The 9 ways that Windows 8 will change businesses forever

As we continue to learn more about Windows 8, some things are becoming increasingly clear.

Not only is this release totally different from any other Operating System that has come before it but because it is so different, it will tremendously affect the way businesses operate.

Typical Microsoft upgrades have forced businesses to make negligible changes in the way they work simply because the Operating System updates have been so similar.

It can be argued that Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 were relatively minor refreshes compared to Windows 8. Minor because for the most part, they looked and worked the same.

Windows 8 is such a major change that businesses will be unable to mindlessly upgrade.

I believe that this is the first OS upgrade from Microsoft that will force businesses to re-evaluate their functional business processes.

No longer will they be able to just give IT permission to roll out the new update, there will need to be real thought and strategy around how Windows 8 is deployed.

Here are 9 major reasons why:

BYOD

The phrase BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) isn’t new but there just haven’t been that many devices that employees could credibly bring to the table.

Now that’s changed.

With iPhones, iPads, Android devices and Windows 8 devices, there are now many choices for employees to create and consume information. Even better, these choices are now becoming credible ways for employees to perform work.

With so many choices available to consumers starting this fall, businesses will have to take a step back and figure out what devices will be managed and what devices will not be acceptable in the workplace.

This conversation will not be optional anymore, it will be necessary.

Tablet Strategy

Tablets are new to the enterprise.

Who should have a tablet and why are some of the core questions that businesses will have to consider. Heck, should a business even give out tablets to employees in the first place?

Tablets will not make sense for everyone and each business will have to go through a process of mapping their business processes and employees to tablets to see if there’s a fit.

Mobile Phone Strategy

Mobile phones are ubiquitous – almost everyone has a cell phone.

With the introduction of Windows Phone 8 (codename Apollo), those phones will now probably be able to perform work functions.

How will Windows Phone 8 integrate with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012?

We’re not sure but what we can be sure of is that it will.

That will create another set of business process mappings that need to occur both for Windows Phones and iPhone/Android phones.

Identity

Microsoft have created their new Microsoft Accounts for users of Windows 8.

The creation of that account will trigger the provisioning of a bunch of online services in the cloud. These services will theoretically will make the consumer’s life a lot easier.

How will that work for businesses?

They will have to evaluate if employees will/should use Microsoft Accounts or simply be provisioned accounts that will be controlled by the business domain.

This will take some planning.

Security

Along the same vein as Identity, do you really want your employees (who have access to sensitive documents) to have access to Skydrive? Probably not.

While it can be argued that employees who are irresponsible will find a way to be irresponsible, it doesn’t mean that businesses will enable that behavior.

Businesses will have to figure out what security policies make sense and lock down the OS appropriately across all platforms.

Social Media Policies

For the first time, a business Operating System has built-in Integration with Twitter, Facebook and more. It’s hard to lock that down completely but I am guessing that businesses will have to understand what the implications are of such deep integration with the OS.

Make no mistake, Microsoft will give businesses the tools to lock all of this down but it’s still going to take some figuring out to avoid overkill.

Provisioning

Windows 8 will make it easier than ever to provision hardware to contractors, temps and employees with Windows To Go.

This is huge for businesses and is in my mind, the number one benefit of moving to Windows 8.

This will require changes to the standard on boarding and off boarding processes that businesses use today.

Good changes though – life will be simpler for IT if executed properly.

Applications

Metro apps or desktop apps or html apps on the desktop, choices abound for businesses.

There will be a lot of choices available for creating business applications and I imagine that in 12 to 18 months, ALL major business software applications will either have developed Metro apps or seriously be considering it.

Fun times for business.

Development

In the same vein as the Applications point above, this will be a great time for developers. Opportunities will abound for contractors and in-house programmers to create business applications that take advantage of all the new features of Windows 8.

Windows 8 contracts will be the star of the show in my opinion as they will minimize the need for third party interfaces to be written and deployed multiple times across an organization.

This will be a good time to be a Windows developer and businesses will have to determine the tradeoffs between retraining IT staff or hiring developers or offshoring (as usual).

The bottom line is, this is no ordinary upgrade for businesses. It will inevitably be bumpy at first and there will probably be some horror stories along the way as the kinks are worked out.

Assuming Microsoft are able to execute this properly, businesses will tremendously appreciate the changes coming in Windows 8.

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • Mizeal Ibrahim

    Great article! I can’t wait to make this happen…

  • Lason1864

    Windows 8 is completely bogus!  It is meant for the consumer only and not for businesses such as banking,etc.  Windows 8 will be Micro$oft’s Achilles’ heel!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      What’s that based on?

  • Clludcl

    I heard that Microsoft is cutting ot the dvd codes for windows 8 . Is that right???

