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Greetings from Hannover, Germany! Last week, we announced the availability of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and this morning, I joined Kevin Turner during his CeBIT keynote to demonstrate what I’m most excited about – how Windows 8 will help your business.
You might have heard that Windows 8 is Windows reimagined, and this is definitely true for our business customers. As you know and experience, the way people work has changed and now more than ever, people need their devices to be flexible and mobile, while businesses need reliability, productivity and security. We thought about those needs as we reimagined Windows and the new and enhanced features in Windows 8 make everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable, while also improving on the fundamentals. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview to experience first-hand the beautiful, fast and fluid experience that includes the mobility, performance and security features your business needs.
Imagine if you didn’t have to choose between convenience and productivity on your tablet.
I hear a lot of people say they feel they have to choose between the productivity of a PC and the convenience of a tablet. Our goal is to offer a “no compromise” solution so you don’t have to choose between productivity and convenience. With the new Metro style interface in Windows 8, users get an experience built for touch that also works beautifully with a mouse and keyboard. It’s deeply personalized, fast and fluid. You can use all of your existing Windows 7 productivity and line of business applications, and you can leverage your existing infrastructure to manage, secure and support Windows 8 tablets.
Imagine if you could put your secure corporate PC in your pocket.
As we talked about last week with the availability of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, IT departments can provision Windows To Go, a fully managed corporate Windows 8 desktop on an external USB Drive that a user can boot from any PC available at work, at home, or just about any location, with or without connectivity. It’s like having your secure corporate PC in your pocket. And this means employees will be able to do things like travel light without sacrificing productivity, IT organizations can support the “Bring Your Own PC” trend, and businesses can give contingent staff access to the corporate environment without compromising security.
Every time I talk with customers about Windows To Go, a new scenario comes up, like how it will be helpful in situations like working from home or vacation and disaster recovery, and we expect it will be highly valuable for certain industries like military or education. I’m excited to hear how Windows To Go will be used within your organization because I truly believe it will give businesses an array of new possibilities in mobile productivity.
Imagine security from the moment you boot.
From power-on to power-off, Windows 8 provides a more secure foundation no matter where you choose to work. With features like Trusted Boot, Measured Boot Process, BitLocker Drive Encryption, AppLocker, and claim-based access control, Windows 8 delivers end-to-end security like never before.
One of my favorite new security features in Windows 8 is Trusted Boot. The Windows 8 boot process is signed and measured, helping to protect the PC from malware or viruses. Trusted Boot validates the integrity of the entire boot process, including the hardware, boot loader, kernel, boot-related system files, and drivers. Antimalware is loaded in advance of all non-critical Windows components. This means that malware, such as rootkits, are less able to hijack the boot process or hide from antimalware software.
Imagine a virtualized environment that feels like a rich client experience.
We’ve seen many enterprise organizations consider Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) to help centrally manage thin client machines – giving end users the anywhere access they need and a familiar desktop experience, while simultaneously heightening data security throughout their organization. However, there have been some barriers to VDI adoption – either concern that the user experience will not meet expectations, that it’s difficult to implement or that the storage is too costly. With Windows 8, VDI is reimagined to offer more and address those concerns. Users will be able to get a virtualized experience that feels like a rich client experience, with things like high-definition graphics fully responsive to touch, along with high performance and support for local USB devices. Additionally, IT will be able to implement VDI infrastructures that are more cost effective and easier to manage.
What does this mean for businesses today and for your Windows 7 deployment plans?
With the end of support coming for Windows XP and the immediate value you can get from Windows 7 today, I would recommend accelerating your Windows 7 deployment if you haven’t already. Our Windows Enterprise Resources and Tools site and the Springboard Series on TechNet have some good information on Windows 7 deployment planning. The application compatibility investments you make moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 will carry forward and prepare you well for Windows 8.
