Microsoft touts how corporations are already using Windows 8

The Windows 8 Release Preview has only been available for less than two weeks but Microsoft has said that a number of large businesses are already using the Release Preview build of the OS. In a new post on the official Windows Business blog, Microsoft gives three examples of how the Windows 8 Release Preview is already working in the enterprise market.

One example cited is a special Windows 8 app created for the furniture retailer Rooms To Go. This business tablet app lets the company's salespeople work without having to leave a potential customer. According to Russ Rosen, the CIO of Rooms To Go, "Windows 8 provides Rooms To Go the ability to develop a custom point of sale application that takes advantage of continuous connectivity, and provides a natural touch interface to allow for a cost-effective experience for our sales associates across 175 stores."

Yet another example is the use of the Windows To Go feature in Windows 8 by PCL Construction. The company decided to use the Windows 8 Release Preview ahead of its official launch in order to work out the kinks before the final version of Windows 8 is released. Microsoft states:

Working with Windows 8 Release Preview versions of Windows To Go, PCL Construction employees can carry their entire managed corporate desktop and bring it along with them on a small bootable USB drive wherever they go – on the jobsite, from a field office, or from the comfort of their own home computer.

Windows 8 is also being used overseas by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. Microsoft said that the group's employees have been given a Windows 8 tablet, along with custom applications. Microsoft states, "These applications allow prosecution officers to remain effective and productive whether working in an office, courtroom or while mobile."

Source: Microsoft Windows Business blog

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So Microsoft say the Dutch Public Prosecution Service is using Windows 8, on a tablet. Desktops are more of interest to me. How many companies use it on a desktop?

I'm sure that for certain, very narrowly selected tasks, Windows-8 is working just fine in a business setting. Big whoop. The real test is when businesses use Windows-8 on their desktops and laptops for the routine, day-to-day, operations that involve data/content creation, i.e, letter writing, spreadsheet creation. Touch-n-tap to check e-mail and surf the web hardly qualifies as a core business operation.

1) This is marketing, as it appears Microsoft is aware there is serious aversion to this upgrade. It's not mereley old tecchies who don't want to change. They're pulling out tired and true marketing tactics.

2) Sick and tired of the life change nonsense. Windows is a product in a capitalist society produced by a for profit company with a monopoly. They are making dramatic changes for better or worse, for their business interests and shareholders, plain and simple. That doesn't mean it isn't going to be great, on RTM or eventually, but spare me the Shill Speak already.

andrewbares said,
Whenever I've used Windows 8 RC, I've ran into so many bugs that it's unusable. I'll wait for the official release!

I've been running the DP, CP and RP (there is no RC this time round) just fine in a work environment as a developer. The only bug i've really experienced is with VMWare and high CPU load post closing the player. Which bugs made it unusable for you?

As the PR version is limited to Professional SKU features, we've not been able to take our evaluation of Windows 8 forward as we need the Enterprise features like DirectAccess.

Anyone else having issues with Skype on Windows 8 RP? It seems to be using a lot of CPU resources. When I start Win 8, Skype starts but can't seem to login unless I completely end task in Task Manager and restart it. Have tried uninstalling and reinstalling but still have the same problem. This didn't exist in Windows 8 CP.

People, including myself, had the same complaints about the ribbon in Office 2007. I held out on upgrading until Office 2010. After learning it, I could never go back to the old way of doing things in the old Office.

Enron said,
People, including myself, had the same complaints about the ribbon in Office 2007. I held out on upgrading until Office 2010. After learning it, I could never go back to the old way of doing things in the old Office.

That's very true. People were insanely afraid of the Ribbon lol. It's one of the best advancements Office has made!

andrewbares said,

That's very true. People were insanely afraid of the Ribbon lol. It's one of the best advancements Office has made!

Yup, was a great idea. I'm not convinced by the Metro Start but it doesn't really bother me either (I rarely see it) everything else is fine. I'm even starting to like the UI direction on the desktop - it will be interesting to see the final version.

Erm... I thought using windows 8 for more than evaluation purposes (which is what they're suggesting) was against the terms of use/download ?

n_K said,
Erm... I thought using windows 8 for more than evaluation purposes (which is what they're suggesting) was against the terms of use/download ?

