Windows 8: Now is the time for business to get onboard

Windows 8: Now is the time for business to get onboard

Summary: Analyst house Gartner advises business to start considering wider deployment of Windows 8 following the release of Windows 8.1.


Now is the time for businesses to consider deploying Windows 8 on office PCs, according to analyst house Gartner.

Firms considering deploying Windows 8.0 on tablets, or other touchscreen devices, should evaluate "broader deployment" of the OS to desktop and laptop PCs following the upcoming release of Windows 8.1, Gartner advises.

The 8.1 release will address criticisms about the usability of Windows 8 new tile-based interface, which some users of older Windows systems found confusing. The update will bring back the Start Button and make other UI tweaks, as well as introducing the ability to boot to the desktop and Internet Explorer 11.

"Some users rejected Windows 8 because of the changes Microsoft made, coupled with a lack of discoverability, help or cues for the new user experience," according to the post written by Michael Silver and Steve Kleynhans, vice presidents in Gartner's client computing team.

"Based on information currently available, Gartner believes Windows 8.1 features could quiet most of its detractors."

Windows 8 had been installed on fewer than one in 20 PCs and tablets as of the end of May this year, according to figures from web analytics firm Net Applications.

Businesses engaged in planning Windows 8 deployments should pilot on Windows 8.0 if it makes sense, but switch to the Windows 8.1 beta as soon as possible and plan to use Windows 8.1 for production deployments, Gartner says.

Gartner predicts changes in 8.1 will not break compatibility with most legacy Windows applications, but warns to expect "compatibility issues" when moving from IE8 to IE11.

Businesses using Windows 8 should expect more updates like 8.1 on an annual basis, it advises.

The final version of Windows 8.1 is due before the end of the year and will be delivered free to all Windows 8 and Windows RT users through the Windows Store.

Topics: Windows 8, Enterprise Software


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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  • Is there an echo in here?

    This sounds extremely reminiscent of the days of Windows Vista. The experts suggested migrating to the new OS framework because businesses would eventually have to anyway. What happened? Windows XP stuck around, that's what happened.

    LOL, I can hear the service calls now. "How do I shut down my 'puder?"
    • Yea no F'n way

      I pulled my hair out trying to do a simple network share between a Vista and Win8 machine and I have been using PCs since 1985 and have a degree in CS. Finally got the Vista machine to connect but not vice versa. Whatever new MS account auth crap they added, it is horrible!! Even matched user name/pwds wouldn't work.

      Win8 was touted to be so fast and update in background. NO. Same crap. I thought it was so much faster because it boots in 10 secs on my tablet but that's due to the SSD and hybrid hibernation/shutdown. BTW this kills the battery as there seems to be no real shutdown. Just this and standby. Run Win 8 on a conventional PC and it's no faster than 7. Updates still half disable the machine making you wonder why $#!+ don't work until you realize you need a 5 minute reboot sequence to fix.
      • Yea no F'n way - Part Deux

        Sounds strangely reminiscent of Windows/ME, Vista, ad nauseum... "Please buy our garbage...We need to recoup our costs for putting out a 'dog'. We'll do better next time...No, really.... Trust us...."
      • I dunno dude

        I am running it on an old Core2Duo E7200 with 2Gb of ram, it took over a minute to boot with XP on it and it boots Win8 in about 20 sec using ClassicShell to get to the desktop and by passing the silly tile nonsense. I find it very fast, but until I see native boot to desktop it will stay on that one machine only.
        • I dunno dude

          I assume you meant "bypassing".
        • You could have booted to Desktop already

          You could have set up a task to run at Start Up - Step by step directions here:

          You could have loaded any Desktop program that loads at Start Up. I happen to use Sticky Notes
      • It's the security settings...

