Monday, May 14, 2012

Windows 8 for the enterprise

Windows 8 is scheduled to ship in the October 2012 timeframe.   The developer preview was released last September,  consumer preview was made available this past February and the release preview is targeted for June.   The key focus of Windows 8 is merging the desktop and tablet experience and is Microsoft's response to the iPad.   Microsoft has simplified the number of Windows 8 products to four:
  1. Windows 8:  Add new Metro-style start screen, ActiveSync support, mobile broadband
  2. Windows 8 Pro:  adds domain sign-in  and group policy management capabilities, BitLocker, virtualization
  3. Windows 8 Enterprise: adds Window To Go on a USB stick and the ability to deploy Metro applications
  4. Windows RT:  ARM-based version won't run x86 applications but it will come bundled with Office 15 applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote)
With the end of extended support for Windows XP coming in April 2014, enterprises have a number of options including migrating to Windows 7, Windows 8, virtualization and leveraging non-Microsoft platforms for segments of the population.   Realistically, given the level of testing required, wide-scale enterprise deployment of Windows 8 is not expected to start until 2013 at the earliest.

Driven by the consumerization of IT, employees will be bringing Windows 8 to work if they haven't already.    Windows Phone 8, code name Apollo, will be based on the Windows 8 kernel and not on Windows CE like the current version.  Enterprise customers will want to explore the benefits of leveraging the two as more details emerge from Microsoft.  

On a personal note, I've been using Windows 8 on a Lenovo X201i laptop attached to an HP Compaq L2015tm touchscreen monitor with positive results.  I've also been using Splashtop on my iPad to simulate Windows 8 running on a tablet - also with positive results.

Update 6 June 2012:   I successfully upgraded to the Windows 8 Release Preview on my laptop.   The process took about 30 minutes from start to finish and I had to do a clean install which meant that I had to reinstall my applications.  There wasn't an option to do an in place upgrade

Update 21 September 2012: I did a clean install of the final release of Windows 8 Enterprise 90-day evaluation.  This is the same code that will officially ship to customers in October.  I also installed Microsoft Office 2013 evaluation.   I had no issues installing and both are working well.  In addition, the IBM collaboration suite including Lotus Notes, Sametime, Symphony and Connections are running great on Windows 8.


Rebeca Furtado said...

Hi Chris,

Do you know of anyone's experience of running Windows 8 on a Mac via parallels?

Peter Bodde said...

I'm curious to see which firmware companies will make the headlines when it comes to network management software for monitoring. Microsoft also has something in the works for 2013 under that category.

Brent said...

Hi Chris,

I have the same HP monitor but I cant seem to navigate properly with it.
With Win8 you are supposed to swipe from the edge, but as the edge if the screen sticks right up this makes it hard to hit the right spot. Did you have any trouble with your screen?

Chris Pepin said...

Brent - no issues here