Not if Microsft Marketing is paying for your white paper, deployment, case study, equipment.

It's the same thing Apple does with all TV shows, etc. It's just that MS does it with corporate clients, Apple does it with those with consumer visibility.

excalpius said,

Not if Microsft Marketing is paying for your white paper, deployment, case study, equipment.

It's the same thing Apple does with all TV shows, etc. It's just that MS does it with corporate clients, Apple does it with those with consumer visibility.

Um, you are close, but this is not as hard or B&W as you seem to think.

Most people are downloading the RP as consumers. If you have contracts, are in partner programs, have certain types of technet and MSDN subscriptions, you have a lot of flexibility in using pre-release software from Microsoft in production environments.

The ironic part is that the companies that are doing this and get to do this, can't tell the world or talk about it unless Microsoft green lights them to talk about it. So the 'special permission' from this story is Microsoft has let these companies talk about their experience and has lifted their NDA on production use.

Microsoft is really good about helping any of their partners and that includes small OEMs making 10 computers a month or a small town ISP with 100 customers. If you sign up for the free partner programs and participate, Microsoft will even send people to your location to help you, as you have assigned reps to deal with figuring out solutions to odd problem or new implementations.

This is something a lot of small time IT professionals that work on their own need to take more advantage of using, because even just being a consultant that builds PCs for friends can get access to a lot of free software and support from Microsoft.

Sadly the amount of access and help Microsoft gives is almost a secret

EVERYONE reading this, go check out Technet, MSDN, Partner, OEM, and any other program from Microsoft that you might quality to participate in. You might find that you have access to support and free internal use licenses for support, and at the very least can get into Technet tiers for blanket internal use licenses that are pennies on the dollar.

The part about Apple is very true, with an added 'swag' aspect in that if you are in the media or the news industry,

Apple will find ways to get you free products. This crosses a lot of journalist ethical lines. However, often they don't even realize that Apple is the one providing the free iPads/Macs/etc.

Apple will dump products to the parent media companies like GE/NBC or FOX, and then the products are handed out to employees as 'benefits' from the company, which bypasses any external involvement by Apple of creating bias for reporters

Another trick is to use advertising companies, and give them Apple products to give out. So when you see a news personality get free Apple products from their show's sponsors, it is really coming from Apple as a work around to get people using and talking about their hardware.

Is what Apple does ethical, not truly, even though it does avoid the basic integrity and bias rules most media has in place.

Another Apple trick is in review sites and tech magazines/sites. Usually companies will ship new products for review/testing to these companies, and again with bias/ethics rules, most cannot accept free products directly. So what Apple does is provide them the products for review/testing, and they set a future return date on the hardware. This future date is either way in the future left to be disclosed. So they let the people keep the hardware for free until the new version comes out, and then they send the ones that write GOOD things the new version and 'might' then ask for the old version back.

If you write bad crap about Apple, you get cut off and get an immediate return our stuff notice.

A few years ago Chris P was a Windows 'Geek' (wannabe tech), and said some questionable things about Vista, the major thing being his HP scanner/Printer didn't work right because of the driver changes prior to Vista's release. Apple offered him a ton of free things to 'review' including Mac Pros and several new Mac monitors. In a few weeks, he went from being on the fence about Vista to driving it into the ground and telling people to switch to OS X, and using completely non-factual technical information. He had a small following and he took a lot of users from Vista to Mac. Jump forward a couple of years, and he was less than kind about Apple a couple of times when OS X frustrated him and the post Vista releases where he talked openly about their faults. Apple dumped him really quick, and he was soon back to being a Windows and Windows 7 specifically supporter.


Microsoft has a disadvantage, as they don't cross the ethics lines, and even if they wanted to do so, they can't send people computers, as they don't make them. So the TV and Newspapers and Media industry doesn't talk much about Microsoft or Windows.

This is why Apple is 10% of the market at best, yet they get 90% of all technical press coverage.

All their examples are strictly tablet use for which Windows 8 is no doubt great.

