Windows 8

Why Windows 8 has businesses in stitches

An upgrade to Windows 8 is not even on the radar of the majority of businesses, with most firms yet to fully make the switch to Microsoft's previous OS according to a Gartner analyst.

Most businesses aren't ready to upgrade to Windows 8 and have no plans to do so, according to analyst house Gartner.

The majority of firms surveyed by Gartner have not finished making the switch to Windows 7, the report by research director Gunnar Berger said.

"We recently did a large field research study and specifically asked all of our interviewees if they were looking at Windows 8, most laughed," he said.

Not only are companies unprepared for the upgrade to the forthcoming Microsoft OS, they are also likely to hold back for fear of being burned by technical and performance problems, having learned from the difficulties that afflicted early adopters of Windows Vista, he said.

The reported apathy towards Microsoft's new OS, with its focus on working with touch-based computers like tablets, echoes the reservations of TechRepublic's CIO Jury, who recently voted no by a ratio of nine to three when asked whether the new features in Windows 8 made it attractive to their organisation.

Writing on ZDNet Larry Dignan predicts that the more likely upgrade path for enterprise will go from Windows 7 to Windows 9 and skip the eighth incarnation.

Another barrier facing Windows 8 when it comes to enterprise adoption is what Berger describes as its lacklustre handling on desktop PCs with a mouse and keyboard, a staple of the modern workplace.

Describing how it handles on non-touch screen devices Berger said: "In a word: Bad.", primarily because the OS is unintuitive.

"Extremely important menus in Windows 8 are hidden off screen, easily brought in when using a touch and swiping with your thumbs, are absent when using a mouse," he said.

"Prior to this incident, I can't tell you the last time I had to ask someone how to do something in a client OS."

As far as enterprise adoption goes Microsoft's best route into business may be on consumer tablets, as the number of people using personal devices in the workplace continues to increase. Gartner's Berger predicts that IT departments will prefer supporting Windows 8 on consumer devices compared to alternative tablet platforms, as it will afford them greater control.

About

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.

173 comments
jefferyp2100
jefferyp2100

One reason companies were slow to move away from Windows XP was XP was a good OS. Windows 7 is also very good; why move away? I also agree that Windows 8 doesn't appear to be aimed a business.

Mr Shaun Warburton
Mr Shaun Warburton

I have had a touch screen for years now, and I think that I have used it about six times. I don't find the keyboard too accurate and prone to displaying double characters. And it has the added effect of making my fingers hurt.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Let's face it, folks! TR puts up these often flimsy articles and then it's followed by a group of obviously old "gentlemen" who cry about the next big thing and how it should be stopped or how the clock hands should be spun backwards. Then everyone else, unknowning that seniors crave attention, respond in an attempt to help the old guys catch up to standards. Of course, it will never work because it's a trap. "Let's ruffle the feathers of the young 'uns." is what they are saying. This is also the plotline to Logan's Run, a movie that won't be remade for two reasons: 1) people don't like crusty old dudes manipulating them; and 2) no one is going to be as hot enough to replace 1976 Jenny Agutter. I guess I'll just move on to the next article and expect the old guys to get there... at some point because seniors are a bit slow. (I think it has something to do with Linux or the Windows key draining their testosterone.)

maleckie
maleckie

designed by patent lawyers the medium is the message = clear high res 1080 screen = samsung Ububtu 12.04 is just released - check it out, works on anything out of the box cost = $zero

juandeduenas
juandeduenas

I have been using it for a couple of months and I think: 1) It boots faster tha W7 2)I like the new metro UI 3)Incredibley,it supports Visual Basic 6 apps and development (this says a lot about the respect by MS to legacy programs from their clients) 4)The new metro apps are interesting, and, if you dont like it,you can still work as if you were using Windows 7

M Wagner
M Wagner

Besides, Gartner is not exactly the best predictor of IT trends.

TNT
TNT

Oh yeah, they are the ones who haven't made a decent market prediction in the last several years. Since TechRepublic doesn't like me posting a link, I'll just say head on over to zdnet and search for an article titled "Why does the IT industry continue to listen to Gartner?" Its full of examples where Gartner's market predictions are wrong in the extreme. They may find Win8 adaption in the enterprise "laughable" but I laugh at their track record.

oldcrow74
oldcrow74

Nick, you don't know what the term "in stitches" means, do you?

chiefski76
chiefski76

Never test the waters with both feet!