        I have Win8 on all the computers at home and have found that I have to actual create an everyone user and give it permissions before anything shares on the network from that particular computer. These multiple levels of security and permissions is a bit aggravating but once you figure it out it's easy. I think Microsoft wants you to use the homegroup feature for sharing between computers on your network, more secure per them. However I believe that only started with Win7.
        Of course using the help feature almost "helps". :-)
      • When is a shutdown not really a shutdown?

        I have a Win8 and Linux Mint 15 dual boot. I will admit Win8's start up time has improved over the Vista that was there earlier. However, it seems to be caused by Win8 not doing a traditional shutdown.
        If I shutdown Win8 then power up into Linux, I get a message that the NTFS was not properly shutdown and I need to run a special mount command before I can access Windows content. This was never an issue with Vista.
        If I restart from Win8 and go into Linux, which is my default start up, the error is not present and the Windows content is immediately available to Linux.
        I wonder what MS does differently on a shutdown and if that is what speeds up the starting time. I think I will set up a Win8.1 beta to dual boot on a laptop and try this with no battery and unplugged when not in use.
    • but now xp is dead...

      No more support... Either they buy win 7 or win 8, but keeping XP is not worth the risk
      Emmanuel Fransson
      • Hello...

        Put ZorinOS on it, in 20 minutes, and join this century.
    • Preaching to the choir

      Amen, besides when was the last time Gartner got it right?
  • The reason I haven't deployed it yet

    is mainly because I do not want their first encounter with Windows 8 to be at work when they need to be getting work done. There is nothing inherently wrong with Windows 8, but it does require adjustments and some getting used to, and I don't want that happening at work. At least not without scheduled training or workshops. And since Windows 8.1 is supposed to help ease that transition from Windows 7, why not wait for that?
    Michael Kelly
    • Win 8 for Enterprise?

      You're correct, it's not ready for prime time, it's M$'s attempt to cash in on an iPad like technology.

      The user interface is a disaster, did M$ use a third grade class as their focus group?

      Their implementation of the full screen apps is not compatible with a multi-task the work environment.

      I've eventually found where they have hidden most (but not all) of the Win XP, Win 7 features. It just takes a lot longer to get to them. Hopefully the operating system security is a little better than XP or Win 7.
      • You had me reading up to...

        ..You're correct, it's not ready for prime time, it's [pubescence alert!]

        Anyone that reverts to infantile spelling like M$, Linsux, Crapple will loose my attention immediately...

        Sorry I rather go with professionals
        • Don't Be A Hypocrite

          You call Apple "Crapple" and spell "lose" "loose".

          I am a professional, as in engineer, and linux-user is right. Microsoft took a good operating system (Windows 7) and put a layer of crap on top it (Metro) hoping to rake in the $$$ (my own spelling of "money") like Apple did, not understanding that it is hard to milk your customer when your customers are more like badgers than cows.

          One Microsoft understands this simple fact: We are not Apple customers.

          ...then they will get back to businesses.
          Le Chaud Lapin
          • You are not a professional.

            He didn't call Apple "Crapple" and "loose" is a simple typo. You on the other hand use "M$" which is a sign of your pre-pubescent mind.
            Ehsan Irani
          • You're no better

            When you engage in an ad hominem attack, you're really showing that you have no actual argument against the point being made. (See this link for a reference: )

            linux-user may be somewhat biased, but the point made is valid. Windows 8 was designed to be a tablet OS meant to directly compete with the iPad and the various Android tablets. And, even in that, it fails.
          • Windows users ARE cattle.

          • continued

            They accept every change when it's pushed on them and rarely, if ever, squawk about them.

            Microsoft's money comes from people so mired in Microsoft's mud that they simply can't or won't think for themselves. Professionals like us, who administer it and service countless Windows customers, spend much of our time trying to fix what those customers have messed up because they can't adapt, only absorb. However, even Professionals are not without blame.
          • (Breaking down a long comment to find the "spam" content...)

            Corporate IT and software developers actively resisted Microsoft's touch-screen technologies for over a decade. They worked hard to keep things familiar in the hope that this thing called Tablet Computing would simply go away.