Windows 8 Release Preview for business use explained

So you have a business that uses PCs and you are curious about this Windows 8 thing you may have heard about. Will Windows 8 be a good idea to put into practice for your company? Microsoft wants the answer to that question to be "Yes." Now that the Windows 8 Release Preview is out, Microsoft has a new post on its official Windows for Business blog about what companies can expect from Windows 8.

For the past several months, Microsoft has been urging businesses that are still using Windows XP to upgrade to Windows 7. Microsoft's new blog post states, " ... if you’re in the process of moving to Windows 7, we encourage you to continue with your deployment while evaluating Windows 8 to see how it will benefit your business in a variety of ways ..."

That includes features such as Windows To Go, which lets businesses offer their employees a way to store their Windows 8 desktop on a bootable USB drive and work on their Windows 8 setup on any PC. It also includes new security features such as Trusted Boot, BitLocker Drive Encryption and AppLocker.

Microsoft plans to offer up more information about the business aspects of Windows 8 at the company's TechEd North America in Orlando later in June. Microsoft will offer a live webcast of the TechEd keynote speech from Antoine Leblond, Corporate Vice President for Windows Web Services, on June 12th.

Source: Microsoft Windows for Business blog

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That's right. Pay twice, once for Windows 7, then again for Windows 8. Why not pay thrice, i.e. for Vista as well?

IT Departments should love this.
Accounting Departments (and thus CIO) should love this.

Windows Server 2012 + WinRT = Win!
App-V, RemoteFX, Cheap tablets, yay!

I think there are a lot of IT professionals who will push back, but overall it is a better way to do business.

Once Enterprise applications that have already been moved from 3-tier monolithic desktop applications move once again into Metro, there will be huge opportunities.

I still think the Share and Search charms are an excellent way to replace rich server-side integrations as a way to move data between applications, or worse, mulitple windows open with copy/paste. There are people where I work who don't even know how to copy/paste. It's not their fault, but the developers who don't support MS standard shortcuts. As a result, they re-key data between LoB systems.

deadonthefloor said,
IT Departments should love this.
Accounting Departments (and thus CIO) should love this.

You quite obviously don't have any experience with either of these departments in a high end corporate environment.

For anyone that wants to go back to the old way, is it that hard to click on the DESKTOP icon and just use the computer just they way you normally would without going to Metro unless you have to use system search or a few other inconveniences?

I spend the majority of my day in the Desktop and rarely even see the Metro interface unless I want to search or play around with Metro apps. Don't make this any harder than it really is.

If you want to ignore Metro, you will have to at least click one button to do so, and you will have to Pin some icons to the taskbar. Other than that it works exactly the same as Win 7. And when the time comes that the majority of your main apps are Metro Style, you will at least have SOME experience with it. It's the old DOS to Windows thing all over. I'm glad I've been around to see this from the 70's, because I threw out my box of tissues a long time ago.

jimmyfal said,
For anyone that wants to go back to the old way, is it that hard to click on the DESKTOP icon and just use the computer just they way you normally would without going to Metro unless you have to use system search or a few other inconveniences?

I spend the majority of my day in the Desktop and rarely even see the Metro interface unless I want to search or play around with Metro apps. Don't make this any harder than it really is.

you can't ignore this metro crap, since they took away the start menu. and if you are going to say then install one of the start menu replacements that is not a good idea either.

If 70-90% of people install/buy windows 8 and end up installing start menu replacement apps, MS will spin the story around and say look 20 million copies sold, every one loves metro, when in fact the truth will be majority will find a way to disable metro crap, and use 3rd party app to get something like old start menu back.

Well said Jimmyfal. This OS is an improved Windows 7 with a ravamped and "smarter" start screen [menu].

nekrosoft13 said,

you can't ignore this metro crap, since they took away the start menu. and if you are going to say then install one of the start menu replacements that is not a good idea either.

If 70-90% of people install/buy windows 8 and end up installing start menu replacement apps, MS will spin the story around and say look 20 million copies sold, every one loves metro, when in fact the truth will be majority will find a way to disable metro crap, and use 3rd party app to get something like old start menu back.

