Check out this video about Windows 8. It isn’t cloud security specific, but it’s got a ton of info about how Windows 8 will interact with the cloud, and it’s just8 minutes. Very worth seeing if you’re not up to speed on Windows 8.
Windows 8 is going to have “built in” cloud services that work in real time with Microsoft cloud offerings like SkyDrive, which ought to put the hurt on cloud providers like DropBox, especially if Microsoft can handle security better than DropBox has. That remains to be determined…
Taking an idea from Apple, Microsoft will use the cloud to let Windows 8 devices easily find and communicate with each other. On the other hand, this could be a security problem in itself, and Microsoft has a less than stellar reputation when it comes to security. Time will tell whether the strides they’ve made around security have helped Windows 8. I suspect they will. SkyDrive will enable access to remote devices that you add to your SkyDrive account, even across firewalls.
No word yet on how all this user empowerment will intersect with enterprise security needs, such as DLP (data loss prevention).
Microsoft has to be feeling some stress here. On one hand, they want to drive adoption of their own cloud platforms like Windows Azure and Microsoft Office 365, so they will obviously feel compelled to provide the best support for them in Windows 8. On the other hand, there are huge numbers of iPads and iPhones out there, as well as lots of smartphones based on Google´s Android OS. Surely Microsoft is also feeling compelled to support these from its cloud offerings. It may be a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation, but in any case, Microsoft needs to let us know if its cloud services will have apps for iOS and Android.
One very cool use of the cloud in Windows 8 is to allow users to keep their desktop layout in the cloud, so no matter what device you log in from, you’ll always see your customized layout. This is an extension of an older service, Windows Live. It even has shades of Citrix virtual desktop “user vitualization” technology. And taking a page from LinkedIn or Google, Windows 8 will be able to extract your contacts from several cloud-based email services.
From a personal perspective, I’ve used Windows since version 3.0 beta came out about 25 years ago. But now I run it in a virtual machine that is sitting on a Macbook Pro. I’m pretty sure Windows 8 is going to be great, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be great enough to win the war for Microsoft.