I’ve shared in this blog just a few of the Windows 8 features that I’m excited about. There are so many Windows 8 features that will add significant value to businesses and will work well in an existing Windows 7 environment. For more details I’d also recommend you take a look at Windows 8 Consumer Preview for yourself, available at http://preview.windows.com. We think you’ll enjoy experiencing Windows reimagined and look forward to hearing what enhancements and new features you are looking forward to for your business.
Many of us already took a look over here windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2012/02/29/introducing-windows-8-consumer-preview.aspx and there are quite some concerns about corporate use of windows 8.
My guess is that business will stick to XP and Win 7 when they upgraded already regardless if XP is EOS, simply because large companies can't simple port every employee to touch devices and send them to courses to learn how to operate the new OS.
After seriously trying the metro interface on my laptop, I only see productivity going down due to the interface.
Those are awesome features. Thanks for adding those. However, I am concerned that most businesses will never see those features because they are not going to implement Win8.
I've become a Microsoft guy. I have fallen in love with Windopws Phone and Metro on my device. I am an iOS convert and find my Windows Phone to be the most fluid, intuituive, and stable phone abvailable. FANTASTIC!! I love the idea of code re-user across the Phone and Win8.
While I think Metro is ok on the Win8 preview, it is no where nearly as usable as the Windows Phone. NOT EVEN CLOSE!! I want Metro on tablets but by no means do I want to be forced into Metro on traditional keyboard/mouse desktops.
I am the manager of 7000 corporate desktops. The thought of deploying Windows 8 to these users (ranging from office workers, to plant managers, to truck drivers) is frankly frightening. If I delivered a new operating system to these 7000 users (there are no touch computers) and it booted to Metro and the Start Menu was missing, I would be fired. These are general workers who rely on their computer as a tool to get a job done -- THEY ARE NOT TECH ENTHUSIASTS!!! Everyday users don't want change unless it is for the better and they can do their job faster. As far as I can tell, the changes in Win8 Desktop mode only add complexity and inefficiencies and will require these users to perform more steps to do the same thing in Win7.
Have you tired to shut down from the desktop? Intead of two clicks, it now takes a hover, a click to go back to metro, a logout (another two clicks), then another click for the shutdown menu, then a click to shutdown. WHAT IS THIS?!?!?!?!?!?
Can you imagine me telling my users about the new start menu?
OK Butch, the start menu icon has moved. And it's hidden. To see it, use your mouse and hover in the lower right corner. I know it's hard with two monitors but they tell me this is easier. Good! See those icons that appeared? Those are the magical charms. See, there it is, your start menu icon -- I know it's green now. Go ahead and click on it. HAHAHAHAH!!! Fooled you, Butch. The start menu takes you to the Metro UI. You "normal" users are so dumb. Get back to work.
Here's how to fix Win8 before it's too late:
1. Give us the option to boot to the desktop. Make an option I can put in my standard image and make it available via GPO
2. Give us a Win7 style (with natural evolution) Start Menu and Task Bar. My users live in the start menu. The start menu is part of our DNA as users. My kids were born knowing what the Start Menu is. I tell my users that if they get lost, look to the start menu, Heck, we have even been conditioned to think it's natural to click START in order to Shut Down.
3. Pin the trash can to the task bar by the clock. Why is it still on the desktop after all these years!?!?!?
4. While we're dreaming, place the "Show desktop" icon on the left by the start button. It's nearly useless for normal users where it is now in Win7. It is really cumbersome for users with two monitors.
@barts2108, I agree 100%. In the page you mentioned it's interested to see the change of modd starting with excitement of people getting their hands on the new code... then shock and anger that such thoughtless and selfish changes were made, then the general feeling of "too late - microsoft screwed us." It's a psycologist's gold mine.
Microsoft seem to have lost track of the typical business user. The MS idea seems to focus entirely on the mobile salesman with his laptop. Maybe they're right, but it doesn't match my experience.
The typical business user still spends most of their day at a desk. They do not have, nor do they want, a touch screen. they don't want to haul their mouse right across the screen to find "boxes".
Even the mobile laptop users all want to plug into a docking station with a big monitor when they get back to the desk. And Metro apps on a big screen - unusable - if Fisher-Price made applications, Metro is what it would look like.
jjbowles: I couldn't agree more..
