DirectAccess and the Microsoft Surface Pro

With the recent release of the Microsoft Surface Pro, many people have been asking me about DirectAccess connectivity for these devices. One of the requirements for DirectAccess connectivity is that the device be joined to a domain, a capability that the Surface RT lacked. Although the Surface Pro runs the full version of Windows 8, it is Windows 8 Professional. Sadly, DirectAccess connectivity is only supported for Windows 8 Enterprise edition clients, along with Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate editions.

Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess Client Requirements

So, if you have just purchased a new Microsoft Surface Pro and are hoping to configure it as a DirectAccess client, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. In my opinion, the lack of DirectAccess support for Windows 8 and Windows 7 Professional is a serious flaw, especially when you consider all of the great use cases you can imagine when you have a full featured tablet with always-on, secure remote network connectivity. It’s a shame, really. Let’s hope this changes in the future!

Update: Read my post on how to install Windows 8 Enterprise and configure DirectAccess on the Microsoft Surface Pro here.

December 2012 Windows Updates and DirectAccess Connectivity Issues

The December 2012 collection of Windows updates included a number of changes that may adversely affect connectivity for DirectAccess clients. The December updates included changes to the Windows Root Certificate store and a hotfix for the IP Helper Service. Either or both of these updates could potentially prevent DirectAccess clients from connecting via the IPHTTPS IPv6 transition protocol. For more information read this post from the Forefront UAG Product Team.

Discussing DirectAccess on the People Talking Tech Podcast

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with fellow Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Denny Cherry on his People Talking Tech podcast. We had a great time conversing about DirectAccess in Windows Server 2012. Give it a listen!

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