Microsoft Aims Windows 8.1 at Financial Firms
The big money OS? Ahead of Windows 8.1's big launch next month, Microsoft is targeting post-PC financial professionals.Money talks, and Microsoft is speaking volumes about its flagship operating system's place in today's financial services industry. Mobility is foremost on Microsoft's agenda. While at the Sibos conference in Dubai, a gathering of financial companies and professionals, the software giant is "discussing how our technology can help financial institutions grow their businesses through mobile innovations for employees and customers," informed Erwin Visser, general manager of Windows Commercial, in a Sept. 16 blog post. He added that his company is "working with financial institutions to help them embrace mobility to take advantage of the new business opportunities it offers" while hinting that finance and banking concerns don't have to sacrifice IT manageability to pursue those opportunities. Microsoft's Windows 8 OS straddles the line between tablets and desktop PCs. A tiled interface (formerly Metro) offers users access to touch-optimized apps while the traditional Windows desktop—along with its well-established hooks into corporate IT management systems—allows users to tap into a vast business software library. It's this blend of new mobile-friendly capabilities with an IT-friendly legacy that Microsoft believes will resonate with financial firms.
Visser argued that Windows "is uniquely positioned to help companies utilize mobile technologies, so that they can do business in new ways, while also meeting the stringent IT standards for security, manageability and support that financial institutions require for their sensitive data." Microsoft is doubling down on those requirements with the upcoming Windows 8.1 update, which was designed "with enterprise needs in mind." Windows 8.1 is scheduled for an Oct. 17 release (Oct. 18 at retail).