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In Blue: Device Encryption

Full disk encryption will be an inherent part of the Windows 8.1 imaging and Setup process

With the introduction of Windows 8.1 “Blue,” all version of Windows 8 and RT will include full disk encryption capabilities that are modeled after a similar feature in Windows RT. But the bigger change, in some ways, isn’t the availability of encryption but rather that it’s enabled by default as part of Setup.

In Windows RT today, disk encryption is automatically enabled when the user signs in with a Microsoft account. Though it’s based on BitLocker technologies, the feature is transparent to the user and is not locally manageable in any way.

With Windows 8.1, all versions of Windows 8 and RT will offer this functionality. It will be applied as part of the imaging and Setup process, and as with today’s RT feature, the user won’t even need to be aware it’s happening.

However, PC makers and corporate environments that wish to disable this functionality—perhaps to use a third party tool—will be able to do so. Microsoft says it will publish information about this in the near future.

Also, BitLocker (and BitLocker To Go) will still be available for users or environments that wish to more fully manage disk encryption, but only in Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise.

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