The start menu hasn't been "taken away", its just evolved. Stop looking at is as a whole new UI, the metro portion is nothing more than a new "start" menu. The start screen functions just like the "start menu" has for years now. It's just a new take on it...and personally I'm loving Windows 8. Clicking in the bottom left corner brings up the start screen just like every Windows OS has presented the start menu since 95! The Windows key is no different also. Do you need a Windows logo or "Start" text to tell you where it is? It's been in the same place for 17 years now. BOTTOM LEFT CORNER!

Teko03 said,
Well said Jimmyfal. This OS is an improved Windows 7 with a ravamped and "smarter" start screen [menu].

The start menu hasn't been "taken away", its just evolved. Stop looking at is as a whole new UI, the metro portion is nothing more than a new "start" menu. The start screen functions just like the "start menu" has for years now. It's just a new take on it...and personally I'm loving Windows 8. Clicking in the bottom left corner brings up the start screen just like every Windows OS has presented the start menu since 95! The Windows key is no different also. Do you need a Windows logo or "Start" text to tell you where it is? It's been in the same place for 17 years now. BOTTOM LEFT CORNER!

But it IS a whole new UI, that's the point. It's fine for a TOUCH interface but for a mouse/keyboard combo it's absolutely horrid. I used the CP and was able to navigate through it but it's extremely cumbersome and unnecessarily made the default.

Had we been given a CHOICE on what shell to use, then it probably wouldn't have mattered so much, but the fact that MS decided to throw metro in the forefront and ignore not only the business side, but also those already accustomed to the normal shell.

Everyone at work hates it, IT department, accounting, engineers, customers service, i made rounds with my laptop with windows 8 and out of 50 some people that tried it, one person liked it.

this will be biggest failure in MS history as far as desktop, laptop, and business use is concerned. its ok on touch screen tablets if you like the weird big square GUI that is the bottom line

Nas said,
Everybody hates change, especially the non-techies in the rank-and-file.

If this is true then it makes sense for businesses to skip Windows 8. No need for them to have to pony up all that money on training...

nekrosoft13 said,
Everyone at work hates it, IT department, accounting, engineers, customers service, i made rounds with my laptop with windows 8 and out of 50 some people that tried it, one person liked it.

this will be biggest failure in MS history as far as desktop, laptop, and business use is concerned. its ok on touch screen tablets if you like the weird big square GUI that is the bottom line

yeah and I guess you also "choose" your girls by talking to them just 5 min...

People need time to adapt to new things... people once hated the start menu when it was new...

Frazell Thomas said,

If this is true then it makes sense for businesses to skip Windows 8. No need for them to have to pony up all that money on training...

Most businesses skip Windows v.Next regardless of this metro stuff or not.

oliver182 said,

yeah and I guess you also "choose" your girls by talking to them just 5 min...


That's right. Five minutes in, he's presenting the engagement ring, or heading to the court house for a restraining order.

oliver182 said,

yeah and I guess you also "choose" your girls by talking to them just 5 min...


grow up, and go pop some pimples of your face.

Frazell Thomas said,

If this is true then it makes sense for businesses to skip Windows 8. No need for them to have to pony up all that money on training...

IT department at my company already decided that workstations and servers will not be upgraded.

nekrosoft13 said,
Everyone at work hates it, IT department, accounting, engineers, customers service, i made rounds with my laptop with windows 8 and out of 50 some people that tried it, one person liked it.

this will be biggest failure in MS history as far as desktop, laptop, and business use is concerned. its ok on touch screen tablets if you like the weird big square GUI that is the bottom line

Sit someone down for 5 minutes with something they haven't learned to use...and what do you expect? Users at my work were just as confused when Windows 7 & Office 2010 rolled out....learn to use the features and they don't want to let it go, Windows 8 will be no different.

Frazell Thomas said,

If this is true then it makes sense for businesses to skip Windows 8. No need for them to have to pony up all that money on training...

