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Microsoft Trying To Woo Businesses To Windows 8 442

Posted by Soulskill
from the betting-the-farm-on-colorful-rectangles dept.
jfruh writes "Windows 8 is the most radical rewrite of Microsoft's operating system in decades — and most of the changes are aimed at consumers and new tablet form-factors. Meanwhile, corporate IT is deeply suspicious. Over at Microsoft TechEd Europe, the company is gamely trying to explain to enterprises why they should switch, with easy-to-write enterprise apps and the ability to stream server-side x86 apps to Windows RT. Not everyone is convinced."
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Microsoft Trying To Woo Businesses To Windows 8

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  • Fat chance. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:08PM (#40472671)

    We're still about a year away from mass deploying Windows 7 Enterprise with our upcoming lease swap. I highly doubt we'll even think about touching Windows 8 for a while after that. I have a better chance of getting laid in the next 5 years.

    • We're running XP SP3 here.

      Hell, I've only recently got IE8, and that was an improvement.

      • by Mspangler (770054)

        "We're running XP SP3 here."

        Ditto.

        The migration to Windows 7 hit a wall when something in bean-counter land did not want to play nice. And I don't think it was the AS400. That seems to be happy to talk to anything that looks like a terminal.

        IT isn't returning calls lately, so no idea what is really happening up there.

    • Re:Fat chance. (Score:5, Informative)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:19PM (#40474311) Journal

      I would like to say thanks to MSFT for Windows 8, because thanks to the Win 8 CP I've had set up in the shop for people to try I've had more people wanting to buy Win 7 so they won't have to take Windows 8! So thanks MSFT! Oh and I'm sure i'll have plenty of work for a year afterwards as i wipe it off people's computers for 7 like I did Vista for XP, thanks again!

      Seriously i'd like to just bitchslap the moron that thought turning windows desktops into "supergigantic smartphones" [youtube.com] was a good idea, because i can tell you this is the typical user reaction to Win 8 [youtube.com] only with more cursing and frustration. I thought they were going for the teener/tweener market but all of those that have tried it in my shop said the same thing "Uhhh...I already have a phone duh! this is just dumb" and walked off so if that is the market they were going for they failed BIG time, and the actual users that use Windows for work were frankly horrified and were quick to buy an upgraded Win 7 machine so they wouldn't have to switch.

      Final verdict? win 8 makes MS Bob look like a hit, surpassing even Vista on the "Get this damned thing off of here!" scale of pissed off users.

  • by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:12PM (#40472711)
    IT Departments are innately conservative. Doing something different can get you fired. It's the same thing that led to the "no one ever got fired for buying Windows" line in the '90s. Hell, IT Departments are just now beginning to get off of XP. A radical change like 8? It's not going to fly. Windows 8 needs to become "normal" to the IT Department before they'll allow it in. In fact, I bet it'll end up being a lot like Vista. IT will hold off until 9, when issues that crop up with Windows 8 have been ironed out.
    • by bmo (77928) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:16PM (#40472755)

      And it took forever for IT departments to switch off of NT4 or 2K to XP.

      Microsoft's biggest competition is its older versions.

      --
      BMO

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:22PM (#40472809)

        Secure boot isn't meant to kill off linux. It's meant to kill off XP

        • by bmo (77928)

          And then BMO was enlightened.

          --
          BMO

          • by Tough Love (215404) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:32PM (#40472965)

            Well, I would add "meant to kill off XP And Linux".

            • by DrYak (748999) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:09PM (#40473313) Homepage

              There are a lot of solutions for Linux, including Secure-Boot compatible ones:
              - Like Canonical's attempt to pay to have a boot loader get signed with the same key as what is used to boot Windows, so any mobo able to secure boot Windows should be able to secure boot such a bootloader too, and from that point onward boot any kernel (ubuntu official, custom or whatever) or even boot manager that the user would like to.
              - And canonical's hope to also have its own keys accepted into as many motherboard as possible thus enabling them to start a more open-source firendly key infrastructure. (I.e.: lots of enthousiat mobo being also able to boot canonical signed code. Boot loader, straight kernels, whatever).

              They are a lot less options for secure-booting Windows XP:
              - Microsoft is NOT going to sign Windows' boot loader or whatever. I mean XP isn't even designed to boot on UEFI anyway ! And they have all the reasons to restrict secure boot to Windows 8 only.
              - The only secure-boot compatible alternative would be to use a mobo with caninocal keys and either get SeaBIOS (a bios implementation to boot BIOS based OSes like Windows) signed, or use a signed bootloader and convert the SeaBIOS as a possible boot target for that. That's a lot of custom hacking. Enterprise IT department aren't going to like it.

              Or disable secure-booting and either activate legacy BOOTing (if supported) or boot into a BIOS compatibility layer (like SeaBIOS):
              - but you don't know for how long a legacy BIOS booting will be available (currently major recent OS from Microsoft support EFI booting, as do linux)
              although currently non-secure-boot is possible and mandated for x86 hardware (but not supported by XP).

              So in short:
              There are way to get Linux working - even all the while keeping secureboot enabled.
              Microsoft won't be helping for ways to get XP booting.

              • by bmo (77928) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:13PM (#40473351)

                What about chain loading XP from the Canonical boot loader?

