With the official launch of Windows 8 today, many enterprises are still unclear as to what Microsoft’s new release can really offer them. Billed as the most talked about Operating System since Windows 95, the double launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet makes it clear that Windows 8 has been optimised for tablet users as opposed to providing that slick finish we have come to expect on the enterprise side.
As a traditionally strong player in the enterprise space, Microsoft has opted to emulate the Apple look-and-feel with this new release. While the Windows 8 core is based on Windows 7 – which as a result of sustained evolution is an excellent Operating System – it is a shame that, on the desktop, the new Metro facade and the removal of the Start menu eradicate years of familiarity synonymous with the Windows brand.
However, there are some key features of Windows 8 that will prove genuinely useful in the corporate environment – not just for the individual user, but also the IT team – such as a speedier booting process to replace BIOS, increased flexibility when it comes to managing virtual clients, and Microsoft’s Refresh and Reset function.
These features are a step in the right direction towards better IT efficiency, but could have easily given immediate benefit to Windows 7 users as well – especially considering that organisations are typically slow to migrate to new Operating Systems.
Ultimately, while Microsoft’s focus on building a better User Interface for the enterprise space is commendable, it has certainly missed a trick when it comes to improving basic manageability and support.
The migration process is a huge undertaking for any organisation, so a concerted effort to ease both the time required and costs incurred during the migration path would have been of huge benefit. What’s more, with prevalent Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) cultures in today’s workplace, building a better level of support for home-based workers would not have gone amiss. Users should be able to self-serve the whole Operating System from wherever they are, not just applications.