Bengt
Bengt

Most comments seem to assume that users cannot re-learn and change their habits. As if they didn't have personal computing devices at home which tend to be a lot more modern than at their workplace. The wider this gap becomes, the more frustrated the users, who prefer to bring in their own, up-to-date hardware. Be it pads or smart phones. Give them the latest keeps them happier in my experience and shows that you care. Win 8 runs beautifully with any old and existing hardware and software and if you do not want to click on a title in Metro to launch an application, you might just learn to type a few letters (there is no need for finding a search box). I am 81, and it took me some reading and less than an hour to learn my way around this new piece of gear. As so many times before in over 30 years in the computing business. You actually have to play with the stuff before you diss it. I am ashamed of you youngsters - get with it!

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

lets your finger slide easier. At first. If/when touch-screen interfaces are adopted in business (and they'll be horizontal--not vertical!), I expect there'll be new policies about such things as peanut-butter cups et al in work-stations....

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

...has me *in stitches* ;) "That's how Whitey-Hair keeps us down...." Ever heard of 'Generation Whine'?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Particularly when it comes to software. We "seniors" have learned that lesson well and find it quite entertaining to watch the young 'uns waste their time and money. The young 'uns, of course, aren't willing to accept that what holds us back is life experience; they think it's because we can't learn anything new. It's okay, dude, we were children once, too.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Or are they like Nostradamus and the US Federal Reserve?

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

You are exactly right in all of your comments. The attitude in this forum that users are too dumb to learn anything new is a poor attitude to take. The attitude that older people can't learn anything new is completely wrong. People like you and my mom prove that point. Thanks for your comments! Rick

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Purchasing keeps turning down my request for a cattle prod.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

a case of many not wanting to learn new stuff as they prefer what they're familiar with, and of business not wanting to have to PAY for them to learn the new stuff, even if the bill is only a period of lost productivity while they learn, especially when there is no clear benefit of increased productivity afterwards.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

I've still got a ways to go before I will call myself a senior (although there is a local buffet where anyone over 50 qualifies for the "Senior Discount"), but one of the lessons I've learned is that nothing in life is as black and white as some of the people here try to make it out to be. Sure, being the first to adopt something new is risky. At the same time, there are also risks associated with falling behind. I've seen it happen over and over and over in my career: Someone has something that "works just fine, so why bother changing anything." The years drag on, and the next thing you know, they really need to change something. Had they made a modest effort to stay with the times, it would be easy to make the needed change. But, because they let themselves fall so far behind, now they are in a bind and have to make massive changes in a short period of time in order to get to where they want to be. I've seen this happen in big banks and insurance companies. I've also seen it happen in little mom and pop businesses. And again, I will make the arguement that, in a competitive marketplace, there is a value to knowing what's going on in the world. There is a value to knowing what's new. There is a value to being able to provide honest, accurate answers to questions clients or employers ask. While the general attitude in this forum is that there is no reason to learn anything new until it is absolutely mandatory, I happen to believe that a true "IT Pro" has a duty to his clients or his employer to stay up-to-date and to know what's coming. This forum is full of people spouting off about how Windows 8 is too hard to learn, too hard to use on a desktop or laptop with a keyboard and mouse, etc. We have also seen comments from people who have given Windows 8 a fair chance, and they all seem to be saying the same things that I've said: It's not that hard to learn, it's not that drastically different, desktop apps still work the same as they always have, you can still use it with a keyboard and mouse, etc. While many here are happy to spew distortions and misinformation, I personally feel that a true "IT Pro" has a responsibility to know what is true and accurate, and has a duty to keep his clients or employer properly informed. As I have said before, I have no plans to rush out and upgrade every single computer I own to Windows 8. Still, I have the Windows 8 Preview installed on my laptop, and I am taking the time to learn to use it and understand it because I believe it is in my best interest, as an "IT Pro" to know what's going on. I know that my ideas will be shunned in this forum because I do not accept the attitude that old stuff is better, as long as it still works, or that new stuff is always just "shiny new toys" with no real value. I do not believe the philosophy that learning new things should be avoided at all costs. I do not go along with the mentality that says anything new should be bashed and beaten and criticized and distorted, just because it is new. Rick

myangeldust
myangeldust

...having a Windows key? This is what everyone is talking about you know. There's old and then there's old where your mind thinks a special key is the end of the world as we know it. You sure you want to get behind that dead horse? Even if one wants a keyboard with tactile feedback it can be found with all the latest special keys and reality won't collapse on the user for applying them. There's a point where a man fights for an actual principle and then there's a point where he's just looking for attention anyway he can get it. These "seniors" go as far as fighting the use of the Ctrl-Esc command combination, boo, hoo. Please, if fear of those shortcuts are born of experience I'm sadden by all those wasted decades.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

with the shine new toy that has no other worthwhile use.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

money on constantly buying the latest thing and then finding out it does work as advertised. I clearly remember the early MS PR on UAC and what it'll do and how that's a lot different to what they delivered.

