Analysts: Windows 'Blue' will hurt the enterprise

Yesterday it was revealed that a new and major update to Windows 8 is coming sometime in mid-2013, codenamed "Windows Blue" and bringing with it the start of an annual release cycle. This is all well and good for consumers, who will see more regular feature updates to the software that they're using, but it doesn't bode so well for enterprise customers.

Fast release cycles typically hurt the enterprise as IT administrators need time to test updates before deploying them to vast networks. Some analysts believe the solution to this problem would be to split up the release cycle to cater for both consumers - who prefer shorter release cycles - and enterprise customers. Michael Silver of Gartner said this about the fast release cycle:

...any time Microsoft picks up the pace, it causes an issue with enterprises. What Microsoft needs to do is to move to different cycles for consumer versus enterprise, since a faster pace has mostly consumer repercussions.

Another analyst interviewed by PCWorld, Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy, agreed that the long release cycle should stay for the enterprise:

I think Microsoft would attempt to limit this [accelerated schedule] by disconnecting the cadence. They'll provide faster upgrades for consumers, and treat upgrades for enterprises as they do today

While Moorhead said that the fast release cycle would be beneficial to consumers, allowing Microsoft to regain some of the edge it's lost to Apple, he doesn't believe that they will be able to triple the speed of Windows upgrades. "I doubt that they can pull it off at first," Moorhead said. "Microsoft is a commercial company, not a consumer company."

As details of Windows "Blue" are only just rolling in, nothing has been said (or confirmed by Microsoft) over what will happen to enterprise customers with this new, and supposedly more rapid release cycle.

Source: PCWorld

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lies... damn lies.... statistics & analists....

Sheez, making fuz about a rumour.
I can't believe how stupid people get nowadays. Just plain usage of the gray matter isn't there anymore... is it?

Or is this just plain ol' MS bashing again??

This sounds like typical old-school thinking. The advancements in deployment speed are inevitable. Going from 3 years to 1 year is just the beginning. FB releases twice a day. This change will occur quite slowly over time until the concept of "versions" is a vestige of the past.

During the time it takes to make that transition, IT and change management specialists should be preparing themselves for this new approach to software development.

More detailed explanation here:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ci...ion-of-enterprise-software/

Why would MS go back in history? Anyone remember NT or Windows 2000 Workstation? These were just what some are suggesting, forked business OS's, where 98, and XP were the consumer OS's. But the reality is that end users, want the same OS on all their computers, home and work. This also makes sense for enterprises, as it reduces the cost of training staff on different OS's.

It is also important to note that many enterprises run software critical to the operation of their business, that still requires old OS's and software. They are not about to replace this software each year.

Redtop said,
Why would MS go back in history? Anyone remember NT or Windows 2000 Workstation? These were just what some are suggesting, forked business OS's, where 98, and XP were the consumer OS's. But the reality is that end users, want the same OS on all their computers, home and work. This also makes sense for enterprises, as it reduces the cost of training staff on different OS's.

It is also important to note that many enterprises run software critical to the operation of their business, that still requires old OS's and software. They are not about to replace this software each year.

And I was quite irked over the release of Windows ME - over and above the security issues, which were bad enough that I would not recommend ME over 98SE as a client on ANY LAN - not even Netware. (Instead, I recommended 2000 Professional over either.)

Does it really matter right now? Enterprises are the ones that are just now migrating to Windows 7, some even are still on XP. The thing is,*most* enterprises are not going to need all the bells and whistles that Windows 8 has to offer. Splitting Windows 8 into a consumer and enterprise OS, wouldn't help if they are just now getting on 7

With this new model, I'm betting the annual OS release will only be a few features or updates and will re-labeled from "update" to "OS upgrade". This will give the perceived illusion of upgrading to a new OS at a perceived better price when it will be nothing more than what you already get now for free. If they do everything right, I can see why they like it as it will give them more revenue and tighter control...which I promise you the "control" part many will not be very happy with.

Another 'Analyst predicts'.
Well i've decided to become an analyst and i predict the sun will set tonight. I am now officially the smartest analyst on the planet.

Personally,
I, as a consumer, think Microsofts pace of upgrading the whole OS is ridiculous! Can't say as I know of any other consumer who wants faster releases either. Heck, might as well totally switch to Linux, with the current rate of Windows upgrades. Just the money I would save is worth that!!

Analysts usually have no clue how enterprises work or how Windows works or how anything works. No exception here...

iOS updates yearly with big updates, and a lot of enterprise people have an iPhone (I know many who immediately buy a new one once a newer model is announced too). Windows Blue will be similar to iOS updates, not as big as Vista->7 or 7->8.

