Microsoft still confident in wooing enterprise with Windows 8

Microsoft still confident in wooing enterprise with Windows 8

Summary: Organisations may be unconvinced by Windows 8, but Microsoft hopes to change opinions on what the operating system can do to manage a mobile workforce.


Windows 8 has been met with a tepid reception from the enterprise sector, but Microsoft expects to win businesses over with the new operating system's mobile security and management features to address the rise of the mobile workforce, according to Microsoft Australia business group lead Tina Flammer.

The Windows 8 launch in Australia with Pip Marlow.
(Credit: ZDNet/Spandas Lui)

At the Australian Windows 8 launch today, there was a lot of emphasis on what the operating system can bring to consumers and small businesses. Those are the segments that Microsoft wants to target initially, according to Flammer, but she said that it doesn't mean that Microsoft isn't looking to court larger enterprises with Windows 8.

One of the biggest drawcards of the operating system is that it can operate seamlessly across desktop and mobile devices, particularly touchscreen devices such as tablets. Microsoft Australia general manager Pip Marlow said that Windows 8 "makes touch a first-class citizen," and that it is suitable for home and office life.

But so far, businesses have not responded well to Windows 8. The Commonwealth Bank said it is inevitable that it will adopt Windows 8, but it is actively seeking viable alternatives. Gartner has predicted that 90 percent of large organisations will not adopt the new operating system broadly, and that this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Flammer disagreed, and claimed that the top worry for CIOs today is how to manage a mobile workforce with a broad range of devices — and said that this is exactly what Windows 8 can address.

"Workers want a device they can enjoy, and the IT side of the business need to have the security and management to deal with across that," Flammer told ZDNet at the Windows 8 launch in Sydney. "That's what Windows 8 provides — incredible 'no compromise' devices that everybody loves, but devices that now have stronger security and management."

Flammer said that Microsoft gives organisations a choice on how they want to deploy the new operating system, should they choose to do so.

"Windows 8 was built on the best operating system of all time, which was Windows 7," she said. "It runs side by side with Windows 7, so whether you want to go all the way to deploying Windows 8 right away, or you're already on Windows 7, it works beautifully.

"We have dozens of customers today that are in Windows 8 pilots, that are building Windows 8 line of business applications, so we are seeing a very positive response to the operating system.

Upgrade only for Windows 8

At the launch event today, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 8 is only available as an upgrade in Australia, and consumers will not be able to buy the full version of the operating system.

This makes it currently impossible in Australia to install Windows 8 on new hardware, which is bad news for PC enthusiasts who are looking to put the operating system on a brand-new machine. The only way to have a copy of Windows 8 up and running is to already have a device running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, and to buy and install the upgrade to Windows 8.

Developers and IT professionals who are subscribers to Microsoft's TechNet and MSDN offerings have been able to get their hands on full digital copies of Windows 8 since August 1.

A boxed version of Windows 8 can be purchased for AU$69.99, while a digital download version will set you back AU$39.99 through the Microsoft website.

Topics: Windows, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Australia, Windows 8 in Business

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • Full versions are available through OEM license

    If you are building a computer, you can purchase Windows 8 OEM which is now the only way to get a full version. The license is also more flexible for the OEM version. So your information is incorrect about there not being a full version.,
    "Can I transfer the software to another computer or user? You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement. To make that transfer, you must transfer the original media, the certificate of authenticity, the product key and the proof of purchase directly to that other person, without retaining any copies of the software. You may use the backup copy we allow you to make or the media that the software came on to transfer the software. Anytime you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between computers. You may transfer Get Genuine Windows software, Pro Pack or Media Center Pack software only together with the licensed computer."
    • Come one. You can not cite US data to prove that in Australia .....

      I wonder why MS decided for such move. Anyone know about any recent changes to "digital" law in Australia?
      • Actually... the original comment is correct.

        I purchased "Windows 8 Pro" as an OEM copy, from my local computer store yesterday. Not the "upgrade", the full OEM copy I intend to use in a virtual machine (where you need a full license). I also purchased a few upgrades for my existing computers as well.

