Win8 apprehension can be overcome, says Microsoft

Windows 8 is a “significant change” over previous versions of the desktop operating system that workers will embrace once they try it, says a Microsoft Canada official.

The new OS has an opening screen with tiles for accessing applications, unfamiliar enough to users that some industry analysts believe half of IT managers won’t want to install it.  
But James Nicholson, a senior Windows product manager at Microsoft Canada said that when users realize they can toggle to the traditional desktop after booting their initial user fears melt away.

“I think once people get their hands on the product and understand it in a little more detail, it eliminates that apprehension.”

Still, Nicholson shied away from predicting how fast enterprises will adopt Win8. A Forrester Research analyst believes adoption won’t go higher than 50 per cent.

But when asked Microsoft’s prediction, Nicholson wouldn’t name a figure. Instead he linked the future of the desktop OS to new Windows 8-powered tablets.

“We anticipate that with the changing world of work and the consumerization of IT through bring your own device …. that a lot of organizations are going to take a really good look at tablets and their touch interfaces.

“They’re going to look at various roles in their organizations, they going to look at field sellers, agents, doctors, nurses, where a touch device is going to be something they want to explore. They’re going to be pressured to explore because people have amazing experience (with tablets) in the home.

 “So I anticipate that even with organizations that have recently competed a Windows 7 deployment they’re going to take a strong look at Windows 8, and perhaps look at those areas of their business where it makes most sense and bringing in there. And then look at a full deployment down the road.”

Microsoft understands that many organizations are still converting from Windows XP to Win7, he said, and to those the company says “full steam ahead.”

WinXP support ends in 2014, he stressed, so organizations have to choose to upgrade to a “modern” desktop.

“That’s a key message we’re putting out to our SMB and enterprise customers to make sure they’re aware of the timeline so they don’t find themselves in a pinch.

“Windows 8 is completely compatible with Windows 7, so if you’re in 7 you’re setting yourself up for the changing world of work and user expectations.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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