An interesting way to go about this would be to do it like Ubuntu or Firefox! How? By using the "LTS" (long-term support) idea. Every third release could be a LTS release, aimed particularly for enterprises. They could even name it so to minimize confusion, i.e. Windows Blue Enterprise.

Developers building enterprise software would then aim their software for compatibility with those, while consumers could use the latest and greatest if they wished.

Northgrove said,
An interesting way to go about this would be to do it like Ubuntu or Firefox! How? By using the "LTS" (long-term support) idea. Every third release could be a LTS release, aimed particularly for enterprises. They could even name it so to minimize confusion, i.e. Windows Blue Enterprise.

Developers building enterprise software would then aim their software for compatibility with those, while consumers could use the latest and greatest if they wished.


Every single Windows release is supported longer than any LTS Ubuntu or Firefox release. XP was the longest at 13 years, Vista will be 11 years (2017), 7 also 11 years (2020), and 11 years for Windows 8 too (2023).

Aethec said,

Every single Windows release is supported longer than any LTS Ubuntu or Firefox release. XP was the longest at 13 years, Vista will be 11 years (2017), 7 also 11 years (2020), and 11 years for Windows 8 too (2023).

But with yearly updates, I'd expect that support period to drop by about half at least. Supporting 11 different operating systems with god only know how many different hardware configurations will be a complete nightmare.

I expect every third release, like Northgrove said, will have double support times or something, and the rest of the annual upgrades will have 3-5 year support.

IF the rumor is true about blue it sounds like it'll be for consumers anyways. Also IT can just not upgrade anyways, hell they are given the ability to block SP updates even, this means nothing to them.

I find the idea behind blue to be good though, specially how Windows is now also part of the faster moving mobile/tablet and by extension phone, market.

I think that the enterprise pain around testing before upgrading will diminish over the next few years as software starts to move off the desktop and onto hosted solutions.
For example, we are running XP at the moment with plans to move to Windows 7 next year.
This change has been planned for quite a while and has taken a long time to make sure that our legacy software still works. The legacy software is also going to be phased out over the next 2-3 years.
Whilst this move won't make it any easier to jump to a newer version of Windows the next phase of development will.
We use SAP across most of our estate - so we need to make sure that the GUI version we deploy works on all of the machines. If we move this to a future version that is hosted and simply accessed through a browser then the platform that the browser is running on becomes less important.

"Analyst" - that's where I stopped Reading. When did any of these so-called analysts get things right? Apart from that, how can you analyze something without actually involving a business opinión. THey treat IT admins as people that need time to test things out, who says they don't? A faster update cycle only means that MS gives users the opportunity to update quicker, but it doesn't mean it is being forced down their throats, meaning any IT admin can still test at their leasurely pace and then update when they are sure all is working well for them.

Apart from all this, analysts analyzing on a rumor, no confirmed news has come from MS yet.

Corporate adoption usually times with hardware replacement or training dollars.

But like it's been said before, most are on software assurance plans, so it's really not about the cost, it's about the associate retraining.

The funny thing is that if they go to a faster model I can see that actually helping enterprises -- incremental upgrades means less training. Radical upgrades = more training.

Splitting Windows into consumer and business lines makes total sense. The consumer line can be flashy, gimmicky with useless bling-bling and bells and whistles and oversimplified design that does only limited things like Apple products. The business line can be feature-rich, customizable, power-user oriented. Single Windows product means dumbed down crap for everyone on the planet.

All the businesses I've supported don't have much of anything in the way of power users. I've never once heard "Oh man, can you figure out why this group policy restriction is in place?" It's usually almost always along the lines of "Why can't I send this e-mail?"

Davo said,
All the businesses I've supported don't have much of anything in the way of power users. I've never once heard "Oh man, can you figure out why this group policy restriction is in place?" It's usually almost always along the lines of "Why can't I send this e-mail?"

Then use Windows RT? It's "simplified" for folks who don't understand why can't I send this email.

MsftGaurav said,
Splitting Windows into consumer and business lines makes total sense. The consumer line can be flashy, gimmicky with useless bling-bling and bells and whistles and oversimplified design that does only limited things like Apple products. The business line can be feature-rich, customizable, power-user oriented. Single Windows product means dumbed down crap for everyone on the planet.

Wasn't that one of the reasons for the Windows 9x line and the Windows NT line back in the day

MsftGaurav said,
Splitting Windows into consumer and business lines makes total sense. The consumer line can be flashy, gimmicky with useless bling-bling and bells and whistles and oversimplified design that does only limited things like Apple products. The business line can be feature-rich, customizable, power-user oriented. Single Windows product means dumbed down crap for everyone on the planet.

