Windows 8 – Does it belong in your workplace?

Last Friday during a client conference call I was asked if Windows 8 should be considered for their workplace.  There is a lot of discussion about Microsoft’s newest OS. Currently nobody has a definitive answer regarding it’s validity in the workplace . If someone tells you they do, then they obviously do not know what they are talking about.

Many IT managers and directors are meeting with their CIO’s to discuss if they should implement and rollout this new OS, and if there is even a business value.

Last month Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner stated, “Employees will be bringing devices into the workplace that run Windows 8, whether it wants them or not. Running Windows 8 will be as simple as plugging in a USB stick, even in a Windows 7 machine. So enterprises had better “get ahead” now, and embrace the wave rather than try to repel it.

Turner painted a picture of the role of the CIO shifting from the IT manager to the business manager, answering the needs of an employee base made up of consumers whose personal technology already exceeds the capability and quality of what most businesses have installed in their networks now. Said Turner: “If you look at the trends, whether it’s cloud or consumerization of IT, you’re going to notice that there’s one thing in common: They’re mostly being driven by end users, and the ability to get in front of that is the real challenge that we see for CIOs and for enterprises. Which is why more and more IT solutions are being built from the end-user backwards, versus the business and the system out (this could be another topic all by itself). That’s something, again, we continue to see in a very, very profound way.”

As you can surmise – of course Microsoft has a vested interest in you purchasing Windows 8, it brings them more revenue. In my opinion the above statements by Kevin Turner are a weak attempt to spin a marketing buzz about their newest product, which I might add has not even been released yet. One thing that really rugs me the wrong way is an external company telling another how they should run their business without first understanding the business model, company culture and technology needs. To walk into a room of a couple hundred people and state ” you had better get ahead now and adopt our product” is just plain arrogant. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Microsoft hater and I use and like most of Microsoft’s products professionally and personally. But I have been in the management and IT consulting field for a very long time and have worked with large and small companies alike. The first thing I came to realize is that one size does not fit all, especially in business and what works well for company “A” is a death sentence for company “B”.

So what’s new in Windows 8? The jury is still out on this. Windows 8 in currently in Beta testing so what the final product is or what it will look like is anyone’s guess.

Although there are some major changes. For one thing, Windows 8 is built around the “metro” interface. This metro interface seems to be the major visible “innovation” of Windows 8. It is built around a tablet model with large buttons representing your commonly used programs. All the functions and settings for Windows 7 are hiding behind Metro. They aren’t extremely difficult to get to — but the classic start menu is now gone in Windows 8.

Before you rollout Windows 8 there are a lot of questions you should be asking right now.

  • What is the business motivator
  • Does this fit your environment
  • What is the business value
  • Will this help our employees work better and smarter
  • How will this disrupt our company

You should know that in Microsoft’s race to keep up with the iPad, Windows 8 was designed for the PC tablet and has some enhancements to the traditional mouse-and-keyboard desktop. One of the issues that’s been on my mind is whether this will keep bogging Windows down with more running processes, and whether running a full Windows desktop on a low-powered tablet was really a good idea.

So is it a good idea to roll this product out company wide? The short answer is NO. I would suggest that you always perform a pilot program with a few select power users who are willing to take the product out for a major road test and run it through all its motions before you unleash it on your company population. Any CIO, IT director or manager who knows their stuff is going to want to test this OS in various situations and on many different systems.

It is hard to find someone who has both a business and technology understanding, there are few us around who know and understand both sides. For those of you who know me, I am sure you know what I am going to say next, so here it comes. Don’t make your technology intrusive to your staff, but instead let your technology wrap itself around your staff and enhance their efforts and focus. Your staff will thank you for this, your hardware and software does not care.

If you would like, we provide a Free Technical Assessment, this can be beneficial to new and startup companies that are not sure where to start.

Raven Cloud Computing offers: Cloud Computing | Online File Storage | Hosted Exchange | Cloud Desktops | Cloud ServersVOIPSupport

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About Barry Bestpitch

Barry Bestpitch has helped a wide range of businesses launch, re-brand, and flourish. Barry has worked in various business development , marketing positions and executive staff positions, he is experienced in all media and in small and large scale marketing. He is strong at writing business plans and proposals as well as aiding with your funding search. Barry has acted as a coach and mentor to many business owners and executives.

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14 Comments on “Windows 8 – Does it belong in your workplace?”

  1. Jason Says:

    Interesting when a software vender starts dictating what will happen in the work place and how their is nothing they can do about it! Microsoft is not the only OS out there and I am not talking about Mac OS. It will be interesting to see what Google OS does, ChromBooks and cloud services do to the number of MS licenses! Comments like that from MS’s COO is liken to the NetFlix affect.