For desktop use, Windows 8 is garbage.

Xilo said,
For desktop use, Windows 8 is garbage.

For desktop use it's the same as Windows 7. The only change is that the start menu is now the start screen, which offers the same functionality.

Greenix said,

For desktop use it's the same as Windows 7. The only change is that the start menu is now the start screen, which offers the same functionality.

If you think it's the same, then you are delusional.

Xilo said,
All their examples are strictly tablet use for which Windows 8 is no doubt great.

For desktop use, Windows 8 is garbage.

And his assessment is followed with no details!

Just like the most of the Win8 haters.

Xilo said,

If you think it's the same, then you are delusional.

Really? Tell me what Microsoft took out of Windows 8 desktop that was in 7 which you used.

I'll wait.

Ozood said,

And his assessment is followed with no details!

Just like the most of the Win8 haters.


If you've read the forums, you'd know what the complaints are.

Xilo said,

If you've read the forums, you'd know what the complaints are.

Translated into
"I don't know becayse lik 99.99% of people I never used the stuff they removed from the start menu to make the new and improved(and thus better) start screen.

There is ONE guy on this site that actually used and complains about the things they took out, and there's a few tag alongs that complains about the removal of them, but they don't even know what they are and never used them, they're just complaining that they're removed.

HawkMan said,

Translated into
"I don't know becayse lik 99.99% of people I never used the stuff they removed from the start menu to make the new and improved(and thus better) start screen.

There is ONE guy on this site that actually used and complains about the things they took out, and there's a few tag alongs that complains about the removal of them, but they don't even know what they are and never used them, they're just complaining that they're removed.


A touch centric UI does not belong on the desktop.

Being forced to switch back and forth from Metro and Desktop is annoying and pointless and affects work flow.

Getting rid of the start button was dumb. Majority of people actually use it. Most of the time when I'm using the computer, I rarely have my hand on the keyboard, so I use mouse with start menu. And because of this, it's extra work to find what you need now.

Oooofffff... Win8 ToGo... Ooooofffffffff.

Unless I've done my attempts wrong, that iteration of Win8 is truly painful. Without USB 3.0 I would not attempt that one. Takes forever to boot, runs slow once it is running, and maybe they were bad thumb-drives, but easily corrupted/damaged.

ahhell said,
WTF are you talking about?
Slow to boot?
Slow running?
You clearly have NO clue what you are talking about.

He could've experienced slowness on Windows ToGo. You weren't there to experience his experience with him. Therefor I can only come to the logical conclusion that you are the one who has no clue what you are talking about.

Condere said,
Oooofffff... Win8 ToGo... Ooooofffffffff.

Unless I've done my attempts wrong, that iteration of Win8 is truly painful. Without USB 3.0 I would not attempt that one. Takes forever to boot, runs slow once it is running, and maybe they were bad thumb-drives, but easily corrupted/damaged.


Slow ??? hm you must be using windows 8 Chinese copy attempt

Condere said,
Oooofffff... Win8 ToGo... Ooooofffffffff.

Unless I've done my attempts wrong, that iteration of Win8 is truly painful. Without USB 3.0 I would not attempt that one. Takes forever to boot, runs slow once it is running, and maybe they were bad thumb-drives, but easily corrupted/damaged.

The speed of the drive is a factor, but what you are describing is not normal. Go check out the videos from Microsoft's presentations and users around the web that are doing just fine.

A corrupted drive or a flaky USB connection would be very problematic, and I might guess that your I/O for the USB is the problem if you have tried with a couple different drives.


Windows 8 To Go on USB is rather fast for what it is.

In a side note, in general Windows 8 is a LOT faster than Windows 7 overall, and this also includes older hardware and low memory systems. Even dealing with pre-DX9 cards is a much better experience than Windows 7.

Vista was beaten up for needing 1GB to be usable; which is a bit silly with Android 4.x today needing 1GB to be responsive/usable.

Windows 8 is a whole new generation of lightweight computing that people don't seem to be noticing.

Windows 8 wants 1gb for the 'minimum' as defined by Microsoft, however it has been designed and knows how to handle low memory situations, and even on 128mb of RAM Windows 8 is usable.