Every major corporate IT department head I have talked to has already put in a "skip Windows 8" recommendation into their next year's budget.

That represents at least 10 million sales of Windows 8 that just aren't going to happen.

By eliminating so many legacy options and features in one fell swoop, Microsoft has ruined their chance to have their W8 cake and eat it to.

I have no doubt that Windows 8 will succeed in the small form factor touch market but they will lose desktop market share for the home and business spaces...and that didn't need to happen.

Why any business would want Win 8 is beyond me. Productivity would go through the floor. There are very few things that are superior to 7, so for businesses especially, it wouldn't make any sense.

Some of the comments that it is a business fail is funny.

M_lyons - hundred of programs huh? I guess as a business you need them all? All business runs hundred of apps? Please let me know what business or businesses that you know of that require their employees to run hundreds of apps let alone let them install hundreds of apps.

osuwildlifer = fail goggles? And your experience with Win8 in a business environment or deployment is how great?

They said the same thing about the IPAD in the business world as well a couple of years ago. Read the news lately about IPAD and the BYOD movement?

Businesses are adapting and adopting much quicker than we realize. Deployment, remote security counter measures and faster adoption rates have changed the business landscape and the trend will carry over to Win8.

For tablets and business use this will be a great tool. The customization and lockdown of apps in the Metro UI is a big deal. IPAD and Android Tablets currently are being implemented with lockdown control and it has worked effectively for many businesses. Metro UI will do the same and if the IPAD can have a share of the business pie so will MS and Win8 with Tablets and Convertibles/Hybrids.

I do not even miss the start menu. I just learned how to get to where I wanted to go with Short Cut Keys. I have installed it on my MacBook Pro with Parallels and its smooth as butter and runs extremely well. I also now run it on my main Laptop and have not had any regrets or doubts about its abilities. with SSD drives on both it is just amazing how much better they made the OS from CP or RP

If implemented correctly, it would work. People need to educate themselves and learn a more efficient workflow. Here's a tip: start menu =/= efficient. It's one of the most inefficient aspects of Windows today. Every single application should be made a shortcut either on the desktop or task bar. How can people be so dense?

laserfloyd said,
If implemented correctly, it would work. People need to educate themselves and learn a more efficient workflow. Here's a tip: start menu =/= efficient. It's one of the most inefficient aspects of Windows today. Every single application should be made a shortcut either on the desktop or task bar. How can people be so dense?

What? I have easily over a hundred programs installed and DO NOT want all of them on my desktop thank you very much... LOL

So far almost everyone in my office if very impressed. I even showed it to my Chiroprator (age 63) last night, and he wants to try it on his HP Touch (work Computer) this weekend.

I agree there is much to get use to, and I think I am close to saying I am confortable with it now.

My biggest complaint are the Apps presently. FOr Starters MUSIC & VIDEO. The just such or oranization. If Microsoft has done anything right with ZUNE it is the Software Interface. I hope they take more pointers from it.

This is funny. If they think Win8 is even remotely geared towards or attractive to business users, then they're wearing fail goggles.

and now we wait for all the comments saying that business need to run more than 2 apps at a time and totally forget that the desktop and all the old apps are still there to use.

dafin0 said,
and now we wait for all the comments saying that business need to run more than 2 apps at a time and totally forget that the desktop and all the old apps are still there to use.
they might still be there, but everytime i see that ****ing start screen my blood boils. is pathetic that entire screen needs to be covered with giant colorful squares, what is this windows 3.1 16bit color BS. why does start screen have to cover entire screen!

nekrosoft13 said,
they might still be there, but everytime i see that ****ing start screen my blood boils. is pathetic that entire screen needs to be covered with giant colorful squares, what is this windows 3.1 16bit color BS. why does start screen have to cover entire screen!

I think you need to look for what the start screen really is for..

dafin0 said,
and now we wait for all the comments saying that business need to run more than 2 apps at a time and totally forget that the desktop and all the old apps are still there to use.

