Is Microsoft joining Apple and Google in divorcing mobile devices from the standard management systems IT relies on? It sure seems that way.

On Friday, Microsoft will ship its Surface tablet running Windows RT -- the Metro-based operating system that doesn't include the traditional Windows Desktop environment (as Windows 8 does). Windows RT can't join an Active Directory domain, which means IT can't manage Surface tablets using Active Directory domain settings such as those managed by the Group Policy engine. Microsoft will ship Surface tablets with Windows 8, but not for another three months. You can expect Windows RT tablets to enter the enterprise, posing the same kind of challenges the iPhone and iPad first did.

A Guy