July 18, 2012 12:04 pm

The Windows 8 Value for Microsoft SMB Partners and Customers

Last week I was in Toronto at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) where I spent some time speaking with our amazing partners about Windows 8 and the kinds of business opportunities it’s going to create for them. The buzz at the show was incredible. It’s great to hear that they are as excited as I am for Windows 8 getting into market.

We’ve said all along that businesses will love Windows 8 Pro because it provides a perfect blend of ease of use, performance and cool new features, with powerful new business capabilities with features like BitLocker and multilanguage support. What’s more, Windows 8 delivers all the things that are great about Windows 7 but makes them even better with things like: faster boot time, improved task manager, longer battery life, improved file explorer and better security.

It doesn’t matter how big or small an organization is or what industry it competes in – the way people work, communicate and collaborate has undergone a profound transformation in the last decade and Windows 8 was developed to give businesses the modern tools they need to get ahead. To demonstrate this, I wanted to share a couple of the stories we’re hearing from partners and customers who are currently testing Windows 8 Pro.

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UK-based Microsoft partner, Modern Networks, was looking for a way to combine modern touch-computing capabilities with the familiarity of common business applications, while continuing to meet their end goal of helping customers improve efficiency, trim costs and maintain a competitive edge. As a provider of business technology solutions to customers of all sizes, they were aware of the widespread use of tablets among customers, but saw that popular consumer tablets did not provide adequate compatibility with frequently used business tools.

Understanding this business need, Modern Networks began testing Windows 8 Pro. Almost immediately, their employees started realizing the benefits of Windows 8 Pro, from faster performance and start times to better broadband connectivity. In addition, they heard excitement from customers who saw them using the new UI, noting, “There’s a ‘wow’ factor with Windows 8 Pro that makes it incredibly easy to promote; we expect that 50 percent of our customers will make the transition to Windows 8 Pro in the next six months.”

Additionally, Modern Networks also wanted to give some of their customers the opportunity to test out Windows 8 Pro. One customer – Make Architects, a UK-based architecture firm owned 100 percent by its employees – was a perfect fit as they needed something that could run their sophisticated line-of-business software. After deploying Windows 8 Pro on a few tablets and PCs, they saw that employees embraced the new UI and noted that the OS is very stable, fast and offers so much more than other machines because of its mobility.

Read both Modern Networks and Make Architects full case studies here.

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District Computers, a long-time Microsoft partner based in Washington, D.C., was looking for a way to combine PC productivity and enterprise-grade security and management with a mobile and touch-enabled experience. When they heard about Windows 8 Pro, they decided to join an early adopters program in hopes it would deliver the enterprise-class service and technology benefits of working from an office with the convenience of working from anywhere.

The company quickly and happily discovered that Windows 8 Pro was just what they were looking for – it offered a fast, fluid new UI that’s optimized for touch, along with a traditional computing experience with a mouse and keyboard. An employee shared, “Windows 8 Pro is where cool meets business. It provides the consumer-oriented touch experience that employees want with security and management features I trust.” District Computers also saw that Windows 8 Pro is helping to further build their customer relationships as they are using the OS in front of customers, who in turn are already making commitments to investing in Windows 8 Pro.

One of their customers – human resource consultants PRM Consulting Group – worked closely with District Computers to test Windows 8 Pro. PRM likes that Windows 8 Pro offers the flexibility to work and get connected from anywhere with the ability to have access to familiar desktop applications that can be edited through touch or a mouse and keyboard, including Office documents. Additionally, the company is enjoying the integration the tablet brings between personal life and work life, ultimately allowing employees to use a single device for everything, and erasing the need for multiple devices.

Read both District Computers and PRM Consulting Group full case studies here.

I hope these overviews have been interesting and that they help you to start thinking about how Windows 8 Pro could benefit your small or midsize business. I will continue to share more of these throughout the coming months and encourage you to read more on our case study site. As always, we look to our partners and customers for feedback and hope that you will share your story with us on how Windows 8 Pro provides greater value to your small or midsize business.

Updated November 8, 2014 1:20 am