To all those people who rant about Windows 8 and metro. I installed Windows 8 to my mother’s computer who is actually a beginner. I showed her how the new OS works and now she uses Windows 8 as she used Windows 7 before that. Now I have an advice. If any of your secretaries is not capable of using the new Windows 8 just fire them. There are many unemployed people from this profession around just waiting for a new job.
@peter, ask your mom how many clicks it takes to shut down the computer. Ask her to search for a file on her computer the she doesn't know the location nor the title, ask her to launch calculator
can you try this: www.lee-soft.com/vistart or www.mstechpages.com/.../disable-metro-in-windows-8-developer-preview
Do you know how to search a file on:
- Mac? Click on the Spotlight field and type the file/utility name and press enter.
- WindOS7? Press WindKey and type.
- WindOS8? Press WindKey and *type* and get the result! Same as 7... yes! type when Start appears, don't bother to click on search if it hurts.
Try searching & then opening "cmd" on 7 then on 8 and tell me what extra step you performed?
Remember: Metro-based start offsets the StartMenu functionality, but I cent-percent agree that there must be an option to change the appearance to the compact / old start menu. (as there used to be an option in XP to make it look like 98 if I'm not mistaken!) .. Since MS guys haven't denied the possibility in RTM / GA version in Windws 8, so I'm still hopeful.
Also, very important point for the self-analysis.. if (hopefully) -- in future --we have an option to switch to compact / old start Menu.. would you appreciate the other (desktop) improvements they have made? (Boost in performance, built-in antivirus.. yada yada..) or are you just another troll? Because if you have other complaints, now is the time.. load the beta and try it out.. focus on the desktop version. My advise: don’t be among those who hate everything made by MS and still confused why they are hating something so much that they use in their daily lives (aka: Windows).
I think there are an awful lot of "power users" out there that need to re-learn how to be a real power user, and adapt to this latest greatest OS. It took me four days to realize how my productivity in MANY areas is drastically improved. Including and especially multi-tasking. I think a series of bite size videos in the form of a FAQ on the left with videos on the right of the screen that explain how the old way and new way are different and better would be a tremendous benefit. Not everyone will take the time to do any home work whatsoever. You have to shove these changes down their throats, seriously.
Nice job, don't listen to anyone complaining, but don't ignore the really big complaints either. My only complaint is that scrolling using a mouse is still not consistent throughout the OS start screen and the apps. I'll be patient on that front.
Thanks for your efforts. And thanks for the Free OS to try out. JF
(M)abm, I'm hardly a troll. I manage a corp environment of 7000 desktops. I've used every single version of Windows beta, alpha, technology previews, developer previews since Windows 3.0. I've even participated in non-disclosure sessions with Microsoft on product features. I installed the developer preview of Win8 last year and the consumer preview the hour it was available last week
I am speaking for my users. I know you can hit the Win key or any other short cut to perform a function, but the truth is 6950 our of 7000 users don't use short cuts. They use the mouse. The mouse may be slow but it is easy and for non technical users slow is ok because they don't know any better and they get the job done without knowing that ctrl-C is a shortcut for "Cut" and ctrl-E for "center." My users are not tech enthusiasts. They are plat workers and truck drivers. A PC is another tool in their toolbox. They don't turn it on at night for liesure. It sits in their truck.
The fact remains, Microsoft is not giving us a choice. Combine that with the fact that they are making simple tasks more difficult, and it's no wonder people are freaking out about Win8. As I said, I'm a Microsoft guy and love love love my windows phone. However, I cannot keep quiet as they cripple our desktops. If I wanted to be forced into something with little freedom, I would buy a Mac.
They can still fix Win8 by listening to the vast majority of users and giving us the option of which UI to boot to and give a Win7 esque start menu on the desktop. Simple.
MS should keep this in mind... The vast majority of people who downloaded the Win8 preview are tech enthusiasts and generally very Microsoft friendly. I have seen more complaints (way more) than compliments from this group of friendly users. Imagine how the percentage of gripes will go up when non-microsoft friendly people get ahold of this.
