What businesses will want to know about the Windows 8 Release Preview - #windows8

What businesses will want to know about the Windows 8 Release Preview - #windows8

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Today we announced that the Windows 8 Release Preview is now available for download. The Release Preview includes tens of thousands of improvements since the Windows 8 Consumer Preview build, including more personalization options for the Start screen and improved multi-monitor support. This milestone signifies the final phase of development before Windows 8 is released to manufacturing and made available through Volume Licensing. Now is a good time for you evaluate Windows 8 and start forming your Windows 8 Enterprise deployment plans.

Windows 8 is enterprise ready by design

Windows 8 will give businesses the experiences people love and the enterprise-grade solutions IT departments need. It delivers what today’s workforce wants, bringing new possibilities in mobile productivity, end-to-end security, virtualization and management advancements, and the business tablets you’ve been waiting for. Windows 8 delivers a fast, fluid, no-compromise experience for businesses; along with a user interface that responds equally well to touch as it does to a keyboard and mouse.

The Path to Windows 8

Windows 8 works with today’s hardware and we are working toward ensuring the software and application compatibility investments customers are making today for Windows 7 will carry forward. So if you’re in the process of moving to Windows 7, we encourage you to continue with your deployment while evaluating Windows 8 to see how it will benefit your business in a variety of ways, including:

  • Windows on the go – New features like Windows To Go will give businesses new possibilities in mobile productivity. It’s a fully manageable corporate Windows 8 desktop on a bootable USB stick and it will allow employees to work from anywhere on any device, while also helping IT professionals keep their organizations secure.
  • Working from anywhere – Enhancements with DirectAccess, Branch Cache and Mobile Broadband eliminate work boundaries while keeping employees secure.
  • Security –The end-to-end security in Windows 8 is driving a significant level of interest with many of you planning to take advantage of features like Trusted Boot, BitLocker Drive Encryption and AppLocker, enabling a more secure foundation no matter where employees are located.
  • Windows 8 tablets – We’re also getting a lot of feedback from customers about Windows 8 tablets since they will offer a no compromise solution to business delivering both mobile convenience and productivity by running all the Windows 7 line of business and productivity apps with the ability to manage and secure them.
  • Business apps – We’re hearing overwhelming excitement about the business possibilities with new Windows 8 apps both for internal usage (line of business) as well as the opportunity for organizations to create new innovative experiences for their customers. Windows 8 is a great platform for enterprise developers and we expect a lot of innovative enterprise apps to come.

For those of you still on Windows XP, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of migrating to Windows 7. Most recently we highlighted an IDC study that concluded, “Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges, but also are wasting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments.”

Our guidance remains the same: we encourage you to accelerate your move to Windows 7 to experience dramatic savings and functionality over Windows XP. It’s also a good time to consider a proof of concept or small pilot for Windows 8 so you can experience, firsthand, the business benefits enabled by the new capabilities described above.

Looking forward to TechEd North America

We’ll be sharing more about Windows 8 in a couple of weeks at TechEd North America in Orlando where Antoine Leblond, Corporate Vice President for Windows Web Services, will be keynoting on Tuesday, June 12. If you’re not able to join us at TechEd North America, you can view the live webcast of the keynote here and check back on the Windows for your Business blog for my take on the news and conversation from the conference.

The best part of my job is hearing your feedback and excitement about the business value of Windows 8. As I mentioned earlier, now is the time to download and start planning for Windows 8 in your organization. With the Release Preview milestone today, we also launched the Windows 8 Enterprise site, another great resource to help you plan for Windows 8.

14 Comments
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  • All I can say is WOW, it seems that all of the comments below have simply been ignored. 2 things hit me right off the bat. One I have to have a microsoft email account to install the OS, what is this? Google! Second, If you cannot come up with some way to disable that startup screen and give me a usable dektop then bye bye windows. You would think with open source compeition you would pay more attention. There are way too many desktops out there still running XP and now PC's are going to start comming with Windows 8? Looks like another vist to Vista-land where our new computers will come with the downgrade to windows 7 option.

  • So it's not just me - every single comment I've read on this post shares the same opinion - for desktop computing, Windows 8 makes no sense. And that's to us technical/IT professionals - how on earth would we defend a migration to all our users, who will hate it even more than us.

  • lm01
    3 Posts

    My initial impressions are very negative.

    I remember the excitement of Widows 3.1 and later Windows 95 as major product improvements.

    This could go as bad as Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me.

    XP and Win 7 desktop users will find Metro incredibly annoying.

    Office staff will laugh and then get angry with Metro.

    Give desktop users the option of a "Classic" mode that operates like Win 7.

  • Mark
    5 Posts

    I am very interested in Win8, although I think it will be awhile before we actually bring it in. But Windows-on-a-stick (why does that always remind me of Jeff Dunham?) sounds very interesting. I hope there is a lot of indepth info coming on how to manage all of this, particularly if you still have older domains (we are still at Windows2000 mixed level). I know we will be able to downrev to 7 for a little while but eventually we will have to support it and make it user friendly while still locked down.

    Actually, I think that the business-custom appstore may be the primary driver in getting Win8 into the Enterprise. Being able to get smaller teams to generate apps and make them availalble will be a big win.

    I would have said the Metro UI is of little interest in the desktop, but we have people who have VERY minimal computer skills (I had a customer spend a full 20 minutes before calling me, trying to log in to Win7 because there was no place to enter his name) and the entry-level Metro environment may be just what they are looking for.