    Reply

    • Barry Bestpitch Says:

      Jason – Agreed – The OS game is heating up and now with Cloud computing there are so many options for companies to choose from. I didn’t even think about the netFlix saga, MS should tread lightly… Thanks for the comment!

      Reply

  2. Phil Crowe Says:

    Nice article. I’m a little resistant to change, and I really like Windows 7, so I’ll probably drag my heels to trying out Windows 8. Unfortunately someone in my position really needs to keep up with new Windows OSs, as soon as I get a machine ready I’ll try the beta. Good job on the blog.

    Reply

    • David Blank Says:

      Hey Barry,

      Apple is making so much cash, pretty soon they could buy out Cisco for cash and still have money left over to work on buying Oracle/Sun. I think that merger would pretty much scare the crap out of HP, Dell and IBM. Stranger things have happened.

      🙂

      DB

      Reply

  3. David Blank Says:

    I wouldn’t even consider a Chrome book. Google is not what I feel is an expienced OS developer. their own apps are very immature to say the least. I would switch over to Apple and leave Microsoft In a heart beat. The overall TCO for Apple is actually less than Microsoft, plus if you really need to run Windows, you can. Actually, Windows 8 RT is the OS for the Microsoft tablet. The problem Microsoft has always had is that they had to rely on others to develop the hardware, I use the same analogy as auto makers. would you buy a Mercedes that uses another brand engine/transmission? NO. When a company develops both the hardware and the OS, they are much better able to execute their vision and they complete control over the support, which is why Apple has higher customer satisfaction and customer retention. They focus on the quality of the product rather than trying to compete solely on price which is why IBM, Compaq and others had to sell off. HP is having problems making a profit which trickels down to the customer in terms of lower quality support, product and reliability. Microsoft has been far too arrogant and Apple snuck up and is chipping away at Microsoft. Look at Cisco, they now have 25-30% Macs, GE is now bringing more Apple products with their employees, Mercedes Benz switched from Dell to Apple and that seems to be happening at the corporate level and these companies seem very happy with the switch. ultimately, customers want reliable, high quality products that are well supported.

    Reply

    • Barry Bestpitch Says:

      Hi David-

      Interesting point you bring up about the quality of product when the manufacturer is producing both the hardware and software. It is ironic that years ago Microsoft had all but eliminated Apple as a competitor. But today – using the model you just discussed – Apple has fought back and has regained some market share. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next year and if Windows 8 can compete with the iPad OS.

      As well – I am sure HP and IBM have licensing agreements with Microsoft that prohibit them from using other OS’s. In the past Microsoft has been in hot water for this practice.

      Thanks for the insight, much appreciated!

      -b

      Reply

      • David Blank Says:

        Hey Barry,

        Think about this for a little while. If you look at Apple’s Market Cap, it equals the COMBINED market cap of Microsoft, HP, Dell, Samsung’s computer unit (if you could separate it away from their semiconductor, TV, and appliances business units), ASUS, Lenovo, Toshiba’s computer unit, Sony’s computer unit, Acer, and probably have additional room left over. And Apple isn’t providing Enterprise software, printers. And people thought Apple was going out of business 14 years ago. If I were you, I would dump my Windows PC and just get Mac, iPad and iPhone. You’ll be much happier. Apple, unlike HP, doesn’t rely on selling printer cartridges to make a profit. 🙂

        But wait until the next release of laptops and desktops from Apple. They are working on some pretty cool stuff that the Windows’s machines won’t have for at least a year or two later.

        IBM only does AIX and Linux from what i see.

        Since the PC mfgs have to support the OS and Microsoft has all of these different flavors of OS, it creates a support nightmare. Apple gets about 70% of their install base over to the latest version of OS within about 6 months. How many different versions of Windows does Microsoft and their OEMs support? Every major release of Windows has at least 5 or 6 different versions. Home, professional, Ultimate, Server, phone, tablet, etc. It makes no sense to do this. Apple only has 3 Desktop, Server, mobile. Apple is also speeding up major releases. They usually have a major release every 18 to 24 months, but that is changing. They had one last year, they are having another major release this year and then another next year. They only charge $30. They are much easier to manage the apps now since they have the app store/iCloud concept.

        I think it is time to getting involved with Apple. I think that 94% of the Fortune 500 are either deploying or evaluating Apple and 74% of the Global 500 are doing the same thing.

        It’s not a matter of using Macs or not, but when. If Microsoft can’t get any traction with their tablet, smartphone product with WIndows 8, I think Microsoft may eventually end up with just their Mac Business Unit pumping out Office for the Mac while their stock price becomes a penny stock. Just joking……..