                Secure Boot only looks at the first boot loader to see if it's certified. Whatever happens after that is anyone's guess.

                --
                BMO

                • by volkerdi (9854) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:38PM (#40473597)

                  What about chain loading XP from the Canonical boot loader?

                  Secure Boot only looks at the first boot loader to see if it's certified. Whatever happens after that is anyone's guess.

                  --
                  BMO

                  It's not likely that the Canonical boot loader will allow chain loading XP. Any signed UEFI boot loader that boots an unsigned operating system will be doing so under threat of their own key being blacklisted.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by bmo (77928)

                    But the point of the canonical (and redhat) bootloaders is that you can then build your own kernels without having to shell out 99 bucks every time.

                    What's the difference between chainloading XP and your own kernel?

                    --
                    BMO

                    • Difference (Score:5, Informative)

                      by DrYak (748999) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:28PM (#40473977) Homepage

                      What's the difference between chainloading XP and your own kernel?

                      your own kernel does support UEFI and does support being loaded and booted from efilinux, grub2, etc.

                      chainloading XP would require a Legagy BIOS which isn't available at that point. Also the Windows kernel doesn't conform to the standard used by efilinux and other bootloaders so it can't be loaded from the. Currently bootloader chainload to windows XP by loading its boot sector and acting as if that (MSDOS) partition was booted. But UEFI has no concept of boot sectors or MSDOS partition (only GPT partitions).
                      windows xp it self is un-bootable of such a machine without extensive hacking.

                  • by DrYak (748999) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:23PM (#40473941) Homepage

                    It's not likely that the Canonical boot loader will allow chain loading XP.

                    True.

                    Any signed UEFI boot loader that boots an unsigned operating system will be doing so under threat of their own key being blacklisted.

                    That *IS* the point of the boot-loader. Being signed (so secure-boot can accept it), but being able to chain load anything the user want (custom kernel or even GRUB boot manager).

                    The problem lies elsewhere:
                    - Windows XP is *not* designed to boot from an UEFI firmware, but from BIOS. Which is not available in UEFI boot modes (and might completely disappear in the near future). And microsoft will probably never release a UEFI-enabled Windows XP. So no way to get it to boot on a UEFI machine.
                    - Also Windows XP in neither a linux-like bootable kernel, so no chance of it being directly chainable from a efilinux boot loader.

                    To get it to boot:
                    - either some BIOS compatibility layer has to be used like SeaBIOS (which isn't currently able to emulated everything needed for Windows XP as far as I know) and make that chainloadable by the boot loader. (that is the route that Apple went with BootCamp on Mac hardware, they install a compatibility layer above their own custom variant of EFI that gives enough BIOS functionnality to help Windows Boot).
                    - or hack ReactOS's osloader (which *IS* bootable from any Linux bootloader) to be able to load windows XP components and boot them. (ReactOS is supposed to be NT-Like, so that not impossible, but requires tremendous work)

                    So, in short, no easy way to chainload Windows XP from efilinux. Not because of security or signing, but because XP isn't designed to run on such a system, Microsoft won't do anything for that, and any other solution around the problem requires lot of hacking.

        • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:07PM (#40474235)

          That's going to be real damn difficult.

          Enterprise still has to buy the damn machines.

          When somebody like Dell is told they just had a $250,000 sale fall through because they could not offer machines that can load XP, you will see things change in a big hurry with the manufacturers.

          The small guy might not get a lot of input, but when you start buying a thousand machines at a time.... you get your own sales rep. One way or the other, Dell will acquire, force, intimidate, purchase, steal, conjure, whatever the hardware to make those big sales go through.

          Microsoft does not dictate hardware. Hardware purchasers dictate hardware directly proportional to volume.

        • by humanrev (2606607)

          Secure boot isn't meant to kill off linux. It's meant to kill off XP

          Nope.avi

          It's not the official reason, and it's barely mentioned in the press by anyone but the REAL reason seems clear to me - Secure Boot will prevent the ability to use modified bootloaders which are the basis for the most effective activation bypasses out there for Windows Vista/7. These activation bypassers are not cracks as such because they don't replace any system files with hacked versions, and as such do not get detected with the o

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            MS have always taken a soft stance on piracy for a very important reason...

            So long as cracked windows is available for free, a lot of people will use that instead of free alternatives like linux... If you make windows impossible to pirate, then millions of people who can't or won't buy it will stick with the old version and eventually move to something else.

            In many countries it is almost impossible to find someone who isn't running a pirated windows...

            If a good proportion of those who pirate switched to lin

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            The problem with that theory is thus: Pirate versions, while not exactly rare, especially with the gamers, frankly are a teeny tiny percentage of the market, most folks get Windows "for free" with their new desktop/laptop/whatever.

            Second frankly MSFT already KNOWS how to wipe out piracy in the west, because i'm sure their numbers saw the same thing that I did and that was when Win 7 HP was at $50 and the Family Pack was at $100 frankly piracy disappeared right off the map. i mean i didn't see a single pira

      • by mordors9 (665662)
        The company I work for is just moving from XP to WIn7 this summer as they roll out new hardware. So I feel fairly certain I will never see 8 on my company computer.
      • by C_amiga_fan (1960858) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:30PM (#40472931)

        Maybe MS should try the Apple approach of refusing to support any computer slower than a certain clock speed, and no updates for an OS older than ~3 years. That would mean XP would never have been given a free Service Pack 2 or 3, or security updates.

