Microsoft touting Windows 8 as 'Windows 7, only better', for businesses

While many are quickly writing off Windows 8 for the corporate environment, putting the horse before the carriage if you ask us, Microsoft has just released a handy guide that outlines why corporations should seriously consider moving to Windows 8.

Naturally, Microsoft is pushing enhanced end-to-end security, a fantastic tablet experience, manageability and virtualization advancements, and new possibilities for mobile productivity. The link below has the document (PDF) and it comes it at 15 pages.

The document is full of Microsoft marketing propaganda but one interesting line that Microsoft has been pushing, and we heard this in the keynote yesterday, is that Windows 8 is "Windows 7, only better". It has been widely conjectured that Windows 7 will be the next Windows XP, meaning that it will be around for at least a decade, as it is considered to be rock solid in terms of performance and stability. 

While sales will determine if businesses are ready to make a switch to Microsoft's dramatically different OS, there is no doubt that Windows 8 is a new approach to the OS and represents Microsoft new-found willingness to be bold and push boundaries. 

Download: Windows 8 Release Preview Product Guide for Business

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I've had a play with Windows 8 on a non-touch enabled laptop, the very first thing that jumps out at me is that W8 is designed for a touch screen.

Without, it is very awkward to use. Having to move the mouse to extreme edges of the screen is painful.

I think MS need to remember that most businesses are not going to replace a desktop and laptop fleet with touch enabled devices. I suspect for a business, W8 will go the same way as Vista, it will be skipped and Windows 7 will remain as the business O/S of choice.

So I read the document, and I'm not really convinced. Most organisations not already on Windows 7 are planning to move to Windows 7, and I seriously doubt that any IT administrator will be dumb enough to roll out a new desktop environment without it being proven in the wider world first*.

The majority of the document describes features that are either only incremental improvements over existing Windows 7 features (e.g. IE10, integrated powershell, VHDX) or features that will require a large-scale infrastructure change (e.g. DirectAccess, BrancheCache).

There are a couple of nice features (cross form-factor consistency, UEFI), but I wouldn't say they were compelling reasons to move over on their own.

*Note that this comment wasn't an anti-metro snipe, simply a reflection of how businesses will weigh up the cost/benefit of moving to a new desktop environment.

'Windows 7, only better'. You just need to rewrite everything in WinRT and avoid using windowed applictions. Yes, and explain users why the Start menu is now full-screen.

lexp said,
'Windows 7, only better'. You just need to rewrite everything in WinRT and avoid using windowed applictions. Yes, and explain users why the Start menu is now full-screen.

Why would they need to rewrite anything in WinRT and avoid windowed applications? Do you say bull**** like that for fun or you really beleive it?

PmRd said,

Why would they need to rewrite anything in WinRT and avoid windowed applications? Do you say bull**** like that for fun or you really beleive it?

That's because Win32 and Windows.Forms got almost ZERO enhancement in Windows 8, it's clear hint by MS they're not going to invest a lot into these technologies and later they'll force into WinRT.

NightCrawlerInfinity said,
I laughed. Business in general will not adapt to this. They will skip it and stick with Windows 7. There is no compelling reason to have Windows 8.

Very well said.

MS show us! Using traditional office configured laptops and desktops, i.e., non touch-screen monitors, full-sized keyboards, and a mouse, along with a typical set of office applications (both MS, non-MS, and proprietary) being used how Windows-8 is so much better than Windows-7. So far, all the hoopla and foldorol has been oriented to smartphones and tablets with touch screens.

TsarNikky said,
MS show us! Using traditional office configured laptops and desktops, i.e., non touch-screen monitors, full-sized keyboards, and a mouse, along with a typical set of office applications (both MS, non-MS, and proprietary) being used how Windows-8 is so much better than Windows-7. So far, all the hoopla and foldorol has been oriented to smartphones and tablets with touch screens.

they'd probably say something like applications where "customized" for windows 8 or something... meaning rewrote because they weren't as productive as they could of been

neufuse said,

they'd probably say something like applications where "customized" for windows 8 or something... meaning rewrote because they weren't as productive as they could of been


And the significant kernel improvements - speed and security.

soso, Microsoft touting Windows 8 is better than Windows 7... I'm shocked!
I think the opinions are clear and if the tablet boom not a boom like desired Windows 8 will be the next fail. Maybe the biggest fail in the Windows history.

Windows 8, it's windows 7 with some core enhancements which make the desktop better... but oh btw we threw this flat UI overtop of everything, and moved half the functionality to a tablet like overlay that might cause training problems for corporations and confused the heck out of the older workers

Astra.Xtreme said,
Why a business would use Windows 8 is beyond me.

