Windows 8: Beauty And The Beast?

Microsoft has a high dependency on the success of Windows 8. Many organisations still use Windows XP – with few having migrated to Vista (for very good reasons).

Windows 7 has struggled to crawl out completely from the nasty shadow cast by Vista and encourage users away from the comfort of XP to a newer operating system.

On the business desktop, what does Windows 8 really bring to the game? It is faster than Windows 7 and supports a different method of application provisioning and presentation through the Windows 8 App Store and the Modern UI.

It has an enhanced security platform – but so had Vista and Windows 7 and this hasn’t stopped organisations sticking to an 11-year-old, slow, but functional Windows XP.

Furthermore, the majority of applications in an organisation will have been written for Windows XP/Vista/7 and will default back to the traditional desktop UI. This is incredibly distracting for users should they then have to use anything under the Modern UI – and switching between them is not that intuitive.

The new version of Windows is not ready for enterprise use, as existing applications will not have the Modern UI in time for its launch. The “beauty “of the Modern UI could well be the “beast” for an organisation, requiring employee training and more helpdesk effort for support.

For that reason, Windows 8 looks far more like a defensive play in the BYOD – and I do not expect to see a rapid corporate migration to Windows 8 through 2013-14.

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Clive Longbottom is founder of Quocirca and is a highly respected and globally recognised industry analyst, covering a range of business and technology areas. Clive’s primary coverage area is business process facilitation. Clive has been an ITC industry analyst for over 15 years. Clive has worked with a range of large and small analyst companies, including META Group (now Gartner) as VP Europe. Clive has a B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Aston in the UK.