        BTW will Win8 run on 512MB like Seven can
        ?

    • by hairyfish (1653411) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:10PM (#40473329)
      Another point not taken into consideration, is that the driver for change in the 90's and early 00's was rapid hardware improvements with necessitated OS upgrades for support. Around about 2006 we reached a plateau where CPU, RAM, storage, video, USB etc all reached a level where it satisfied most people's requirements. Dual core CPU's were available to user for the first time, the MHz race had ended, RAM and storage was of sufficient size to never really have to think about it again, and most devices were USB plug and play for the first time ever. Since then there is no real reason to upgrade other than for shinyness (rather than for productivity). I still have my laptop from 2006 and it still does everything my brand new one does, it even has higher res screen. The major changes since then have all been in the mobile space, which obviously MS is trying play catch up with Apple and Google. This is great if you want an MS phone or tablet, but for those of us that just want a cheap and reliable desktop experience, WinXP is still does the job, and I don't see how the UI can really be improved much. Corporates don't need flashy graphics, or pinch and swype touch interfaces. We need a simple desktop that is easily managed and is compatible with everything and supports all our apps. A keyboard and mouse are still the most efficient and productive input methods for a desktop. Right now, today, XP still does all that, so what is the driver behind the need to change?
    • by Darinbob (1142669) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:13PM (#40473871)

      Well, I've seen ITs get very radical, while being simultaneously conservative. Ie, new IT VP comes in, old experienced staff gets canned, new inexperienced people come in. Then new procedures start to roll out, everyone must start putting enterprise apps everywhere, working server apps are replaced with broken stuff from Microsoft (sharepoint), etc. So it's radical because everything's being shaken up and turned upside down, but very conservative because they're doing exactly what every other IT house on the planet is doing (ie, following the Borg Directive from Redmond).

  • Windows 8 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Terracotta122 (2653543) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:12PM (#40472715)
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:12PM (#40472719)

    With radical rewrites come lots of new bugs - and lots of sysadmins whose years of experience may not translate. For corporate IT, both of those make Win8 a "go slow" proposition - at best.

  • Contracts (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:13PM (#40472741)

    Our IT guys have an agreement in their employment contract that they'd be executed if they brought that monstrosity anywhere near our computers. They're comfortable with that and suggested extending the same proviso to senior management.

  • by elabs (2539572) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:15PM (#40472753)
    I am going to have my team begin development on Win8 applications right away and push for hardware to test and develop on. Hopefully this will trickle down to the rest of the company and the IT staff.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jimmyfrank (1106681)
      I'm not sure why this is modded funny. As an independent dev, I talked with a couple companies this week that want to start porting apps they have for iOS and Android to Win8/WP8. If Win8 gets a little traction there's going to be a bunch of work in the future, hopefully that happens.
  • You would think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:20PM (#40472789) Homepage

    that every business in the entire world would have enough sense to know that the corporate environment is not a place to be using the bleeding edge of software versions, no matter how much wooing they get.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Billly Gates (198444)

      that every business in the entire world would have enough sense to know that the corporate environment is not a place to be using the bleeding edge of software versions, no matter how much wooing they get.

      Want to know what is weird?

      What if you could go back in time 10 years and show your past self that post? Corporations had deployment plans for XP and Windows 95 when it was still in beta in the good old days. It was the norm to recycle everyone's PC every 3 years and 5 if you are very very cheap and stingy etc. Never this we will keep this browser and OS for 10 years while everyone else updates theirs every 6 weeks etc.

      I almost have to ask wtf happened? The great recession and Vista changed the world. IN al

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Back in 2001 when XP was released, most businesses were running 2k or 98 on the desktop. It took a few years for that to change - must have been more like 2003/04 that most businesses were on XP. Or even later, depending on their upgrade cycle. OSes are upgraded with the hardware normally.

        Indeed it's ridiculous in a way that most businesses still run XP but it's mostly MS's doing. For about a decade they did not provide new version of their OS (not counting the SP1/2/3 upgrades). Hardware has become faster

      • Re:You would think (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday June 28, 2012 @03:23AM (#40476127) Journal

        I'll tell ya what happened Billy, PCs passed "good enough" and went straight to "insanely overpowered" that's what happened. Frankly for a good 85%-90% of the PC users out there a dual core has more cycles than they know what to do with and with the MHZ wars over there just isn't a reason to get rid of a PC until it dies. Even businesses are starting to keep PCs until they die because for your average worker even a 5 year old Phenom I quad is just total overkill, they just can't keep the chips fed with work.

        When tiger was having one of their "Quad cores for $120!" kit sales like they are having right now [tigerdirect.com] just for the hell of it I picked up one for my dad, he is about as average as average can get when it comes to users. he IMs, uses Facebook, watches videos, just your bog standard average user. Now what I found when I did my 3 month checkup on his PC? Looking at the logs he had yet to even hit 40% on the chip, and this was one of the 2.1GHz Phenom Is. he just couldn't come up with enough work to stress the CPU.

        So if you want to know what happened there you go. A recession didn't help but frankly even before it folks just weren't buying computers because the ones they had worked just fine. I only upgraded my family this year off the Pentium Ds they had because they had just now become a hindrance for the games the boys played, and I had NO problem selling them off for $100 a piece. Last I heard both are purring like kittens and the folks that bought them are quite happy because FB, IMing, and watching videos? just not that stressful.

