Windows 8. Not for enterprise. Seriously?
Why is that that I'm reading and hearing so much uninformed BS from people saying that Windows 8 will be a flop in enterprise?
I was just speaking with my head of development - a definite Linux head - who was nuking and reinstalling a Windows laptop reclaimed from a leaver.
He needed a blank USB stick to pop a Win 7 image onto for this reinstall. He didn't have a spare and I offered him mine.
My stick has my Win 8 RTM image on it from my own personal installs. This got us chatting.
Obviously he wasn't going to install RTM on the machine right now, today but he indicated to me that he felt putting Win 8 on such a machine at any point would be a mistake because it isn't built for enterprise.
I asked him why he thought this and he took a few seconds to think and answer.
His only reason? Because of the start menu. Seriously.
I've been using Win 8 for RTM since release, and the various developer and consumer previews before it. I have to because I've been writing the Win 8 version of our existing app, didlr, taking the code from the WP7 version and converting it.
I explained that the start menu has simply CHANGED. It's not gone anywhere, it's just bigger and flatter.
I mean, you hit the bottom left and it appears. You start typing and the programs that match appear to be launched with a swift press of the enter key. That's not so different from the start menu we're used to.
Can you group programs? Yes. Can you remove items? Yes.
So then I get thinking about what this really means in enterprise and I really think that for all but the dumbest employees training on Windows 8 could be done in a single email.
So here we go:
Your PC is now running Windows 8. This is what you need to know.
To be honest, it's just like the PC you bought recently at PC World so you probably know all this already - anyway, here we go.
When the machine starts you'll see a grid of all the installed programs. Move the mouse pointer onto one of them and click with the left mouse button to start it.
If you can't find the program you want, just type the first couple of letters of it's name. It'll appear.
Go ahead and use the program. It works just the same as it ever did.
If you want to run another program you have some options.
On the desktop, that while slightly different, hasn't changed enough to warrant any training, move the mouse to the bottom left of the screen, the very corner and click the left mouse button. You'll see that grid of programs again. Click on the one you want.
Or you can press the windows key to get to the grid of programs.
If you use a program a lot, right click on it and then in the bar at the bottom of the scree, click 'pin to taskbar' then it's always on the desktop, at the bottom, and you can click it from there.
Anything you can't figure out on your own, call the helpdesk, blah, blah, blah.
OK, so that was brutal and I'm not being 100% serious. But really it's not that hard. After all, most employees in an organisation will be using 1 or 2 pieces of software day to day.
My point is, there is an unfounded level of fear of Windows 8 for enterprise being spread by those with zero practical experience of using the new OS or purely running interference on and antagonising the upcoming launch.
Change happens. People adapt. People are always initially wary and often complain very loudly. But once in place and recognized as something that will remain, people tend to quiet down and get on with what they were doing before.