Hit up some of the test videos around the Internet. Windows 8 is a corporate dream, as some of the old equipment is now usable again, that even Thin Windows 7 wasn't able to work well with.

Windows 8 even runs on 64mb of RAM, but considering XP was slow at 64mb, don't expect Windows 8 to run any better, especially when it has 30x the overhead of features.


PS Good luck on finding the problem with your Windows 8 To Go experience. I hope you find the issue and can move on to using and testing it.

ahhell said,
WTF are you talking about?
Slow to boot?
Slow running?
You clearly have NO clue what you are talking about.

I've made several of these for myself and others. If I recall correctly, everytime I've done so it has been with a brand new 32GB flashdrive. Name brand ones too.

I've tried several methods from several different websites

Basic construction that I've followed; format USB drive (sometimes I've used an utility that compbined this part with the next part), run WAIK (last time I used a utility called GImageX), make USB drive bootable (tried utilities, but usually use cmd prompt - bcdboot).

So I'm pretty sure I know what I am doing.

Its a great fit for highly mobile, highly illiterate end users. I've done similar test deployments so far and it works great for those whose job requirements are satisfied by something as stupidly simple as the iPad.

Dashel said,
Its a great fit for highly mobile, highly illiterate end users. I've done similar test deployments so far and it works great for those whose job requirements are satisfied by something as stupidly simple as the iPad.

Precisely. Which proves only that people who can already do their jobs with a smart phone can now do it with a larger screen'd smart phone.

Hoo. Ray.

Dashel said,
Its a great fit for highly mobile, highly illiterate end users. I've done similar test deployments so far and it works great for those whose job requirements are satisfied by something as stupidly simple as the iPad.

[David Attenborough] And here comes the Metro hater, touting 12 widescreen monitors, Aero glass transparent eyelids and a Windows 7 start menu as his shell, trying desperately to cling to his old desktop as the new wave of Metro devices and apps surge towards him in an unstoppable torrent of innovation and utility....

shadodemon said,
How could they like Windows 8? It so darn confusing are they getting paid to use it?

Love it or Hate it.. this is just Microsoft's Marketing department trying to sell everyone on how cuddly and fluffy it is, before it goes final....

shadodemon said,
How could they like Windows 8? It so darn confusing are they getting paid to use it?

Maybe they are just normal people who don't insist change is confusing just because it's not the same.

shadodemon said,
How could they like Windows 8? It so darn confusing are they getting paid to use it?

confusing? my mom is clueless on computers and loves win8.

HawkMan said,

Maybe they are just normal people who don't insist change is confusing just because it's not the same.


Actually, the whole problem is that normal people hate change.

MASTER260 said,

Actually, the whole problem is that normal people hate change.

And 75% of people, and 90% of Microsoft's legacy 95% market share, are normal people...

Change does confuse some people, but if the change is for the better, makes things more efficient, more enjoyable, faster, easier then they will adapt eventually.

Unfortunately, the invisible gadgets and controls of Windows 8's start screen does not improve the desktop experience of users. It makes nothing more enjoyable, faster, more efficient, or easier. It is simply more confusing and more complicated.

On a tablet/smart phone with touch enabled, the invisible gadgets issue is still a problem, but those devices are used only by the younger generations of users, who will embrace and adapt more easily.

Windows 8 on the desktop of going to be Microsoft's "New Coke".

shadodemon said,
It so darn confusing

Yes, because you and many other people don't sit down for a few minutes and try to understand it. I met quite some people already who were complaining about Windows 8. They never used it before. They just heard or read that something changed. I sat next to them and explained the hot corners, gestures and the charms bar. After 5-10 minutes they understood and the reaction was always positive.

Greenix said,

Yes, because you and many other people don't sit down for a few minutes and try to understand it. I met quite some people already who were complaining about Windows 8. They never used it before. They just heard or read that something changed. I sat next to them and explained the hot corners, gestures and the charms bar. After 5-10 minutes they understood and the reaction was always positive.

