Imagine a world where IT can actually control access to the corporate network for users who want to use their own personal devices. Windows 8.1 introduces Workplace Join, which enables end-users to enroll, or register, their own devices in the corporate network. Once the device is registered, IT has the ability to manage how much or how little of the network is available to the device, ensuring that company policy and security is observed. In addition, IT has the ability to deregister a device if the device has been compromised, is deemed unsecure, the employee has left the company, or the device's use goes against corporate policy.
Workplace Join, along with Work Folders, allows personal and work related activities on the devices to remain completely separate. While IT has policy control over the company's assets (data, apps, and network enrollment) on the device, IT does not have control over the personal assets to further ensure there's a comfort level between both the employee and the employer over who owns what on the device.
Both Workplace Join and Work Folders require that Windows Server 2012 R2 be deployed within the company.
Adam Hall gave an overview of this feature at TechEd North America 2013:
This article is part of The IT Guide to Windows 8.1, a continuing series to make the case for Windows 8.1 in the organization.