  • Michael

    I have never dreaded an upcoming release of windows before. But the more I hear about Windows8 the more I feel Windows7 is the OS of choice. In fact Windows8 is like a nightmare, unfortunately one that you can’t wake up from!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Why specifically do you say that? Just curious…

      • Michael

        Metro will likely to be made up of mostly Consumer Media Consumption Apps. There are already enough mediums for those kind of applications.

        Stuff the Jonses, MS doesn’t need to keep up with them. Windows is the best overall OS on the planet, they don’t need to fix it or change it, just to jump on the mobile device wagon.And a few more reasons:1) For desktop usage and the way I work, the Start screen is like an annoying toy.2) I will likely never use Metro apps, and definitely not on a my desktop. The whole Metro mess needs to be disabled if I want it to be. It should not be integrated into the system but just an application I can run if I get bored enough, after all we already have browsers to run HTML stuff in anyway.3) I’ve tried to like it but I just don’t, really the whole Metro style is for small devices not Work Machines. Those who use their PC for work will likely have little use if any for Metro apps, and those who get right into Metro apps will likely use them only on small devices – hence the whole Metro thing should be a completely separate horse (or donkey!)4) The desktop and metro are anything but a match aesthetically. One uses vibrant colours, the other bland colours that would be just as at home on an old DOS machine. And you may have noticed icons here and there in desktop apps that are dumbed down to the metro look, which at first glance makes you wonder if your graphics card has bit the dust. WHAT A MESS!5) Damn it Microsoft – if it aint broke don’t fix it……

        • xinu

          I agree. Metro simply does not add any value to windows. Most of the apps which will be available on metro will, well, simply be rubbish slowing down your system. 

          Based on studies usually the average time a user  uses an app on the their phone (specifically iPhones / iPads) is 3-4 days, so we can expect a similar time on PC’s.

          AlsOnuora, you say businesses will start using HTML apps, and I could
          not disagree more. We already have good platforms to run HTML apps
          called browsers, so if businesses wanted to start using those, they would
          have a long time ago. HTML is also would not be suitable for businesses
          as it does not support any database driven features.

          • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

            Wouldn’t a business find the Contracts feature valuable?

        • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

           And you may have noticed icons here and there in desktop apps that are dumbed down to the metro look, which at first glance makes you wonder if your graphics card has bit the dust. 
          – Classic

          Couldn’t stop laughing.

        • MrBee

          Look, Unfortunately, you are approaching this from a very valid, but misinformed point of view. No, I am not a MS lackey, or a fanboy. I simply understand that for MS to continue to hold its marketshare, they need to release an OS that not only matches the quality (UI, user experience, stability) of the other OSes available, they need to be ahead of the game, and for them to do so is to unify the experience. I don’t like windows 8 as much as I like windows 7, but I am finding it to allow me to be more productive. Its easier to get to things, your keyboard becomes your friend… I have been using win8 now since the release of the consumer preview, and it is slowly growing on me.

          I agree, Windows 7 is not broken, but it is becoming dated, the whole start button idea is getting old, I remember Windows 95 running on a Pentium 75.

          Look at what happened to Blackberry. Fantastic concept, and was very popular (insanely so in this country), but due to the inability to release an OS that could not only compete, but was better that the rest, RIM has found themselves in a VERY tight spot.

          If MS don’t release a new OS, or at least a new UI to keep up, they will lose marketshare (and in turn revenue) to something Linux based, where the user experience will quickly catch up and surpass Windows, and can be had for free…

          So stop moaning and accept the fact that the world is changing, and so is Windows.

  • Junkfilter

    Windows 8 will be sold to you if you buy a new computer, as it will be pre-installed. No other fool will use it.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      ??? Good name.

  • Sbates1712

    the more and more i use windows 8 im coming to the same conclusion its drifted to far away from the specifics of windows, with more emphasis on trying to keep up with the joneses, instead of sticking with the tried and tested method, but changing it not so much for different versions but as bolt ons. ie u either have the full version and remove stuff or start with the basic version and ad stuff on, which by that i mean take windows 7 give it 2 versions all or no add ons and allow the customer to go from there windows 8 is now a bridge to far

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for the feedback.

  • Mark Question

    I agree that Windows 8 is aimed at the consumer market. As far as the Business market is concerned, BYOD is smoke and mirrors. The security implications of a mish-mash of devices is a nightmare,
    Microsoft have an uphill battle selling against Apple and Android (a few carefully placed press comments damning Android are not going to do the trick) The iPad, iPhone, and Android phones and tablets work – and work well.  