If you've been previewing Windows for as long as you claim you should be able to remember everyone moaned like hell about every previous release as well.
Henry Ford was told "We just want faster horses." Xerox thought the GUi was nothing more than a toy. All you Luddites bemoaning Windows 8 sound eerily similar to them.
@jjbowles...Forget being fired for rolling out W8. You should be fired for telling your 7000 users ctrl+c = "Cut".
I think it's been "copy" since you beta tested Windows 3.0.
Multi-tasking / Screen sharing +1
Speed and performance +1
Metro Start Screen, +1 no big deal for me
No start menu, huge deal for my clients.
(Business, Internet Café)
Instant Search becomes very important when navigating this new Interface. Once you get used to that new way of navigation, you'll discover that it's much faster to do a lot of things. As a person who has the OS installed on a non-touch laptop with a trackpad I initially found the OS to be terribly unusable. Without a physical mouse, it's a real chore to navigate to the corners of the screen to bring up the app switching, or the Charms. Very painful.
Now that I'm using search (just start typing from the Start screen) and keyboard shortcuts, it's much easier to get around. I'm a poweruser of course so, it's more apparent to me where the problems are since I do a lot of advanced stuff, but I think most users will be doing much simpler tasks. They won't likely encounter the same problems we do.
Here are some Tips:
WinKey + C brings up the Charms.
WinKey + Tab brings up the app switcher down the left side of the screen, toggle to go through the apps. You can also just use ALT + Tab which does the same thing, but the app screens are in the middle of the monitor.
When inside a Metro application the top and bottom is for menu and options. It's hidden until you swipe up or down from the edge of the monitor. With a mouse you simply RIGHT CLICK. On a trackpad you can also 3 finger tap to do the same. Of course you also have the right click on trackpads too.
Without a touch screen, scrolling is a bit of a chore, but you can use the scroll wheel on your physical mouse to scroll sideways on screens that are setup like that. On a trackpad you use 2 fingers swiping up or down.
I think the Windows Start menu has always been a bit unwieldy for new and non-powerusers. In Windows 7 I was very happy to see the concept of pinning which I use on all my machines now. In business use, we each use a very small number of apps on a constant basis. The new Start screen will allow we the IT admins to setup our users with just the apps they need. Very quick accessible by hitting the WinKey and then click. Launched. Any newly installed app auto-pins its icon to the right-most part of the Start screen so the users won't have to hunt for the app once installed. If you're an admin, I hope you're not allow end users to install their own apps anyway, but just saying. It shouldn't be a problem for new users to deal with this.
btw, for the person who was complaining about the shutdown option being buried. I agree that's a bit silly to hide such a commonly used feature, but to play devil's advocate...Windows has for some time allowed you to configure the OS to initiate a shutdown when the Physical power button is depressed. I don't think this will be a problem for business environments to pre-configure in their OS images.
@Mod74, you are correct. there has been moaning with each new release. (Although I don't remember too much from Win 3.1 to Win95. ) However, the amount and volume of griping has never been this high before. Some people complained about the Win2000 to XP "eye candy" and some people complained about the removal of quick launch in Win7. However, most of that was user preference. This time around it is all about functionality and efficiency.
MS set the bar at polarized ends with Vista and Win7. those are now the levels at which all future versions will be compared. I have seen many people predict a Vista -like flop for Win8 but no where have I seen any predict Win7 success/acclaim.
I pray this preview release is really market test to see how people react. It hasn't been pretty.
What matters is functionality; and the Original Windows 1.0 was a breakthrough in functionality ... it gave us windows (with a small w) to use and instantly we gained productivity and flexibility.
Now, as far as I can tell Microsoft has removed the 'windows' from 'Windows 8' in the Metro UI. If there is one thing I would ask to see in the final version it would be to use windows in Metro. Come on microsoft, you know what a window is, you invented it ... please combine windows functionaility, with Metro. (And please dont tell me just to use the desktop; I know it still exists, but I just want to see some windows flexibility (and charisma) in Metro, not a dumbed-down product that my Grandparents can use!).
