At the BUILD conference last week, Microsoft spent a lot of time talking about Windows 8, the next version of its operating system, set to launch next year. On many fronts, Windows 8 appears to be a worthwhile purchase for consumers. It will run well on tablets, come with a neat new interface and, according to Microsoft, offer better security. Since PC vendors will, as always, ship it with their latest PC models, consumers might have no other choice but to run Windows 8 the next time they buy a computer.
But the enterprise is different. During the Windows Vista years, the corporate world showed that when it doesn't want to deploy a respective operating system, it won't. Windows 7 has demonstrated that when enterprises have confidence in a new OS, they will buy it. But how will enterprises react to the availability of Windows 8? Will it embrace the operating system or, as some critics have said, ignore it altogether as an untimely upgrade that is arriving very early in the desktop hardware upgrade cycle.
But at this point,it seems Windows 8 will be an enterprise winner. Read on to find out why:
1. Many are still using XP
Although Windows 7 has proved wildly popular and it has been deployed by hundreds of millions of PC users around the world, many companies are still using Windows XP. Now that IT managers know Windows 8 will launch late next year, they might decide to wait until then to get all new computers in their businesses. Windows 7 is available now and is quite appealing, but for some companies, waiting until next year for Windows 8 might be their best bet.
2. Windows 7 isn't fully rolled out
Of course, there are some companies that have already started to deploy Windows 7. And while some of those companies will continue to deploy Windows 7 until all their PCs are covered, in this world of tight budgets and uncertain economic times putting those deployments on hold to see what the next year holds might be more appealing to companies right now. For those firms, Windows 8 might just be their best bet.
3. Think about tablets
Windows 7 is by no means a worthwhile tablet operating system. In fact, it falls short in several ways. ButWindows 8 is designed with tablets in mind, making it an obvious choice for enterprise users. After all, it will support the operating system that companies want and come in a form factor that the enterprise is slowly but surely adopting. Although arguments can be made that companies won't buy Windows 8 desktops or laptops, many firms will jump at Windows 8 tablets.
4. The new look won't scare employees
Much has been made about the new look and feel of Windows 8, complete with tiles and other features that the critics say will confuse employees. However, at BUILD, Microsoft showed that it's actually quite easy to turn the operating system back to the classic desktop style that employees have grown accustomed to. If they do decide to go with the tiles, it won't scare them one bit. Windows 8's new look and feel isn't nearly as big of a problem as some claim.