Windows Client Migration
What You Need to Know About Windows 8
With the release of the Microsoft Surface RT, Windows 8 and a variety of other products on Oct.26, Microsoft has commenced the release of a great deal of information about these new platforms. One excellent example is a new white paper from Dell and Microsoft featured here in the Migration Expert Zone that discusses Your IT environment for Today and Tomorrow.
Back on July 16 we talked about Microsofts brilliant interface strategy, which has now positioned them as the only developer to offer the same consistent interface on every form factor of device from media player to phone to tablet to computer.
In the aforementioned white paper, Dell and Microsoft present the features of Windows 8 that they feel users really need. This includes Windows to Go, which puts a fully configured and manageable Windows 8 desktop on a bootable USB drive that can be inserted into any sufficiently configured PC so people can literally work anywhere. This is further supported by DirectAccess, BranchCache and Mobile Broadband.
They also speak to most users primary concern: security. The paper discusses features like Trusted Boot, BitLocker, Drive Encryption and AppLocker.
The paper then focuses on applications, pointing out that Windows 8 is seamlessly integrated to Windows 7 applications. It also continues to develop the important difference between the software applications that users have run and used for years and the new generation of easily accessed apps.
This is growing to be a very important distinction, especially in the world of tablet computing. Interestingly, although it runs on the lower-power-consumption AMD chipset, Microsoft announced the Surface as a PC, not a tablet. The Surface RT runs Windows 8, but salespeople in the Microsoft store rush to tell you that it will not run computer software, it will only run apps available from the Microsoft App Store This begins an important redefinition of public cloud computing. Formerly, the popular definition had the software running on a remotely located server and accessed through a browser. While the browser still remains important, users are quickly finding that there are Apps for that which are more convenient, more productive, and easier to use than browser-accessed versions.
The Windows 8 white paper provides a very useful comparison of Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 features with the Windows 8 list literally doubling the Windows 7 list and quadrupling the Windows XP list. While I question whether features like Snap MultiTasking and IE 10 are not also available in Windows 7, the list does make a compelling case for accelerating your migration to Windows 8.
Early users may encounter some difficulty adjusting to the new tile-based desktop, but this is no different from the adjustment period many went through with the introduction of The Ribbon in Microsoft Office 2007. This quickly passes and users discover the flexibility of being able to fashion their working environment in truly effective ways.