        The OEM copy was A$149 (or A$99 for the non-pro version). This compared to my boxed upgrades, which I purchased for A$49 (and not A$69.95 as indicated in the article - thought hat is what Microsoft wants from their website).

        So... if you qualify for the upgrade, fine. If you want a full license that doesn't require a previous Windows License... go to your computer store and get the OEM version. The text above is FROM the Terms of Use on that disc.
  • Windoze 8 = fail

    Consumers are gonna hate this OS because of it's hideous and ugly UI, lack of productivity etc and businesses see no reason to upgrade.
    • Well, that's like...

      ...your opinion, man.
      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally I think the UI is quite elegant, it just doesn't fit my needs very well.
      From what I have seen so far it is an OS for easy media consumption. Click on a tile and boom, your media related application launches. Easy.
      And as for businesses... That's a different story. As long as MS keeps up the rather rapid way of releasing new OS's they really don't have to upgrade and could just wait for Windows 9. As an effective business you do have to stay up to date though.
      • Unfortunately, on Friday

        We had a large meeting on upgrading, and we're told quite frankly that we will be performing no upgrades as of right now. And any future upgrades, would be to Win7, not Win8. So it looks like another year on WinXP for us, and this includes our global companies as well, encompassing over 45,000 employees.

        Win7 would be very welcome too, though I really thought we might sell them on Win8. The more I use Win8, the more I like it, I honestly have to say. Will probably wait about a month and get the $14.99 Upgrade for my laptop....

    • Wrong. Windows 8 brings the most productivity to any tablet, laptop,

      hybrid, and desktop. More than linux, more than chrome, more than macos, more than ios, and lastly more than Windows 7 and XP. For productivity W8 is the best choice. And the great UX gives users even greater productivity than ever in any UX. Huge usability win and productivit gains. And starting next week WP8 is going to do the same thing in the smartphone space.
      Johnny Vegas
      • That's a lot of...

        That's a lot of...err... "productivity".
        I really don't think I could handle being THAT productive.
        How do YOU manage?
    • I believe you are confused

      there is no Windoze 8.
  • Microsoft propaganda

    "That's what Windows 8 provides — incredible 'no compromise' devices that everybody loves, but devices that now have stronger security and management."

    Wishful thinking....
  • American business won't do 8

    If they held out this long to just start upgrading to 7, 8 simply won't ever happen for most businesses. It doesn't matter if it can brew you coffee as well, that's just (U.S.) business pragmatism, and as long as a current version is supported they will cling to it as long as they can.
    D.J. 43
  • Microsoft still confident in wooing enterprise with Windows 8

    Absolutely true! I'm pushing for Microsoft Windows 8 here. I can't see any reason not to as it will be easy to test the apps and once they pass we can start to do the upgrades.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Won't happen

    Sorry I don't buy that Enterprise after just a couple years ago started upgrading to Windows 7 another big investment from Windows XP will now dump Windows 7 a stable and mostly secure OS for Windows 8 will a learning curve and certainly little to gain in productivity or cost reductions? Seriously who thinks this stuff up?
  • Thank you

    "That's what Windows 8 provides — incredible 'no compromise' devices that everybody loves..."

    Thank you. I needed a good laugh to start my day.

  • Re: "Operate Seamlessly"

    Unfortunately, this OS has a dirty great seam running right through the middle of it. Which kind of limits its ability to "operate seamlessly" on any of the devices it's supposed to run on.
    • Seamless

      @ldo17 - Whats the seam? Just out of interest.
  • Probably not Windows 8

    I'm guessing with the increasing number of companies supporting Bring-Your-Own-Device, we'd see an increase of Windows 8 computers in workplaces by employees bringing them in, not by the companies themselves making the change. Eventually, I doubt that a lot of companies will switch to Windows 8, but they will to Windows 9. Microsoft should be able to fix up all the issues with Windows 8 by that point, and it won't be a huge surprise to their employees like Windows 8 is - at least a quarter of them should be familiar with it by then.