Smart ones won't. XP and Windows-7 are working just fine. They have better things to do than trash perfectly good hardware and invoke a huge and needless re-training expense. Remember, times are tough, business just don't have money to throw away at needless expenses.

TsarNikky said,

Smart ones won't. XP and Windows-7 are working just fine. They have better things to do than trash perfectly good hardware and invoke a huge and needless re-training expense. Remember, times are tough, business just don't have money to throw away at needless expenses.

Businesses still running XP are going to be spending the money regardless in a few short months to upgrade. Some might just hop onto Windows 8. The business case is there for many.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Jun 13 2012, 4:16pm :

Win8 is a great tablet and phone OS, its a crappy desktop OS however. I can see a lot of businesses who have Win7 just skipping over Win8.

_heracles said,
Windows 8 can, and will, be used like a faster more responsive Windows 7.

Not by large corporations. I'd be willing to bet they are going to skip Windows 8 just like they skipped Vista. Upgrading systems to a new OS is a HUGE undertaking and retraining users to a new UI is a pain. Corporations are going to let their users get used to the new UI on their home PC's with Windows 8 and then adopt metro with Windows 9 when the UI is no longer new, any necessary tweaks have been made, and more time has gone by since their Windows 7 deployments which are largely still underway or just wrapping up.

Asmodai said,

Not by large corporations. I'd be willing to bet they are going to skip Windows 8 just like they skipped Vista. Upgrading systems to a new OS is a HUGE undertaking and retraining users to a new UI is a pain. Corporations are going to let their users get used to the new UI on their home PC's with Windows 8 and then adopt metro with Windows 9 when the UI is no longer new, any necessary tweaks have been made, and more time has gone by since their Windows 7 deployments which are largely still underway or just wrapping up.

Why would business use Metro UI? I was talking about classic UI.

_heracles said,
Windows 8 can, and will, be used like a faster more responsive Windows 7.

Not necessarily, the company I work for is converting its CMS for our sales force to Metro. When done the new software will run on WP 7 (WP8), WinRT and Windows 8 Metro. The first beta version is beautiful and has the same look and feel on every device no matter if you're on the road or at the office. Right now we have to train our staff on 5 different devices and each device has it's own interface. With Windows 8 we can cut that training down to learn 1 interface.

Gungel said,

Not necessarily, the company I work for is converting its CMS for our sales force to Metro. When done the new software will run on WP 7 (WP8), WinRT and Windows 8 Metro. The first beta version is beautiful and has the same look and feel on every device no matter if you're on the road or at the office. Right now we have to train our staff on 5 different devices and each device has it's own interface. With Windows 8 we can cut that training down to learn 1 interface.


The tap, tap, scratch, tap... may work just fine for sales people using their "sales software." But, what about the "back office" people who have to generate the content, via keyboards, for reports, spreadsheets, analyses, etc., etc.? Where is the significant Windows-8 advantage over Windonws-7 there?

Using Windows 8 has broadened my perspective on it quite a lot but I still do not look forward to the end-users' reluctance to change of the Metro kind. As a network admin however, I do appreciate the consistent platform from desktops to tablets.

Xenosion said,
Using Windows 8 has broadened my perspective on it quite a lot but I still do not look forward to the end-users' reluctance to change of the Metro kind. As a network admin however, I do appreciate the consistent platform from desktops to tablets.

There is no group policy control / ability on Arm versions of windows 8 tablets.

Jason Stillion said,

There is no group policy control / ability on Arm versions of windows 8 tablets.

As we just saw at Computex, the majority of Windows tablets available at launch will be x86.

MaSx said,
"Windows 7, only better" right...

This strategy shows their self doubt regarding the product.

Windows 8 most likely would be a disaster at enterprise level. Most have just started adopting Windows 7 as it is after Windows XP and the forced metro thing dosen't help at all.

MaSx said,
"Windows 7, only better" right...

well they are right
its better in every fundamental way, the whole kernel is better. new technologies, advanced technologies. even more CPU support (ARM) so they finaly are able to combine Windows CE with the NT treeline. An AIO OS is the first of its kind. and especially as huge as Windows 8, which will run the new Xbox (or a modded version), it will run tablets, phones, it will be able to run those handheld computers that now run WinCE.

Metro is personal preference, its not a fact. that's why even tho you said it sarcastically, your opinion is wrong here and the topic is correct. MS is correct.
Windows 8 is an improved windows 7 (as win7 is improved Vista, vista is improved xp, xp is improved 2000/me etcetc.)