  • Not convinced... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZenDragon (1205104) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:20PM (#40472797)
    All of those things are at features or at least possible to do in windows 7 currently, so why upgrade? I would like to see REAL reasons! New file system? Better security model? Whatever. Otherwise its completely pointless. Regarding the simple UI model, well obviously that's a model of perspective. It wouldn't be difficult to develop an app that would look exactly the same on any existing system. In my opinion, its the Metro UI not the OS itself that is going to prevent enterprises from adopting w8. Sure it makes sense with a touch screen but the fact of the matter is, it is not efficient with a mouse and keyboard, even the desktop view is crippled. Like the author said, give the user the choice, and stop trying to force this metro UI garbage down every bodies throat. UI design is NOT a once size fits all endeavor!
    • Re:Not convinced... (Score:5, Informative)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:44PM (#40473059) Journal

      Indeed. And the one big argument one might have for RT on tablets and the like would be integration into Group Policies, but guess what, RT won''t have Group Policy integration, so there is absolutely no reason that I can see to choose RT devices over Android or iOS. I'm still astonished that, in the one area where Microsoft could really make penetration with its devices, at least into the corporate world, they're doing nothing at all.

    • Re:Not convinced... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:49PM (#40473117) Homepage

      stop trying to force this metro UI garbage down every bodies throat. UI design is NOT a once size fits all endeavor!

      On a personal level, I agree. On a corporate level, I'm afraid I largely disagree. Corporations are full of people that will suck up IT's time with their very own customized desktop. The weight of the few that could actually make themselves more productive and not take up undue resources is outweighed by the many who'd just wasting company time being equally or less effective. That goes for development too, I remember one story about a lady who wanted to make all sorts of little adjustments to layouts, captions, alignments and so on, the developer billing by the hour. It quickly ended when her boss found out and told her to stop wasting time and money on insignificant details like that, but she didn't feel that cost. She just wanted it her way and didn't care how much company resources she was wasting.

    • I would like to see REAL reasons!

      Guest post [newstechnica.com] by Mary-Jo Enderle

      BORG CUBE, RedMonk, Tuesday (NNGadget) — I have seen the future: Windows $NEXT_VERSION Milestone $MOCKUP.

      I tried it on a low-end laptop with four Core 2 Duo chips and only 8 gig of memory, and trust me: $NEXT_VERSION is shaping up to be one heck of a product.

      WordPad and Paint have seen major overhauls to their user interfaces. Forget the freetards and their "distros" full of all sorts of useless shovelware like "FireFox" and "OpenOffice" and, haha, "GIMP"! — the bundled software with Windows $NEXT_VERSION is clear, simple, sparse and to-the-point. The much-loved Ribbon user interface from Office $HATED_VERSION is now part of WordPad and Paint!

      The controversial Digital Rights Management system in $CURRENT_VERSION has been worked over, with user-downloadable "tilt bits," which you can configure to your own liking. It'll require every user to supply a blood sample for DNA analysis, and the beta nearly took my finger off, but of course that's only if you want to play premium content. The Blu-Ray of Battlefield Earth was unbelievable on this operating system.

      A public beta should be released by the end of this year. There's just no way that Steve "Trains Run On Time" Ballmer will miss the Christmas deadline. The final release should leave the midnight queues on $CURRENT_VERSION release day — the street riots, the water cannons, the rubber bullets — in the shade.

      I am so excited about $NEXT_VERSION of Windows. It will go beyond just solving all of the problems with $CURRENT_VERSION, it will be an entirely new paradigm. Forget about security problems, those are all fixed in $NEXT_VERSION. And they're finally ridding themselves of $ANCIENT_LEGACY_STUFF.

      Also, there'll be $DATABASE_FILESYSTEM. It'll be awesome!

      I wonder how $NEXT_VERSION will compare to $NEXT_NEXT_VERSION.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Ultimately the real reason to upgrade will be the reason people are now going to Windows 7: Microsoft will stop supporting older versions including no security patches. They absolutely could backport a lot of stuff but they won't because that will kill sales of the newer snake oil. If you're a smaller company without a big IT team you can't even buy computers anymore that have XP installed. It is a part of the monopoly effect, they know most customers will eventually upgrade because they feel there is n

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:22PM (#40472807)
    And this article demonstrates why Linux is about to go all bukake all over Microsoft's face.
    • Hardly... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by logicassasin (318009) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:28PM (#40472897)

      Let's be honest. This has been said with each new version of Windows. Personally, I was sure that Vista would be the opening that Linux needed to make serious inroads on the desktop, but I was wrong. Many thought that XP's Fisher Price looking default theme and clunky performance (initially) was enough to woo consumers over to Linux, but this didn't happen. I don't see it happening with Win8, especially if Microsoft relents and gives users a way to boot directly to the desktop instead of Metro.

  • by logicassasin (318009) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:22PM (#40472811)

    ... it's amazing how Microsoft still doesn't really get it. Business doesn't really need Metro. There's entire indistries that still get their bread and butter from CLI-based apps (insurance and travel immediately come to mind as does various medical professions) so what advantage does 8 have for them? As stated in the article, unless there's a way to skip Metro all together, many helpdesk staffers will get pissed from fielding many calls asking "Where's my desktop at?".