  • I hope this RP is a Windows 8 Tablet Edition Release Preview!!!!....

    and I hope Windows 8 Professional it's with normal desktop and without METRO!!!

    Otherwise Microsoft it's working for Apple Marketing!!!!!!   :-(

    If you don't change route you lose a lot of users (milions!!!!??).... they'll go with Apple or Linux...  most soft chang than go to METRO!!!!

  • I completely agree with the comments listed below.  This is a "Consumer" OS instead of a business one.  Not very many Enterprise companies have the budget to go to tablets, which this is clearly geared towards.  Not having a Start button is a HUGE mistake.  Again, try to train Executives on something trivial, such as how to turn off their pc should be easy, not going through a whole process like this it is going to end up being is not going to fair well.

     - No Start button or menu.

     - Placing all of your Program icons as Metro tiles on the Desktop...we want to keep a clean desktop not a cluttered one.

     - No DVD playback....seriously?

    One other thing.  If there are already 3rd party apps out there that will convert the look to a Win 7 look, that should tell you something.  Continuing down this road will deem Win8 another "Windows ME" or 'Vista".  You would think lessons should have been learned with those.  Creating a new OS doesn't mean that you have to completely overhaul the UI every time.  Work on the "under the hood" things, like the stability and security.

    I would think that if there were more Enterprise input than what seems to be more SMB or consumer input, we would be seeing something completely different.  And since they are at the last milestone before RTM, I don't see anything drastic changing other that doing the final tweaking on what's already there.

    The lesson that needs to be taken away from this is that Microsoft needs to have a wider cross section of input, especially from the Business/Enterprise side and not think that all business have or are going to upgrade to tablets.  It's just not going to happen.

  • jjbowles
    43 Posts

    @Xpclient,, XP and Win7 are NIGHT and DAY.  Win7 is so much faster on modern hjardware.  It's more secure. It's more stable.

  • xpclient
    50 Posts

    That's right pay twice. Upgrade to Windows 7 first, then Windows 8. Why not upgrade thrice? Upgrade to Vista first, then pay again for Windows 7 and then again for Windows 8. Fix issues like this first: social.msdn.microsoft.com/.../27314d0a-9c70-4b79-93e7-23fe60e7e374 before I can even think of upgrading from Windows XP. Keep ignoring the request and you will never get XP customers' money.

  • Given that I have no interest whatsoever in tablets or touch screens, will I be able to boot my desktop computer directly into the desktop mode? This is the deal breaker for me.

  • gregc
    1 Posts

    I'm sure people smarter than I have looked at the hurdles of providing remote support for this...

    ...remoting into a dying machine...

    ...over a crappy half-dead DSL or VPN connection...

    ...using a solution like RDP, iLo, Logmein Rescue, Gotoassist, etc

    We can't ALWAYS see the extreme corners of our screens

    We can't ALWAYS send Win+key combinations reliably

    We can't ALWAYS position our mice precisely over a low-speed connection

    We need buttons and icons that provide feedback so we can tell if our clicks and keystrokes are accepted.

    And, WHOSE idea was it to change the Startup Menu key? It's been F8 since Win95. This is a BAD change.

  • I think Metro it's the most big error in Windows history!!

    If you want Metro OK, do it, but like Notifications in iOS... Same desktop mode like Win7, and who wants drop down Metro like notifications in iOS...

    This is perfect for desktops, perfect for pads...

    It's not late... don't do this error, 100% of my business contacts hate METRO like this!!!

    I'm apologize for my bad english!!!

  • Adeian
    1 Posts

    I've been using Windows 8 since the developer preview and it's pretty slick if you just want to use your desk top like an iPad. Even at home I generally have 4 or 5 apps open all the time, referring to them as needed and all open on one screen or the other.  I can't see moving to the Metro interface, even with the option of docking an application to one side of the screen or the other.  It just goes completely against the way I work and also the way nearly everyone in my office works.

    If there is a way to run VS2010, Excel, SQL Server management studio, Outlook, Remote desk top to a server somewhere and a couple of browsers all open at the same time I wish I knew what it was.  Windows 8 runs great even in a VM but being stuck in the metro interface just sucks if you are trying to get work done.

  • jjbowles
    43 Posts

    I agree that Win8 is for the consumer. In fact, in my local desktop architecture group my peer companies have stated they will not deploy Win8.  They will continue with their Win7 path. Right now, I can't argue with their decisions.

    I love it on my touch screen tablet -- LOVE IT!!  With that said, I hate it hate it HATE IT on my corporate desktop.  This article talks about all the cool features that have been enhanced, but it fails to mention the ESSENTIAL features that have been crippled or removed.  

    Keep in mind I work in 7000 seat corp environment that is 99.999% Windows with mice and keyboards.  To use Win8 with this setup is absurd.  Taks that are ingrained in our psyche like shutting down now take a set of confusing hover in this invisible corner, then click a few more times.  How is that a business feature.  Not only that, but you need to know separate gestures for working with mice and touch.

     It's NOT TOO LATE to fix this beautiful albatross.  It's simple really:

    1. Allow me to create an image or GPO that forces Win8 to boot to the desktop

    2. Give us back a start button instead of some invisible corner. Holy cow... If I deploy something like this to my Executive Team and explain that you now have to hover in the corner, they would fire me then bring in Apple.  

    3. Give us a traditional looking start menu to go along with the start button. I'm not saying I want it to be a Win7 clone, but it needs to resemble and work like an evolutionary version of the Win7 start menu.

    Those are simple fixes and would make a lot of people happy and will lead to more sales in the corporate world.

  • Windows 8 seems more consumer by design :/