The truth right now is that many in the business community are counting on Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Professional to be the focus in the enterprise.
Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise come at a time when many business are starting, in the middle of, or just completing their transition to Windows 7.
What will it take to migrate these users over to Windows 8 in the near future? Nothing. Yes, you heard that right. Nothing.
After hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars spent on licensing, planning, designing and deploying the new client OS, don’t expect many midsize and large businesses to start deploying Windows 8 until Windows 7 has run its life cycle.
How about the fringes, namely the new mobile devices that companies will be furiously trying to integrate into their IT fabric? Here, the picture might be brighter. Windows 8 is arguably a better choice for new corporate tablets and smartphones compared to Windows Phone 7 or the soon-to-arrive Windows 7.8.
But back to the mass of desktops and laptops int he workplace. Is there any set of features that might shift the argument in Windows 8 favor? Here’s are some that just might:
- Windows tablets can do serious “corporate” work. The truth about iPads, Kindles, other Android tablets and the Nooks of this world is that they are mostly entertainment devices. However, the current stable of Windows 8 tablet/notebook hybrids such as the Microsoft Surface, HP Envy x2 and Acer Iconia W510, plus the Sony VAIO Duo 11 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga are tablets usable for serious office work.
- Combine the last point with the availability of Office 2013 on Windows tablets exclusively and businesses are more likely to lean towards Windows 8 tablets than Android/iPad alternatives. Office 2013 from the previews, includes touch-enabled capabilities, document-sharing and integration with Lync or Skype for voice communication.
- Improved Security. Windows 7’s Microsoft Defender has been revamped with anti-virus capabilities,adding to its prior spyware and pop-up defenses. Corporate users will require 3rd party industrial-strength security software, but improved defenses out of the box will appeal to some companies.
- Windows 8 launches as much as twice as fast as Windows 7 and uses a boot-up bridge called the Unified Extensible Interface (UEFI) to access graphical drivers before the OS is fully active. The elusive goal of “instant-on” is almost here for Microsoft. Also, a new feature called File History saves a running timeline of all files — just like Mac OS X’s Timeline feature — to automate backing up important documents and data.
- Windows 8 sports improved Wireless connections by automatically reading each signal’s source and selecting the strongest one. A data meter automatically keeps track of data usage to help avoid overages.
- Improved email through Exchange ActiveSync. Email is made easier with Outlook 2013, with its built-in support for Exchange ActiveSync.
- ActiveSync helps to connect users’ email accounts to Android, iOS or Windows Phone devices.
- Windows to Go allows users to carry their PCs in their pockets on a USB device. Plugging into any Windows 7 or 8 device and booting from the USB key brings up their personalized environment – together with their apps.
- Windows 8 builds on virtualization in Windows 7 and and allows the use of Windows XP as a virtual OS on a Windows 8 machine. Desktops can also be virtualized and run on backend servers and accessed from anywhere. Windows 8 also runs Hyper-V, allowing smooth and responsive virtualizaion.
- A revamped Internet Explorer 10 is included as both a desktop program and a touch-optimized app, and includes increased support for HTML5, CSS3, and hardware acceleration.