    Were I a CTO or even just an IT manager, I'd go for 7 on the next refresh and give 8 time to mature.

    • by hairyfish (1653411) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:51PM (#40473141)
      I'm a IT Manager. I still have XP in my fleet because it still does everything we need it to do. MS got it right with XP, it has enough features to be useful, but not too much fluff to be painful. I still rate XP as the best desktop OS in existence (features, UI, compatibility, support). Vista and 7 just made corporate SOEs harder and more complex to implement. The Win8 UI looks great for tablets and phones, but doesn't look likely lend itself to productivity. In a corporate environment you generally have only a handful of apps which you use every day, some of which are custom written, and mostly you have multiple windows open side by side that you work with. I am yet to see this simple function demonstrated in Win8 which has me a little concerned.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:23PM (#40472813)

    Who, or what 'Enterprise environment', would start over and rewrite their entire app catalog, in house or commercial, just for Windows 8 with it's 'radical rewrite'? Isn't this the next 'WindowsME'???

    Silverlight? Going the way of the dodo. .Net? Going the way of the dodo.

    What the hell is Microsoft talking about? Or more interestingly, what are they smoking at Redmond?

    Moving to server-side heavy lifting for real-time Windows in 'Enterprise' environments.... to do what, read and reply to all my emails? Feed me inventory reports on how many widgets just shipped, to my Windows tablet in fancy non-webbased interface?

    Sorry. Not seeing the trees here. Can someone point me to the forest?!?

    • .NET is still there in Win8, you can write Metro apps in it even. And ironically it looks almost exactly like Silverlight, just with different namespace names.

  • by Tough Love (215404) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:24PM (#40472833)

    Turning Windows into a Fisher Price toy is about the only possible way Balmer could have found to dismantle Microsoft's business monopoly in record time. I am impressed and the words "burning platform" come to mind.

  • by C_amiga_fan (1960858) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:24PM (#40472841)

    (nothing else to add)

  • by ausoleil (322752) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:30PM (#40472937) Homepage

    Microsoft will have a tough sell when it comes to Win8 with many if not most of their large customers.

    First all, while they are still the preferred desktop OS vendor, their reputation precedes them: new releases of Windows often come with a seemingly built-in period where problems and flaws need to be worked out -- most of the time by the first service pack, others, not until the second or later. That in turn means lowered productivity across the userbase and increased support costs. To make things worse, often times the answer from even the highest levels of Microsoft's support is "that will be fixed in the next service pack" and the problem is left open. Companies know this and have learned to wait.

    Secondly, Microsoft has a bad habit of changing the way their OS works, and that leads to lower productivity thanks to users "having to look" for features and controls they previously knew how to find. Win7 did it, as did Vista and to a smaller extent XP. That even affects the support groups, as they too have to climb up a new learning curve. Companies have learned this too and often wait until they are familiar with the new OS -- sometimes using their own staff as guinea pigs for the desk-side support guys.

    Finally, Microsoft's upgrades -- and anyone's really -- have a way of breaking legacy applications that are critical to the business's needs. Then there are vendors who have not certified the new Microsoft OS as being compatible with their products. No certification, no support. No support, it doesn't get fixed and that leaves the business without a piece of its business process software working correctly. Companies have learned this as well and have learned how to wait.

    All in all, the conservatism of IT groups is a learned behavior, and if Microsoft has problems selling their OS upgrades because of this, a large part of it is their own doing.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:31PM (#40472945)

    I see help desk hell with the new GUI and even say you have some full screen metro apps the switching will be jarring to some people as well.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:33PM (#40472967)

    RT devices can't run x86 apps. Microsoft says "No problem! Use RemoteApp to stream x86 apps to your device!" But given how licenses work, this isn't saving you any money on software - and now you need two pieces of hardware (the remote device and a server) to run apps that used to live on the remote device.

    So basically Microsoft's decisions created a new problem, and they're trying to pretend their work-around should count as a feature.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Bingo. I just started a new IT job in a rather remote shithole in the middle of nowhere, with only around 40 machines. They wanted to roll out RT devices, once I explained to them how much money this was going to cost them. Especially for a small municipality(9k people) they decided that this would be a very bad idea.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:33PM (#40472985)

    good luck makeing windows 8 only Enterprise apps as that is likely to have a very small market when you can make the same app with out the metro stuff and have it run on XP, vista, 7 and windows 8.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:42PM (#40473043) Homepage Journal

    Look, there's a mix of Win 7 32bit and 64bit distributions and the 32bit and 64 bit MS Office distros as well, some of which literally require you to recode macros into Visual Basic "just because".

    We don't have time to add Win 8 just because some tablets might use it, especially since pretty much everyone is using iPad or iPhone instead.

    Wake me up when Zune 2 is dead and the Tablet Wars are over - cause all my metrics show Apple is winning that one hands down, and we have to work with the VA, not some artificial version of reality where the Zune on steroids is a reasonable option.