Uh, Microsoft did this before.

Consumer line: Windows 95/98/ME
Business line: Windows NT 3.1/3.5/3.51/NT4/2000

FrozenEclipse said,

Uh, Microsoft did this before.

Consumer line: Windows 95/98/ME
Business line: Windows NT 3.1/3.5/3.51/NT4/2000

Yes, but you had this annoying problem of having to support 2 different main OS in your network. It was especially tragic since networking and making computers talk to each other wasn't as defined as it is now. Going to 1 OS was a good solution for everyone and the reason XP survived.

Ah, people overreacting to news that never came from MS's mouth on not only whether or not it'd be free, but also whether or not it'd be the same plan for Enterprises.

I don't really see how this will hurt enterprises. Many of them are still on *gag* XP while others are rolling out Windows 7. I can't see many upgrading to Windows 8 if only for the mere cost, plus with how polished of an OS 7 is. Blue will be targeting the consumers who have Windows 8 now or those that will be looking to upgrade in the next year or so.

What idiot thinks these things up? Microsoft doesn't need slow down releases to cater for enterprises. If enterprises want to travel at a slow and steady pace, then let them. I don't see how creating two different streams ala NT/9x days helps anybody out (Ignoring the technical differences).

As long as the support is there for the earlier versions for an acceptable period of time, then who cares at what glacial pace some organisations feel they need to travel at. The more nimble ones can upgrade at every release, the slow behemoths can do it every three years, the ones in between may do an on-off type upgrades.

At least that way, they're only producing one version, and some organisations will be the same as the consumers, and some can continue to be dinosaurs and run XP-style machines.

Ideas Man said,
What idiot thinks these things up? Microsoft doesn't need slow down releases to cater for enterprises. If enterprises want to travel at a slow and steady pace, then let them.

The problem with this idea would be that Developer X builds software and tests it for the latest yearly release, while Enterprise Y is still on an older version, which is now unsupported. With a slower release cycle, there was no such risk. A developer was forced to support something they built for years since that's how frequently the operating systems were released to begin with! No other option.

I've suggested a solution for this elsewhere in the comments here though. LTE releases already in use by Ubuntu and Firefox. For this very same reason. It's a problem with a solution.

This article makes no sense whatsoever. IT staff will make sure that this doesn't happen. It would appear that someone (not educated to the ways of IT systems) is just spouting off to look important.

cookie for the government? oh wait you can't accept gifts as a government employee. There are alot of people that want WIN8 for faster boot time and other things. The start screen is not that big of a deal. Most people that use windows Vista and forward press start key and then start typing what they want to run. That still works the same for me on Win8 vs 7 vs vista.

Can't they skip it rather than having to upgrade to each version? Hell since Windows is (or was, whatever) on a 3 year schedule of development, they could just test/plan/upgrade to the every third release and be back to the way it is now.

Panda X said,
Can't they skip it rather than having to upgrade to each version? Hell since Windows is (or was, whatever) on a 3 year schedule of development, they could just test/plan/upgrade to the every third release and be back to the way it is now.

Yes, they could adopt that pace, but then instead run the risk of a developer only supporting the very latest Windows releases well. Or whatever release they have decided to support. It'd be hard to agree on how old Windows versions to support. The developer may have one opinion, the enterprise another.

I'm thinking LTE releases would help here. Hopefully there'll be "Windows Blue LTE". Would help enterprises / developers of enterprise software a lot.

These would then become de facto releases for the enterprise.

tom5 said,
Who forces the enterprises to move to the newer version? Get lost enterprises!

You miss a very important fact: "waterfall" upgrades (i.e. from version n to version n+1) are *always* smoother (if possible) than ad-hoc jumps across versions. How about upgrading from 98 to 7 instead of 98 - XP - Vista - 7?

What IT Administrator in their right would want to deploy this terrible OS? We will be sticking to Windows 7, all 5000 plus workstations I support. (US Government)

JHBrown said,
What IT Administrator in their right would want to deploy this terrible OS? We will be sticking to Windows 7, all 5000 plus workstations I support. (US Government)
Different companies, different needs. Is that really that hard to understand?

JHBrown said,
What IT Administrator in their right would want to deploy this terrible OS? We will be sticking to Windows 7, all 5000 plus workstations I support. (US Government)

And this is exactly why employees keep getting crappy machines.

JHBrown said,
What IT Administrator in their right would want to deploy this terrible OS? We will be sticking to Windows 7, all 5000 plus workstations I support. (US Government)

>"US Government"
>Loses all credibility.