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Watch for an article from me on BYOD.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5WJGC7242GFDP2QXANKF5WTMEA Rex

        I am looking forward to it.  At first I was disappointed that windows RT couldn’t connect to the domain, but really it isn’t necessary.  And I sure wouldn’t want to attach my own BYOD to the company domain, so maybe it is all good.

        Speaking of which, what is all the negativity about the name Windows RT, seems a lot better than WOA if you ask me.

  • darkpr0fit

    We can see by the way that Windows 8 is designed that this operating system was created as a one size fits all. This may be an attempt by Microsoft to try in its own mind to bring into being an OS that they believe will run on everything, all devices. The problem with that is that historically that has not been the case.  Perhaps that is in response to their management issues such as being late in the market to new technologies, bad corporate acquisitions, etc. Businesses will have to ask such hard questions as with the current licensing costs associated with the windows how much will Microsoft be charging for this OS? How much will be required in costs and time resources to train employees in this new offering that Microsoft is creating, that is radically different? How will this OS affect TCO? How much effort will be required to upgrade existing OS’s, and will it be worth it?, etc. As a result of these questions will this new OS cause strained and broken  relationships with consumers, businesses and its current OEM’s, ? Lastly will Microsoft listen to what is being discussed about Windows 8, and compensate, or will it try to ram it down everyone throat? After the issues with Vista, if this OS has problems it could very well signal the end of the current management inside of Microsoft. We’ll see.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Great points…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5WJGC7242GFDP2QXANKF5WTMEA Rex

    First off, I always like your articles, even though I often disagree with them.  I was all prepared to disagree with this one.  But instead, I agree 100% on all point.  Shocking huh?

    Change will happen, no getting around it.  There are two ways to deal with it, grumble and fight it, or take it as an opportunity.

    Lets look at your mention of Facebook.  Companies are going to have to decide how much freedom they will allow their employees.  But if you put this with BYOD, you get a whole new lifestyle.  One more like other professions like farming where your profession defines you because you spend so much time on it.    You can be doing it anywhere at any time.  Personal life and professional life get mixed and it doesn’t matter what you are doing or when, as long as the work gets done.  Definitely mixed feelings about this, but I can really imagine it happening.

    Next, imagine a time when the company doesn’t provide a computer at all  and everyone brings their own.  They can save millions of dollars a year.  People will have them anyway, why have two?

    So it really depends on how companies look at it, but these changes you talk about will happen.  I imagine a lot of IT department fighting them, but they are changes that will be forced on them.  Being in IT myself, I see the point to fight, but being the ultimate optimist, I am seeing great opportunities.  Microsoft can head up the game if they are smart, lets see what happens.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for agreeing.

      Yeah I started writing by listing the features and remembering all the time I spent in IT.

      It’s going to be a matter of perspective – glass half full or empty depending on the way you look.

  • Ken

    I don’t like windows 7 and the upcoming release fills me with dread. Time to move to Apple.

    • MrBee

      Get over it. Go to Apple if you must…

      Windows 8 is actually a very good, very Stable OS and I’m only using the Consumer Preview… Dread??? the world is changing, embrace the change or fall further behind….

  • http://twitter.com/BobbyCannon Bobby Cannon

    I’ve been using W8 as my primary OS since the release of the developer preview. I was at build and got my hands on one of the tablets. I have thoroughly enjoyed the changes and Metro. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. I’ve found I’m even more productive. W8 is oh so fast. I’m loving some of the new Metro apps like Mail. Just a quick peek into mail and out. No need for something as “heavy” as Outlook. Just saying that I’m really enjoying W8 and I cannot wait for the release preview.

  • Rikkirik

    Their is a lot of superficial arguments why people don’t like or don’t want to use W8, but W8 is a revolution that will  bring businesses and consumers to a higher level of productivity and entertainment in the coming years. W8 means almost total integration between WP, Xbox, PC, tablet and maybe even the TV. Yes everything will be easier, simpler, faster, anytime, anywhere, across any device or platform. Those with a lot of superficial arguments against W8 are just looking for excuses, instead of really learning to work with it. My son did not use or want Skydrive, he was used to Dropbox, untill I explained the benefits of Skydrive comapred to Dropbox. Now he is over to Skydrive. I myself enjoy using it. WP has been a learning curve for me, but it’s the best phone ever. So stop being so negative and learn to operate W8 like a pro so you can xperience the benefits of W8. Because when it comes to W8 and integration, entertainment and productivity, there are no alternatives at the moment or in the future. For example, even now companies are choosing WP, because of it’s seemless integration with Windows PC’s, Sharepoint, Lync, their business apllications and Cloud Services among other, while working across platforms. This level of interoperatability is not offered by Apple (Iphone) or Google  (Android). W8 will take the level of integration with windows products and services (acro  platforms also) to an even higher level.