  • by Pollux (102520) <speter AT tedata DOT net DOT eg> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:51PM (#40473143) Journal

    1) I just spent two years testing Windows 7 deployment in our environment, learning the different behaviors of the OS, getting all the group policies & registry settings set exactly the way I want them, and familiarizing myself with the environment enough so that I can see in my head the system and its menus so that I can navigate myself and others through the system w/o hiccups. I don't make that kind of investment in my time to a new OS w/o wanting to wait at least three years before having to make a new change to our systems.

    2) Windows is doing a near-complete overhaul to their OS. Last time this happened, we got Vista. Enough said.

    3) Even when Windows 7 came about, I still waited a year before deploying it in our environment. SP1's for Windows OS's have had a good track record thus far.

  • MS is high. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:55PM (#40473181)

    Business doesn't like radical rewrites of the OS. People like MS because it's consistent. Everyone still isn't over the Windows vista/7 issue. No one is going to buy windows 8 especially since given the pattern Windows 8 will probably be terrible.

    Lets face it...

    98 good/ok
    98 ME bad
    XP Good
    Vista bad
    Windows 7 Good/ok

    We're also not used to upgrading our OS this fast. There's no need for windows 8. People will be happy with windows 7 for years and years. Is that a profit problem for MS? How? They're collecting license fees on every new machine.

    As to Metro, touch integration, etc. Careful with that stuff. Annoy enough people with the OS and you're going to get people to install alternative shells or completely jump ship to linux. We don't like radical changes like that. And most worrying MS is dropping a lot of it's backward compatibility. That's not acceptable. If I have to start running lots of custom VMs of windows just to run old software that won't work in new versions of MS. At some point there's no problem with just switching to linux or Mac. It's all the same at a certain point.

    So... be careful.

  • Is it just me... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by logicassasin (318009) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:00PM (#40473235)

    ... Or doesn't Metro make you think that it's a 2012 version of Packard Bell's Navigator for Win 3.x?

  • nodamnedway (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:01PM (#40473243) Journal

    We're still mostly on XP, evaluated and decided to skip Vista, and are just now starting to deploy 7. This is because (pay attention, this is important) having the latest and greatest cutting edge bits on the desktop is waaaayyyyyy down on the list of things a business looks for in a personal computer environment. Reliability, (Windows 8 service pack zero? It is to laugh.) security (ditto), and compatibility (which is, oddly enough, at direct odds with the concept of "complete rewrite") are MUCH more important factors than having whatever MSFT thinks is the latest whiz-bang interface. It comes down to this: What worked yesterday is more likely to work today than something that came out today. Windows 8 may be, despite being an even numbered release, the greatest thing since sliced milk. But the responsible thing to do is wait and see, let someone else take the chances, and make the decision when the environment is proven. If that means MSFT doesn't meet their 4Q sales, then they should have known better.

  • Metro? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:07PM (#40473299) Journal

    Ok, clue me in. I really need to know this. Why would I make a Metro app, which only runs on Windows 8, especially a client/server app as described in TFA, when I can make a web app that runs in any environment that has a web browser? What is the percentage in coding to a single, specialized environment when everyone else in the world is coding using mature cross-platform web-based solutions. Wouldn't coding to Metro be a really good way to commit corporate suicide?

    • Ok, clue me in. I really need to know this. Why would I make a Metro app, which only runs on Windows 8, especially a client/server app as described in TFA, when I can make a web app that runs in any environment that has a web browser?

      Presumably, you'd write a web app that runs in any environment, then tweak it so that it doubles as a Metro HTML5 [microsoft.com] app - perhaps so that it can, say, integrate with Win8 address book and email apps - while still working in a browser.

      • Re:Metro? (Score:4, Informative)

        by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:57PM (#40474175) Journal

        Doesn't this make the (rather unlikely) assumption that significant numbers will be using the Win8 address book and email apps? In order for this to be significant, wouldn't one have to assume that Win8 will have some reasonable amount of penetration in the business environment? It then becomes a chicken-and-egg problem, I think.

        The thing is, a conventional web app will still work, I think, even in the rather unlikely event that the user is running Windows 8 in a business environment. So again, I don't see the percentage of doing any tweaking or coding to run in Metro, and then having to maintain and test those code paths, on the off chance of having actual customers for which this would be important.

        It's rather like coding a business app with Vista-specific features, when we know good and well that most businesses passed over Vista. I'm aware that at some point this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, but that's one of the problems when you have to bet what might be mission-critical operations on "a complete rewrite".

        • Re:Metro? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:17PM (#40474295) Journal

          I agree that it's still rather far fetched; I was just saying that it's not as complicated as you made it sound initially. HTML5 in Metro was a deliberate bet to get an existing large developer community onboard with minimal need for them to learn anything new, and by letting them easily target Win8 as one of the supported platforms, rather than the only one.

          Personally, I don't really see any obvious cases where a Metro app would give any considerable advantage over a web app in a business environment, other than when the device is not "always on" - which these days is vanishingly rare in workplaces, at least for the kinds of devices that'll run Win8. It also supports pinning websites to the Start screen as tiles - much like iOS - but also lets them [msdn.com] specify their own tile image, and provide tile notifications (via polling), which for many apps is all they really want to do. And it's still easier than repackaging it as an HTML5 Windows app.

          About the only other thing I can think of where you'd want to make it an app is if you need notifications beyond a simple counter on the tile - i.e. pop-ups. Other browsers already offer some form of those, most notably Chrome; if you start adding support for that, it should be trivial to also add support when running as a Metro app.

