Many businesses and enterprises have been worried about Windows 8 because of its significant changes. It is often said that Windows is trying to be Apple in some ways and this can be seen in the similarities between the two operating systems.
Considering the inflexibility of Apple in the business world, this is a cause for concern. Not only that, but since Windows 8 is much different than Windows 7, many are worried that employees will have to be trained for the new OS; this can cause massive downtime and a large learning curve. But, are these reasons justified and are they enough to bar Windows 8 from the enterprise world?
- Application Environments
Windows 8 gets rid of a long-standing Windows tradition: the Start menu. However, despite the Start menu being gone you are given one application environment that mimics the general Windows interface that enterprises are used to. It is easy to go between different documents and applications and there doesn’t seem to be any digital hiccups from the lack of a Start menu.
This OS is different in that it comes with another environment, the “Metro” environment, that uses a tile-like interface to seamlessly position all the important programs together on the screen. While this interface is new and will take some getting used to, it actually makes it very easy to navigate between different programs.
Windows tablets have not been doing as well as Apple, but Windows 8 might change that. With the Apple system the mobile OS and the desktop OS have many significant differences. Windows 8 uses the same OS for its smartphones, tablets and desktops. This means that employees can easily migrate from one platform to another without any problems.
- Touch and Traditional Interface
The touch interface has proven very beneficial and useful for enterprises. Due to this, Windows 8 has decided to include touch support into its OS as a standard option. Unlike previous installments of touch technology, Windows 8 also allows you to go back to using the mouse and keyboard interface. The two are seamlessly patched together, allowing employees to use whichever one suits their computer usage best.
- Backwards Compatibility
While Windows 8 promises to have many productivity apps, especially in its app store, there are going to be some enterprises that still prefer Windows 7 productivity applications. That isn’t a problem at all, because Windows 8 is fully compatible with all Windows 7 programs. Enterprises can easily add Windows 7 programs to the new OS without compatibility issues.
- Windows to Go
Booting an OS from a USB device can be very beneficial for enterprises and Windows 8 has made this much easier for users. The “Windows to Go” feature enables employees to boot from a USB device even if there isn’t any connectivity with the computer.
- Better Security
While the security in Windows 7 was good, Windows 8 also improves in this area. BitLocker encryption has been upgraded so it is harder to steal data or decrypt any files. You can now use Trusted Boot and there is a claim-based access interface with the new OS. This makes it easier for an enterprise to secure its treasure of digital information.
- Programming Versatility
Despite all the improvements and changes that Windows 8 is bringing to the Microsoft brand, there is one thing that remains untouched: programming versatility. Many programmers still find that Windows 8 offers one of the best programming environments for making custom enterprise and business programs. This makes it easy for an enterprise to engineer custom applications to fit its unique needs. While this hasn’t changed much from Windows 7, it is great to see a good programming environment that is easy to use.
The Windows 8 OS brings many changes that users are not expecting. However, are these changes bad for enterprises? As the list of benefits suggests the changes are all very good for enterprise users. There is going to be a bit of a learning curve when Windows 8 is fully released, but the learning curve is slight. The many new or upgraded features makes this OS better for enterprises because it will be easier to use programs, there will be a uniform experience on all the Windows platforms and the increased security will ensure that enterprises do not have to worry as much about hackers and data thieves.