5 Ways Intel's New Core vPro Chips Will Transform Businesses

Skylake For Enterprises

Intel on Tuesday cut the ribbon on its sixth-generation Core i7 vPro processors -- Skylake chips targeted toward the enterprise. Intel's vPro brand bakes features for business users into the hardware, so these Skylake processors, unlike those meant for consumers, will be enterprise-focused.

The processors flaunt new features for the enterprise, including higher performance, better graphics and tighter security measures than 5-year-old PCs, Intel said. According to Intel, a range of devices built for businesses, including 2-in-1s, will be available with the processors. Companies such as Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, HP and Panasonic will release enterprise-ready devices featuring the new processors.

Following are five ways that Intel's new Skylake chips will transform the workplace.

Better Security

Intel's Core vPro processors focus specifically on hardware-enhanced security for the enterprise. In addition to enhanced performance and graphics, these new sixth-generation processors tout the Intel Authenticate Solution, which is a multifactor authentication solution intended to strengthen identity protection on the PC, making computers less vulnerable to identity and security credential attacks.

Through the Authenticate Solution, employees no longer need to use passwords to gain access to their PCs.

This solution works by using three factors simultaneously -- something users know, like a personal identification number; something they have, such as a mobile phone; and something users "are," like a fingerprint.

Performance Enhancements

The new sixth-generation Core vPro processors, built for desktops, 2-in-1s and Ultrabooks in the commercial segment, contain 2.5 times the performance, three times the battery life, and a 30-times increase in graphics performance over a 5-year-old system, according to Intel.

These improvements in performance and battery life are important upgrades in the ability of OEMs to create stylish and sleek PCs, analysts say -- devices that are fit for modern, on-the-move employees, who need portability.

"PCs in this environment need to be thin, light and attractive, as well as high-performance," said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, Austin, Texas. "For the first time, the industry is seeing high-quality, responsive and attractive machines."

Windows 10 Compatibility

The sixth-generation Core vPro processors are optimized for Windows 10, according to Intel. Despite rumors, the processors will also run Windows 7, though they are tuned for Windows 10.

According to Intel, the security feature of the Core vPro processors, Intel Authenticate, is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, and available for preview. However, the feature is available only on Skylake processors, and according to Microsoft's new Windows update policy, Skylake machines need to be upgraded to Windows 10 before next year.

Small Business Advantage

Along with its Core vPro processors, Intel offered a Small Business Advantage (SBA) easy-to-use solution for small and medium-size businesses. This solution helps SMB owners protect and grow their companies by providing CEOs with a centralized way to connect and share information, as well as automatic security and maintenance updates, and features like chat, USB blocker and file share.

Intel SBA tracks critical software at the hardware level with continual security monitoring, as well as automating PC maintenance tasks to run overnight with data backup and restore.

Intel Unite

With sixth-generation Core vPro, Intel also introduced updates to its Intel Unite conferencing software, so that businesses can more easily use their videoconferencing systems.

Intel Unite now contains extended display capabilities, meaning that meeting participants can avoid the annoying search for the right adapter or dongle. Intel also added auto-disconnect and integration of Skype for Business to Intel Unite.

Intel Unite can be installed on a Windows or MacOS device for instant connection. The software contains 256-bit SSL data encryption so that users can ensure that their shared data is protected.