Nobody is telling to forget the desktop, the start screen is a "complement" to the desktop

For a person that uses 3 applications and doesn't do ANYTHING creative ... Sure, it will be great for sheep that don't want to give any push back. For anyone that actually produces real content, this is trash.

Kelxin said,
For a person that uses 3 applications and doesn't do ANYTHING creative ... Sure, it will be great for sheep that don't want to give any push back. For anyone that actually produces real content, this is trash.

What does the average business computer user do? Sure a few of us use multiple apps but even still there's just one little thing people forget: desktop.

Shortcut all apps; open all apps; switch between apps on task bar; never see metro. It actually works. People need to be educated.

Yeah... Multicolor animated tiles + Business = Perfect match

Thanks Microsoft, my boss will love it!


Seriously Microsoft, you're failing hard. Windows 8 IS NOT a business product...

myxomatosis said,
Yeah... Multicolor animated tiles + Business = Perfect match

Thanks Microsoft, my boss will love it!


Seriously Microsoft, you're failing hard. Windows 8 IS NOT a business product...


actually it is. with some good GP usage. Win8 can be a great OS for business environments.
as the applications needed can just be on the start page. no desktop is needed if applications can (and hopefully will) be ported to metro, or as allot of businesses already do, just use IE10metro.
Metro desktop is allot easier to use for the average desktop worker. the ones that don't know what 'internet explorer, chrome etc is' will benefit from an easier desktop/metro view. everything is much clearer then a cluttered desktop, with your documents folder, images folder, downloads folder. a junk of a start menu... its all in 1 now. and considering quite a big amount of people prefer those HUGE as fonts/texts and resolutions from the stone age. they will and as I've noticed. absolute love Metro.

i'm using Win8 (still have to switch to RP tho) but I love it. my IT coworkers are all like 'cool, also gonna give it a go' because its actually quite a productive OS to work with.

I started with that Start8 from stardock, but quickly deleted it again. as I've noticed I don't miss the start menu AT ALL.

instead of hating, just give it a (non-biased) go and go try it out

Windows 8 has much better efficiency, in terms of lower CPU usage and energy savings. Businesses spend a lot of money trying to bring down energy usage and Windows 8 helps with that.

Shadowzz said,

actually it is. with some .......

.......instead of hating, just give it a (non-biased) go and go try it out

I feel incredibly frustrated to bring up the charms bar. I miss it so many times and waste few seconds again trying to bring it up.

A good interface is the one where very few will complain about. But here with Windows 8 and strange UI decisions, the 50% hate it and 50% like it... well almost.

I have been using Windows 8 CP and I still haven't got used to the awkward mouse gestures and random stuff been hidden from me. (Windows Restore Image creation anyone?)

I have got my laptop at my office and some of the staff are trying to use it. No one is impressed at the moment.

myxomatosis said,
Yeah... Multicolor animated tiles + Business = Perfect match

Thanks Microsoft, my boss will love it!


Seriously Microsoft, you're failing hard. Windows 8 IS NOT a business product...


Why do you feel that different coloured live tiles would not be appropriate for use in a business environment?

Shadowzz said,

actually it is. with some good GP usage. Win8 can be a great OS for business environments.
as the applications needed can just be on the start page. no desktop is needed if applications can (and hopefully will) be ported to metro, or as allot of businesses already do, just use IE10metro.
Metro desktop is allot easier to use for the average desktop worker. the ones that don't know what 'internet explorer, chrome etc is' will benefit from an easier desktop/metro view. everything is much clearer then a cluttered desktop, with your documents folder, images folder, downloads folder. a junk of a start menu... its all in 1 now. and considering quite a big amount of people prefer those HUGE as fonts/texts and resolutions from the stone age. they will and as I've noticed. absolute love Metro.

i'm using Win8 (still have to switch to RP tho) but I love it. my IT coworkers are all like 'cool, also gonna give it a go' because its actually quite a productive OS to work with.

