One of the most significant changes is support for Windows 8. Configuration Manager SP1 supports Windows 8 in the following ways:
- You can install the Configuration Manager client on Windows 8 computers and deploy Windows 8 to new computers or to upgrade previous client operating versions. Configuration Manager also supports Windows To Go.
- Configuration Manager supports Windows 8 features, such as metered Internet connections and Always On Always Connected.
- You can configure user data and profiles configuration items for folder redirection, offline files, and roaming profiles.
- You can configure new deployment types for Windows 8 applications, which support standalone applications (.appx files) and links to the Windows Store.
Other significant changes include the following:
- Support for Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012.
- Clients are now supported on Mac computers, and on Linux and UNIX servers.
- Windows PowerShell cmdlets are available to automate Configuration Manager operations by using Windows PowerShell scripts.
- Support for cloud services, including a new distribution point for Windows Azure.
- More flexible hierarchy management with support to expand a stand-alone primary site into a hierarchy that includes a new central administration site, and the migration of a Configuration Manager SP1 hierarchy to another Configuration Manager SP1 hierarchy.
- Support for multiple software update points for a site to provide automatic redundancy for clients in the same way as you can configure multiple management points.
- Client notification to initiate some client operations from the Configuration Manager console, which include downloading computer policy and initiating a malware scan to be performed as soon as possible, instead of during the normal client policy polling interval.
- Support for virtual environments that allow multiple virtual applications to share file system and registry information instead of running in an isolated space.
- Email alert subscriptions are now supported for all features, not just Endpoint Protection.
Great to see that Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012 and Windows 8 are all supported now. Also good to see that significant changes has been added to this already great product. There's still more to come in ConfigMgr with new Service Packs and Releases!
With SP1, the capabilities of ConfigMgr 2012 will be extended to manage Windows Embedded thin clients, Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals, digital signage, kiosks, and Thin PC's. This functionality means additional devices can be managed by ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 without requiring any additional software. Isn't that great!?
More information can be found HERE. The Beta is now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center website.