So it looks like Windows 8 is beginning to get some traction in the Enterprise market with a number of clients that we work with looking at rolling out Proof of Concepts with their users. Some are doing this via dual-boot options, other through VDI and some more are testing using bootable USB keys. All of these methods are really just to see how easily the users can interact with the new Windows 8 interface and if they would be happy with a move from Windows 7, which now has a really strong following.

As we have told most of our client, the biggest issue with Windows 8 will be getting their users familiar with the interface as Microsoft have moved away from the traditional Start menu. Their primary reason for testing is due to BYOD and having to support only one O/S. So the question begs to be asked, does my version of SCCM support Windows 8? Can I only support Windows 8 through SCCM 2012 or can I hold off on an upgrade from SCCM 2007 to 2012 for a while longer?

Until recently no version of SCCM was able to manage Windows 8 machines. There is a new SP1 update for SCCM 2012 due in January which will include this functionality. SCCM 2007 will require a hotfix to allow management of Windows 8 clients, but not O/S deployment. The information is available from Microsoft here.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1:

We will add the following operating systems to our client support matrix with the release of Service Pack 1:

  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Note: Systems with these operating systems will also be able to host a distribution point

  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Note: Systems with these operating systems will also be able to host a distribution point

All site server roles – including site server, SMS providers, and management points – can be deployed to servers with the following operating system editions:

  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2

As with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1, we are adding the following operating systems to our client support matrix in Configuration Manager 2007 with SP2 (includes Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and Configuration Manager 2007 R3):

  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Note: Though these will be fully supported as clients, there is no plan to add support for deploying these as operating systems by using the Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployment feature. Also, no site servers or site systems will be support on any SKU of Windows Server 2012.

The hotfix update for SCCM 2007 can be found here

So, this Hotfix only adds limited support for Windows 8. It will allow visibility of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 in the supported platforms list for Software Distribution, SUP, and DCM. It doesn’t look like SCCM 2007 will ever support Windows 8 clients in full. SCCM 2012 will however provide full support for Windows 8 and Server 2012 clients.

So if you want to utilise the full functionality of SCCM for Windows 8 deployments you’ll need to look at SCCM 2012 SP1, or upgrade from 2007.

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