        Enjoy!

        DB

    • Barry Bestpitch Says:

      Hi David-

      I believe you make some strong points. I think where Apple has been lacking in corporate America’s opinion is it’s lack to motivate development companies to write applications for their MAC OS. Microsoft has much more skin in the game here.

      Although – with the introduction of the iPad, I think changes are in play. I think only time will tell what the OS companies shares will be. We have haters and admirers on both sides.

      I would only note that today, even Apple states the iPad is not a replacement to ones computer. This may be the final deciding factor, if Apple can truly turn the iPad into a fully functioning computer, then that will significantly change the game.

      Thx -b

      Reply

      • David Blank Says:

        here is reality. what desktop applications are deal breakers for Apple? Custom apps developed specifically for Windows? Most applications are going to the way of the application running on a server somewhere and the application is either a browser based app, or they are starting to create apps that run on, you guessed it, iPads. Apple is going to be releasing a new version of the SDK for the IOS which will allow anyone without programming experience to write a sophisticated app on an iOS device, If you could list the top desktop apps that only run on Windows, let me know. I’ll be willing to bet there is another app that is just as good on the Mac side, Most orgs run Office apps which run on the Mac. Name the big deal breakers that leaves out Apple. Just to let you know, walk into a Mercedes Benz dealership, they have NO PCs there. they are using macs, iPhones and iPads, still running what appears to be either a teminal for a mainframe and maybe some other Windows apps, but they are running both Windows and Mac OSs on one machine. It is actually easier to write a Mac app if they use the proper development tools that Apple gives out for free. Ask the employees if they are happier. I’ll bet they will tell you that they don’t miss Dell, at all.

      • David Blank Says:

        The problem with Microsoft is that they are just overcharging for their software. $200 to upgrade to Windows Ultimate? exchange clients, file/print clients, etc. I know Apple hasn’t really focused as much on the server side, which is taken up by AIX, UX, Solaris, Linux, and Microsoft, but you can take any FreeBSD app and run it through a compiler that is Free with each Mac and it will just make it run on OS X. Apple has come a long way since the introduction of OS X. It is basically pretty much without bugs right now. security issues as of late were Java and they have the exact same issue with Windows, only there are 10x more malware and viruses on windows. apple usually releases any bugs fixes on a regular basis rather than one big Service Pack once a year. SAP, Notes, Exchange, Oracle, etc. all run on Mac so the big name apps run without any problem. I think Microsoft has just done a better job at brainwashing corporate America, but that is changing. I think most Sun Employees use Macs, and there are plenty of companies that are switching and they don’t see any big learning curve and any more expense to supporting Macs. In fact, there are plenty of studies done by universities that suggest that it is much less costly to support a Mac client than a windows client.

  4. David Blank Says:

    Have you gone to Nordstroms lately? they have iPhone as cash registers just like an Apple store. In fact, you can DL an app on an iPhone, scan the Bar code, pay by credit card and walk out of an Apple Store without talking to a single sales person. There re cash register systems that use an iPad to run basically any type of retail sales environment. They have a credit card system that works for the Taxi industry that works with an IPad. they are testing it in New York. Imagine an IPad sized GPS, credit card scanner and keeps track of mileage. Slick system. They have over 600,000 apps on the iOS platform, Microsoft only has 70,000. oops.

    Reply

  5. David Blank Says:

    Oh I forgot, Microsoft has sending too much time developing XBox games, Games are not business apps. They have spent too much time on different OSs that’s the biggest problem with Microsoft, too arrogant, to wasteful in the number of different OSs they develop, which takes YEARS before they release a new OS. Windows 7 came out in 2009. It’s 2012 and Windows 8 still isn’t out and Microsoft can’t make a dent in the smartphone and tablet marketplace. If they don’t make some serious inroads, they’ll be just so for behind. Apple changed the game and Microsoft still hasn’t caught up with the mobile device market, which is going to eclipse the desktop market. Some people simply don’t really need much more than a smartphone and a tablet these days for the average user.

    Reply

  6. David Blank Says:

    Apple has about 400 stores around the world, microsoft has about 15 stores that are actually open. It will take Microsoft 15 years to catch up to Apple in terms of opening up Microsoft Stores at the rate they are going. By that time, apple will probably have another couple of hundred more stores. they are always packed. Highest per square foot in retail sales. The Wndows for business argument is pretty much gone. Sme companies have switched completely. Obviously it depends on the type of business. Apple seems to do just fine and I don’t think they are running many windows desktops and laptop. they use Remedy, SAP, Oracle, Office, etc.

    Reply

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