  • Compatibility (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dissy (172727) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:09PM (#40473319)

    I am the IT manager at the company I work for, and am the one responsible for the server infrastructure and ~150 client computers
    The only thing keeping us on Windows at work is due to our highly specialized and highly expensive ERP [wikipedia.org] system, which runs most all aspects of the business.

    If this system had an update released tomorrow that gave it Linux support, or even Mac support, I would ditch Windows like the bad habit it is faster than you could double-click.

    The ERP company literally just released an update to allow the client to run on Windows 7 and not fall on its face on a 64 bit OS. 6 months ago now.

    I began our XP to 7 migration plan a while before that, but with this rather critical dependency those plans have been on hold until January.

    After putting in all the capital expenditure and purchase order requests to update our 5-6 year old Win2003 servers, I only last month got approval.
    I'm not expecting to get the hardware for another 2-3 weeks. I'm expecting the ERP upgrade to take longer to fully test than I am the Windows 7 upgrade.

    After all of this, I am not about to even listen to, let alone consider, how "easy" it is for enterprise software to be written for Win 8. That does not help with our million and a quarter dollar investment in existing software. I'm not about to replace last years 23" wide screen LCDs with new touch screens, especially so when our primary use is data entry. And I'm most certainly not looking forward to tossing out a decade of knowledge and learning experiences for Windows 8.

    On that last point, while I fully expect to be playing around with and learning Windows 8 on my own, one thing that needs firmly kept in mind is that the company I work for does electronics manufacturing. Nearly no one is or has interest in the technicals of computers. They just prefer computers over pen paper and calculators. We even have a whole department of 30 people, of which only TWO own computers at home. (Yes this is as boggling to me as it no doubt is to you, especially in this day and age!)
    These are not people who use computers purely for the sake of using computers, like we are. To them they are just tools to get work done easier and quicker.
    Anything that distracts from that simple and only goal is not a benefit to us, and Win 8 falls firmly in that category.

    I am not in any way looking forward to the re-training Windows 8 would require ON TOP OF the training for the new ERP update, which we already have to do.

    Point being, Windows 8 is nothing but a bunch of time and money that does not benefit me or our company in any additional way than XP has and 7 will for some time to come.
    Even if it was free software, my time would be better spent elsewhere, that would more than likely end up saving us time and/or money, if not actively making us money.

    Windows 8 doesn't bring anything to the table we want. While not all businesses are the same, I think Microsoft is about to be surprised by how many are similar in this regard.

  • New: Windows 7! (Score:4, Informative)

    by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@davidge ... k ['co.' in gap]> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:19PM (#40473433) Homepage

    IT departments are only just shifting to Windows 7. And they're only doing that because PCs are coming with more than 3GB of memory.

  • Does It Matter? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tgeek (941867) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:05PM (#40473805)
    The next big enterprise OS is going to be . . . wait for it . . . MICROSOFT! Win 8 may or may not be accepted by enterprises. If it does lay an egg, do you really think CIOs are going to say "Well Win8 is no good - let's drop MS and switch to $(MacOS/Linux/whatever)"? Nope, it'll be "We'll wait for Win 9". And when MS hears that, Win 9 (or 10 or 11) will get pushed to open beta really damn quick. In the meantime enterprises will keep right on issuing purchase orders for whatever their preferred flavor of Windows is.
    • I just bought my first iPhone and it is a life changer:
      1. It has good battery life, better than a lot of "dumb" phones I have used, and is a nice phone
      2. It has a notepad like app where I can lists, recipes and shit like that
      3. It has a browser where I can check my email or browse a few websites
      4. I have it everywhere I go so all of this shit is actually useful. If I write the list down on an old-school piece of paper, I always forget it. Forgetting this bad-boy is like forgetting your wallet.

      Oh, wait, most of

  • by WilliamBaughman (1312511) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:26PM (#40473961)

    In most offices environments, PCs with Windows Vista or Windows 7 are used for MS Office (or some other word processor, email, and calendar suite), web browsing (or accessing company internal web applications), and sometimes other little job or company specific utilities. Windows 8 doesn’t do any of that better, so there’s very little reason for IT organizations to push their companies to adopt Windows 8. What will they say? “The file copy dialogue box is better, and it will be more secure on devices that have an EFI feature your computer doesn’t have, so please accept long periods of downtime and relearn how to use a computer to do simple tasks while meeting your quarterly goals”?

    The feature of note for Windows 8 is the ability to run on small, touchscreen devices. None of these new devices have been seen in their shipping form, businesses don’t have any running a previous version of Windows and that will need to be upgraded. The only small, touchscreen devices that business and entrepreneurs have deployed is the iPad*, and it won’t run Windows 8.

    Microsoft’s sales office may be looking to license as many Windows 8 keys as it can, perhaps to create the impression of a successful launch. But the adoption of Windows 8 on PCs won’t determine the success of Windows 8, the adoption in the “post PC world” will.

  • MS & Start Menu (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jakartus (1287248) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:56PM (#40474169)
    The odd thing to me is that they just can't compromise and allow for a Start Menu on the desktop. It isn't like this is a new product, they have a significant existing user base. Just have an option. Maybe right click the taskbar and the properties dialog has a "Show Start Menu" option. That alone would be huge.

