment and are isolated from each other, which eliminates application conflicts but allows desktop applications to interact with the device.

App-V integrates with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, so you can manage virtual and physical desktop applications along with hardware and software inventory, operating system and patch deployment, and more. App-V is a technology in the MDOP.

noteNote
App-V works only for desktop applications, not for Windows Store apps.

For more information about including App-V in your design, see the following resources:

Note the following key Windows 8.1 configuration and management planning considerations:

  • Which methods are available for configuring and managing domain-joined and non–domain-joined Windows 8.1 devices after deployment?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of on-premises and off-premises device management?

  • What methods are available to manage devices and software throughout the entire IT life cycle?

  • What configuration and management methods can be used for institution- and personally owned devices?

Ongoing Windows 8.1 device configuration and management is an essential part of your Windows 8.1 deployment plan. Windows 8.1 supports both on-premises and off-premises management. You can also manage Windows 8.1 locally or remotely. The configuration and management methods differ on the level of automation and the method completeness. For example, Group Policy works for domain-joined devices but is ineffectual for stand-alone devices. You can use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to automate common IT tasks, but by itself, Windows PowerShell does not provide a comprehensive solution.

Table 9 lists some of the technologies available for performing Windows 8 configuration and management. The list in Table 9 is only a few of the many products, tools, and utilities that are available for configuring and managing Windows 8.1. You can select any combination of these technologies to design a complete configuration and management solution. Each technology is discussed in a subsequent section.

Table 9. Configuration and Management Technology Selection

 

  Group Policy Windows PowerShell System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Windows Intune

Control (turn on or off) Windows Store access

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Control installation of specific apps (by using whitelists or blacklists)

Yes (with AppLocker)

No

Yes (in conjunction with Group Policy and AppLocker)

No

Operating system setting management

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

User setting management

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

App setting management

Yes (if registry based)

App-specific

Yes, but scripting may be required

Yes, but scripting may be required

Centralized administration model

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

On or off-premises

On-premises

On-premises

On-premises

Off-premises

On-premises infrastructure

AD DS

None

  • Managed networks

  • System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

None

Devices must be domain joined

Yes

No

No, but challenges exist for native support; Windows Intune integration is recommended

No

Supports self-service model

No

No

Yes

Yes

Supports push model

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can be used to create enterprise app store

No

No

Yes

Yes

User interaction

  • IT pro does back-end configuration

  • User performs no actions

IT pro performs all tasks

  • IT pro does back-end configuration

  • User has no interaction for push model and limited interaction for self-service model

  • IT pro does back-end configuration

  • User has no interaction for push model and limited interaction for self-service model

Provided with Windows 8

In Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise, but requires AD DS

Yes

No

No

Provides unified solution for the entire software life cycle, including installation, updates, supersedence, and removal

No

No

Yes

Yes

Can be used for operating system deployment

No

No

Yes

No

Requires additional cost

Yes (unless AD DS is already installed)

No

Yes (if no System Center Configuration Manager infrastructure is installed)

Yes (subscription model)

Group Policy

You can use Group Policy to manage user, Windows operating system, and application settings. Ultimately, you can use Group Policy to manage any configuration settings stored in the Windows registry. Microsoft provides built-in Group Policy templates for most common configuration settings. In addition, you can create custom Group Policy templates that allow you to manage configuration settings that the built-in templates do not provide. Use Group Policy to control Windows Store access and the installation and running of apps on devices (when used in conjunction with AppLocker). For more information about using Group Policy for configuration and management, see the following resources:

Windows PowerShell

Many common Windows 8 administrative tasks can be performed by using Windows PowerShell, including Windows Store app management and operating system configuration. You can use Windows PowerShell interactively or to create scripts that can be run to perform more complex tasks. For more information about using Windows PowerShell for configuration and management, click here.

Configuration Manager

System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager automates deploying apps to a device during or after the operating system deployment process. System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager allows you to create a list of applications that can be selected during the deployment process at the time of deployment or deployed through the Application Catalog. System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager provides a unified console for managing apps and can optionally integrate with Windows Intune to help manage devices that are not connected to the educational institution’s intranet. For more information about using System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager for configuration and management, click here.

Windows Intune

Windows Intune is an off-premises, cloud-based management solution that provides device management, software installation, and software update management. Windows Intune can integrate with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager to provide a unified management solution.

Windows Intune helps manage IT environments to help keep devices secure, including software and patch distribution, policy-based management, and Endpoint Protection for PCs. Windows Intune also supports BYOD scenarios by providing a self-service portal to install apps, personalized app delivery, and support for multiple platforms and devices.

For more information about using Windows Intune for configuration and management, click here.

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