JHBrown said,
What IT Administrator in their right would want to deploy this terrible OS? We will be sticking to Windows 7, all 5000 plus workstations I support. (US Government)

I work in education and we have zero touch screens. I am considering deploying this ASAP. But will probably wait till Blue comes out to see if they fixed some of little things that would confuse people.

I would also like to say that Windows 8 is really not a bad more for corporations. There is some very cool business stuff in there to take a look at. The improved direct access sold it enough for me.

Xerax said,

>"US Government"
>Loses all credibility.

As someone that used to work FOR the US government, I agree. While the United States government is the king of all IT enterprises, being king comes with all sorts of ugliness on the IT side of things. The sheer size of the government's IT enterprises (multiple) means that they lag far behind even corporate enterprises as far as keeping up with even software, let alone hardware, in the enterprise. Throw in political meddling (yes, it happens, and if you are going to try to blow smoke and say it doesn't, then you have zero credibility with me - I've seen far too much of it) and it's a wonder that even NMCI (Navy Marine Corps Intranet) got off the ground. If anything, enterprises need to investigate *Blue* if they haven't started deployments of 7.

icwhatudidthere said,
Yeah that makes no sense. Why would IT admins feel obligated to install an upgrade? I mean my company is still on XP!

Indeed. More nonsense from the so called "experts". Far from "hurting" enterprises, it won't affect them in any way whatsoever unless they choose for it to do so.

How will this effect enterprises? Most enterprises have 2 year software assurance. It will only effect deployments but not costs.

I don't see it as a big deal unless they drop software assurance.

Business, like most consumers aren't interested in Windows 8. Unless Microsoft are dumping Metro with this release and putting back the desktop and start button, it will be about as popular as dog poo.

Microsoft seems to have gotten back in bed with Intel with Windows 8 and are trying to revive the old business model where you had to buy new hardware (in those days more powerful, but these days with new features like touch) with every release of Windows.

Too bad for them, that consumers don't want this new technology, therefore this strategy will continue to fail, as will Microsoft/Intel's profits. People are HAPPY with their EXISTING machines, they still do everything they want!

Edited by dvb2000, Nov 29 2012, 6:10am :

dvb2000 said,
Business, like most consumers aren't interested in Windows 8. Unless Microsoft are dumping Metro with this release and putting back the desktop and start button, it will be about as popular as dog poo.

Microsoft seems to have gotten back in bed with Intel with Windows 8 and are trying to revive the old business model where you had to buy new hardware (in those days more powerful, but these days with new features like touch) with every release of Windows.

Too bad for them, that consumers don't want this new technology, therefore this strategy will continue to fail, as will Microsoft/Intel's profits. People are HAPPY with their EXISTING machines, they still do everything they want!

And windows 8 does everything they (us, we) still want as well. Things have been moved around, but not removed. Adding more to do is much welcomed by me and im thinking others as well, given the 40 million sold.

auziez said,
Things have been moved around, but not removed.

lol - start button?

What Microsoft have done is akin from removing the steering wheel and windscreen on your car, and expecting you to use a CGA screen to see where you're going, and a touchscreen to steer/accelerate and break.

People aren't going to buy a "handicapped" operating system, just because Microsoft think it'll sell more hardware.

dvb2000 said,

lol - start button?

What Microsoft have done is akin from removing the steering wheel and windscreen on your car, and expecting you to use a CGA screen to see where you're going, and a touchscreen to steer/accelerate and break.

People aren't going to buy a "handicapped" operating system, just because Microsoft think it'll sell more hardware.

No, what Microsoft has done is akin to moving the shifter from between the seats to a handle on the steering wheel.

Anyone who isn't "handicapped" has no issues figuring things out. Even my 55 year old mother was able to find the restart button in Windows 8. She's been using it since May and last week was the first time she's had to use it and she was able to find it in less than 5 minutes. That is the HARDEST change in Windows 8.

mrp04 said,

No, what Microsoft has done is akin to moving the shifter from between the seats to a handle on the steering wheel.

Anyone who isn't "handicapped" has no issues figuring things out. Even my 55 year old mother was able to find the restart button in Windows 8. She's been using it since May and last week was the first time she's had to use it and she was able to find it in less than 5 minutes. That is the HARDEST change in Windows 8.


After reading so many negative reviews here on NeoWin for months about Windows 8, I finally 'had' to try it last week on a virtual machine to test out new our software capabilities. I missed the start menu for like 5~10 minutes and after that I just never thought of it. Now coming back from the virtual machine and using Windows 7 + the start menu feels such a pain, some may disagree, but that is how I feel now. Will be upgading my machine in a few months as I have deadlines to meet first. Looking forward to that.