When I say it is "confusing," I mean it can confuse people, especially those older crowds (i.e. my parents). I am not a big fan of Windows 8 interface, but I can work around it. I still have yet to figure out how to make Windows 8 play nice with VMware Fusion, because so much of the shortcuts depend on the Window key (and that directly affects the Command key in Mac)

xendrome said,

Love it or Hate it.. this is just Microsoft's Marketing department trying to sell everyone on how cuddly and fluffy it is, before it goes final....

They really need to spend their time letting chumps on the internet tell people how bad they think it is and not tout their own product!

That's the ticket.

ThunderRiver said,

When I say it is "confusing," I mean it can confuse people, especially those older crowds (i.e. my parents). I am not a big fan of Windows 8 interface, but I can work around it. I still have yet to figure out how to make Windows 8 play nice with VMware Fusion, because so much of the shortcuts depend on the Window key (and that directly affects the Command key in Mac)

Well of course, because old, confused, Mac users are Microsoft's primary target audience.

Holy cow, really?

excalpius said,

And 75% of people, and 90% of Microsoft's legacy 95% market share, are normal people...

Change does confuse some people, but if the change is for the better, makes things more efficient, more enjoyable, faster, easier then they will adapt eventually.

Unfortunately, the invisible gadgets and controls of Windows 8's start screen does not improve the desktop experience of users. It makes nothing more enjoyable, faster, more efficient, or easier. It is simply more confusing and more complicated.

On a tablet/smart phone with touch enabled, the invisible gadgets issue is still a problem, but those devices are used only by the younger generations of users, who will embrace and adapt more easily.

Windows 8 on the desktop of going to be Microsoft's "New Coke".

Wow, how old are you? Life is about change, and finding a way through it and the learning that comes from change.

MASTER260 said,

Actually, the whole problem is that normal people hate change.

Actually, 'normal' people do not hate, nor fear change.

Life is about change.

People that hate and fear change do not do well in society or life in general, and are usually classified with numerous types of mental disorders.

There are few constant variables in life, and even the ones we perceive as constant are an illusion because of limitations in what we can perceive with human senses.

Even every cell in your body changes every seven years. Just as you read this, your entire set of thought patterns have been altered by being exposed to these specific words and seeing these specific pixels on a screen.

Even micro and macro changes are all around, and if we cling to what we perceive as stability we are just fooling ourselves and will be disappointed.

thenetavenger said,

Actually, 'normal' people do not hate, nor fear change.

Life is about change.

People that hate and fear change do not do well in society or life in general, and are usually classified with numerous types of mental disorders.

There are few constant variables in life, and even the ones we perceive as constant are an illusion because of limitations in what we can perceive with human senses.

Even every cell in your body changes every seven years. Just as you read this, your entire set of thought patterns have been altered by being exposed to these specific words and seeing these specific pixels on a screen.

Even micro and macro changes are all around, and if we cling to what we perceive as stability we are just fooling ourselves and will be disappointed.

+Infinity

shadodemon said,
How could they like Windows 8? It so darn confusing are they getting paid to use it?

I have been in the desktop for two weeks now, with only the occasional visit to start menu to search. Then when I go to Metro to play with apps, I don't really find myself needing the desktop that much.

It's funny because after all this moaning and groaning about why didn't MS just separate the two, that's pretty much exactly what has happened after you sit down and get to either work (desktop) or fun (metro).

This is going to work a hell of a lot better than anyone ever thought. I hope they actually put a "back" button on EVERY screen, and tighten up the rules, like EVERY APP should be required to have universally similar scrolling ability. Some of those Metro screens on the Server build I saw today were pretty darn functional and impressive too. After all the tears have been wiped away, Sinofsky might look like a longwinded Genius after all.

ThunderRiver said,

When I say it is "confusing," I mean it can confuse people, especially those older crowds (i.e. my parents). I am not a big fan of Windows 8 interface, but I can work around it. I still have yet to figure out how to make Windows 8 play nice with VMware Fusion, because so much of the shortcuts depend on the Window key (and that directly affects the Command key in Mac)

And how is that different than the transition from Windows 3.x and 95? I heard the same types of elderly people complain when I worked retail!