With employee Surfaces, Microsoft campus enters BYOD world

Credit: gabofr via Flickr

Microsoft employees are starting to get their Surface tablets this week, after Microsoft announced in September that everyone would get one.

Employees have reportedly been encouraged to use them for work and play. So when they bring their new tablets to Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., campus they'll be using a new Wi-Fi network.

Microsoft has long maintained a Wi-Fi network for internal use and a separate guest network for visitors. The guest network required a password, which visitors could get from building receptionists.

But that all changed recently when Microsoft began replacing the guest network on campus with a new open Wi-Fi network. In a note to employees in buildings where the new network has been installed, Microsoft advised workers to use the open network with personal devices, including their new Surface tablets or Windows 8 phones, that are not joined to the corporate domain.

Microsoft did not reply to requests for comment about the new network.

Maintaining an open network fits with a BYOD strategy. Since workers will be able to use their Surface tablets for fun the tablets are open to potential security issues. Attached to the new open Wi-Fi network, however, workers won't be able to connect to the corporate network, thus keeping corporate data safe.

Despite the lack of access to the corporate network and the lack of full-fledged Office apps on Surface RT, workers can presumably use the tablets for work by storing work documents in SkyDrive for access on the tablet.

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