    The funny thing I think is that one of the reasons Windows Mobile 6.x sucked was the insistence on the Start Menu paradigm. But now to have a more mobile friendly interface they kill the start menu on PC's.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:20PM (#40474323)

    for business. Businesses often require locked down computers and need to control their data in their local jurisdiction. Many of the apps channel users to the 'cloud', and much functionality does not seem to work without a 'cloud' account. The Metro file browser seems to require a cloud login just to access files in local external storage which is just ridiculous.

    The 'cloud' requirment is also a problem for families. Children can not even download game apps without an email account, and how can they be expected to agree to the terms?

    What about apps that business would like to use but that are outside MS's app store terms? Sorry business can have their systems ruled by the whims of MSs terms.

    Some apps have a lot of consumer marketing in them, such as the the Videos app, which seem to have a fixed home page advertising consumer Videos for sale. This is all an unproductive distraction for business.

    Then there is the push to the touch screen UI. This does not even suit a wide range of consumer devices. For example a remote control better suits a TV. Business need very effecient and ergonomic input devices for people working long productive hours. Even if my monitor was touch sensitive I would still be using the trackball because I can work longer hours before becoming fatigued, and the Metro UI is very frustrating to use with a trackball because buttons and scroll bars are far apart. The simple fact is that a pull down menu is much more efficient and productive for trackball and mouse usage.

    Pinching to zoom, and swiping to pan, may not even be a great interface and may not be around long. I would much rather have some wheels around the tablet edge. Then there are the creative multi-touch gestures - pick with one touch and pan with another - but which hand is holding the tablet?

    Further, the 'no chrome' UI, is just not intuitive. Where is the help? What are the shortcuts? Why do we need to search online just to learn how to close an app. I still haven't found the keyboard shortcuts for panning the grid UI? Perhaps people need the help that chrome can provide much more than they need the full screen content.

    Windows 8 should have worked on security and isolation, not experimental UI and consumer consumption, if it wanted to appeal to businesses. How about tacking the problem of making cloud storage safe for businesses - encrpyted and split across multi jurisdictions! How about virtualising the OS environment so old applications can continue to run safely in virtual machines while not interfering with new OSs. How about bundling older MS OSs in the virtual environment - this is something only MS could do so why not exploit the opertunity? These are the things businesses need. It would also be great for families - children could install junk games etc in a locked down virtual machine and just wipe it all when done.

  • by Satanboy (253169) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:48PM (#40474457)

    I have a hard enough time telling people how to open control panel or the printers section in windows using keyboard shortcuts and CPL commands, I can't imagine having them use this completely useless navigation system.

    I really don't understand why MS always tries to change what we know. Why can't they stop moving things around and decide on a file structure and basic command structure that NEVER changes?

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @10:02PM (#40474549)

    Why would any business go for a platform intentionally designed for a passive consumer mass market over increasing user productivity?

    The world is still recovering from the countless billions of hours of lost productivity caused by bundling mine sweeper and solitaire with windows no need to pour salt on our wounds with crap like metro.

  • by BlueCoder (223005) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @10:39PM (#40474769)

    Windows 8 will not be a tradition desktop OS. It will be an app platform for the desktop. All apps will have to be sold through Microsoft and MS will get their cut. But this also means all apps will be signed by Microsoft and apps will be revocable. So all malware will have to go through MS and they will subject everything to their standards.

    No more viruses, no more trojans. Everything with a documented license though Microsoft. There might be few 0 day exploits now and again but it will be now and again but overall a 99.999% improvement.

    For businesses and grandmothers alike this will be a good thing.

    Enthusiasts will still root their machine but for the most part they will move on to running Linux and Windows side by side in a hypervisor. And a couple years later Apple will start selling OSX targeted to a hypervisors and generic PC hardware because their app store will make more selling software than hardware.

  • by RubberDogBone (851604) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @11:56PM (#40475189)

    8 hasn't yet shipped and hasn't proven itself capable of running "real business stuff" and they already want to cram it down the throats of corporate buyers?

    Where I work, our IT team is still slowly migrating to Windows 7, having only recently halted Vista installs. New PCs are all Windows 7. Because we're more interested in having employees get billable work done instead of calling for IT support because some app is broken. Where it's been deployed, 7 is working fine. Our workers know how to use it. No issues.

    I've played with 8. It seems geared for people who have never learned how to use Windows -except all of us worker bees have, in fact, done that. Our jobs depend on doing work. Not doing work differently, with tiles. Just because someone decided that was the way to go. I am sure it's a fine OS and there are valid reasons for every change. But we don't want change. At all. 7 works. Why change?

    Frankly, a lot of people are still unhappy with the whimsical way Office 2007 and 2010 moved things around. They're trying to compose a document and can't find the control they used to be able to find. They are wasting time sorting it out and getting upset. The user impression -correct or not- is that stuff changed in Office just for kicks. And if they got their hands on 8, where stuff is "just changed" we would expect the same complaints.

    With that in mind, and once again because Windows 7 is just pretty darn good, we're not looking seriously at 8. Maybe 9. We think we can hold on for that long, barring some sort of 8 miracle feature we've yet to hear about.

    In my personal home network is four PCs running 7 and one Mac. Outside of a VM to play with, 8 doesn't fit with what I need or want to do. Shrug.

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