I started with that Start8 from stardock, but quickly deleted it again. as I've noticed I don't miss the start menu AT ALL.

instead of hating, just give it a (non-biased) go and go try it out

Well, that's to be expected from IT guys... I find Windows 8 interesting to play around in... Where it fails is all of the non tech people that would have to use this for Business... This introduces VERY considerable training costs and loss in productivity early on. Businesses aren't really going to see the supposed gains in productivity down the line, they focus on the now first and that doesn't look so hot. Then they have rather considerable development costs if they choose to move a program they use internally to Metro, with (In their mind) little gain...

I think this is going to be an uphill battle for business for sure.

Shadowzz said,

actually it is. with some good GP usage. Win8 can be a great OS for business environments.
as the applications needed can just be on the start page. no desktop is needed if applications can (and hopefully will) be ported to metro, or as allot of businesses already do, just use IE10metro.
Metro desktop is allot easier to use for the average desktop worker. the ones that don't know what 'internet explorer, chrome etc is' will benefit from an easier desktop/metro view. everything is much clearer then a cluttered desktop, with your documents folder, images folder, downloads folder. a junk of a start menu... its all in 1 now. and considering quite a big amount of people prefer those HUGE as fonts/texts and resolutions from the stone age. they will and as I've noticed. absolute love Metro.

i'm using Win8 (still have to switch to RP tho) but I love it. my IT coworkers are all like 'cool, also gonna give it a go' because its actually quite a productive OS to work with.

I started with that Start8 from stardock, but quickly deleted it again. as I've noticed I don't miss the start menu AT ALL.

instead of hating, just give it a (non-biased) go and go try it out


I don't think that forcing everyone via GP to use the metro window is a good idea. What about when they need to use file explorer to get the network drives, copy files, sort files, etc? Bad idea IMO. If anything, I'd love to have an option to disable the metro window.

Calum said,

Why do you feel that different coloured live tiles would not be appropriate for use in a business environment?

Sheldon Cooper? Is that you?

Mainer82 said,

I don't think that forcing everyone via GP to use the metro window is a good idea. What about when they need to use file explorer to get the network drives, copy files, sort files, etc? Bad idea IMO. If anything, I'd love to have an option to disable the metro window.

Why would they need to use file explorer to get to network drives, copy files, sort files etc?

Why can't we create new ways to work that separate the user from those traditional tasks, allowing them to be even more productive?

myxomatosis said,
Yeah... Multicolor animated tiles + Business = Perfect match

Thanks Microsoft, my boss will love it!
Seriously Microsoft, you're failing hard. Windows 8 IS NOT a business product...

superficial much?

This animated titles present useful information at glance. With the right apps the start screen will be very useful

deadonthefloor said,

Why would they need to use file explorer to get to network drives, copy files, sort files etc?

Why can't we create new ways to work that separate the user from those traditional tasks, allowing them to be even more productive?

What way is that? You need to figure that out before releasing something for businesses. Not create something and "create a new way to work". I need to get work done NOW. How would you propose to copy a file to work with or access a shared resource on the network?

farmeunit said,
How would you propose to copy a file to work with or access a shared resource on the network?

I would remove the need to do so in the first place, say with intelligent business systems like, oh, SharePoint......

I suppose the bland, corpse grey UI of iOS and OS X are much better? Whatever.

myxomatosis said,
Yeah... Multicolor animated tiles + Business = Perfect match

Thanks Microsoft, my boss will love it!


Seriously Microsoft, you're failing hard. Windows 8 IS NOT a business product...

I missed Start button in the begining. Started to like metro with some use in CP. Now with RP I even do not miss the button. It is all, how quickly you adapt to new things. Once the resistance is gone the better approach in Metro becomes visible.

I see no reason why business would not benefit from Win8 on the desktop. Now with new touch tablets and business people on the go. The benefits are even more. Think about it.

I do not claim any thing about myself. I do use lot (LOTS) of applications. Specially for Audio and Video editing. I installed these on Win8. Definitely they run faster. Metro is not an obstacle for me, at all.