It certainly seems that this version is targeting what I will call "The MAC Crowd" People with either no previous knowledge of windows computing or those with exceptionally limited computing needs. As a power user with more than 200 applications installed on my "Main" PC and nearly half that on my "Gaming and Graphics" PC the metro interface seems to just "Dumb down" the Interface. Unfortunately I am not brave enough to install this on an actual PC with or without "Dual Screens" or Multiple Virtual Desktops as I continually utilize.
Maybe Microsoft should just separate the Metro from the OS.. make "Metro" and available theme or perhaps a Boot-able "Mode" Touch based devices boot into the metro Gui and non-touch based devices boot into the "Desktop" Gui.
Sorry, but you're just kidding yourselves. No business is going to buy this. Why pay a lot of money for new software which will only incur training expenses, increase frustration, slow established work flows and generally be a big pain in the backside? Many businesses are only now transferring from Windows XP to Windows 7 - which is looking an ever better option compared to windows 8.
I know Microsoft want to flog their new app store to death, seeing how profitable it's been for Apple, but unless you swallow your pride and allow an option for desktop and laptop users to boot straight into the desktop, have a proper start menu and never see Metro then you're going to have a commercial bomb on your hands which replaces New Coke as the standard.
You address every point except this central one, raised by thousands of comments across the internet. You were brave to launch it, now be brave again and gives us the choice because, as I said, no business will buy this fisher price touch tablet nonsense for any serious purpose.
Was very disappointed that the Windows 8 will not support graphics of most ACERs out there. Most Netbooks I've dealt with used for Business Mobility default their screen graphics at 600 pixels Horizonal, NOT 768. Although Windows 8 installed, NO apps will run. Dissappointing.
This is MS Bob 2.0. Kill Metro with fire before this train wreck is released. This is NOT for business, hell it isn't even good for home use. Tell the committee that came up with this that every one of them entitled, hipster, spoiled brats that they are fired. Apparently they think that we all want a Playskool computer. If I want a computer by Playskool I'll get a Mac. My guess is that the committee members just run around with Macs and never do real work but just shop and social network.
Look I don't want MS Bob 2.0. All it will do is confuse WAY too many people, slow productivity and just get in the way when it come time to fix it. I say no to MS Bob 2.0 and it will never see the light of day in my state. I'll be sure to inform as many of the powers that be in the system here just how bad MS Bob 2.0 is going to wreck things.
Windows 8 Metro style interface will go into the same phase of change adoption similar to that of changing from green/DOS command style to GUI back on early 90s; it will take time but the scenario here is different since there are mutiple game players advancing at a high pace (Apple & Android); innovation should always focus on the user experince being easy, streamlined, minimum number of clicks and pleasing. I still do not see these in Windows 8 or either Windows Phone!
Microsoft have completely lost their way! From Windows 7 a fantastic operating system to this which frankly is very poor. It simply is designed at Tablets. We received the latest Win8 version very recently and created a VM and plonked it on there to test.
So far there is no way in hell that software will be deployed in a corporate environment.
Hell i won't be upgrading even if you paid me too, the software is so disjointed and why on earth was the start menu removed?
Every program opens up separately if you had a document up and then simply wanted to bring the start menu up on win 7 and do a search you could do that in 1 button press and type the search but Win 8 it changes the screen and covers your document it takes you out of what your doing.
Removing a start button that every consumer expects to be there was a mad idea, and since windows 7 i have used the start menu more than ever.
I'm struggling to really find any good parts with the software.
A simple thing that you would do with Win 7 after an install i would click start and right click properties on Computer to change the name or see the specs or connect to the domain and that has gone why make things more difficult?
I do like the ribbon system and everything being ribboned does actually help so theres a positive but generally I'm so deeply unimpressed by the software. Businesses especially have absolutely no reason whatsoever to move over.
We currently run windows XP and windows 7 will be the upgrade path.