Slayer_
Slayer_

That's probably the case with others.

cbci
cbci

You so funny

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

caused by stupid things like forcing people to have ONLY the Metro interface on their computers. Happens a lot with average users being faced with a major change by MS without thinking about the users.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Productivity isn't just measured in workers learning a Metro UI over their Start menu. Workers tend to work at the same speed in their jobs. Reporters probably typed the same speed whether on PC or typewriter. The benefits are in new systems having improved network communications, requiring fewer security patches, having tighter code, displaying graphics better on screen, taking advantage of existing and new hardware devices (even for things like printers). The stuff behind the UI tends to be more important in improving our computing experience. It's even possible an existing OS never properly used the resources you had in that computer you're using.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

IT is a very broad term that covers everything from program design and software development to infrastructure installation and hardware maintenance.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

My use of terms like "supposed IT Pros" or quoted "IT Pros" is meant to imply that I am referring to people who are only "professionals" in the sense that they get paid to do some job that involves computers. I'm sorry if that is not clear by now. Rick

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

When you go off on those people with the simplistic responses, you do it with a very broad brush. Your continued use of the quoted "IT pros" strongly implies you are including everybody who disagrees with you in your condemnations.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

I believe I have stated that everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I also feel there is a difference between stating something as an opinion vs. stating something as if it is a fact. I would also point out that the discussion here has devolved into a variety of different discussions, ranging from issues with some keyboards not having a Windows Key to arguements about whether or not older people can learn new things, and so on. Many of the comments here are clearly just bashing Windows 8. The ones that just say something like "Windows 8 sucks!" etc., are just bashing. They're not saying anything useful or intelligent. Many people here are making claims that Windows 8 somehow cannot be used with a keyboard and mouse, or that a touch screen interface is totally incompatible with a keyboard and mouse. This is simply not true either. There is a reason why they make add-on keyboards/mice for tablets and phones. Using a mouse to point at an icon and click it is logically no different from using your finger to point at an icon and tap on it. I have a Remote Desktop application on my Android phone, and I can easily control a Windows XP computer using the touch screen interface on my phone. The mouse pointer moves where I move my finger on the screen. A tap on the screen registers as a click on the remote Windows machine. It may not be perfect, and it may not be for everyone, but it works. To say that it doesn't work is untrue. In the same way, a mouse can be used to move a pointer on a touch screen interface, and clicking the mouse will register the same as tapping the touch screen. It's fine if someone says they don't like it, but to say it doesn't work, or it can't be done, or it is tremendously difficult to do is simply not true. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that my beef is with the people who say things that aren't true, people who say new things are too hard to learn, people who say users are incapable of learning new things, people who make bold claims with no evidence to support their claims and people who just whine and complain for the sake of whining and complaining. I have no problem with people having different opinions and I fully understand that everyone's situation is different. Rick

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Nothing is as black and white as some people make it out to be. Why then, can you not accept that others will have different opinions than you on this subject, that those opinions will be based on different reasons for each person, and that, in almost all cases, the reasons [u]do not[/u] include "the fear of learning something new" or "the mentality that says anything new should be bashed and beaten and criticized and distorted".

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

...that gradually devolved into an age-ist diatribe. 'Somewhere in time and space', fiction's Lazarus Long wants to kick this guy's *ss.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"There's a point where a man fights for an actual principle and then there's a point where he's just looking for attention anyway he can get it." And with this post, I'm done giving it to you.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I needed a keyboard that took up minimal space on the desk, and I got one. The keyboard is a USB item and only been available for a year or two, but it has ONLY the essential keys to minimise the space it uses, so why waste space on keys that are rarely or never used?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

but NOT for the standard desktop computers and all but useless for apps that are NOT touch-centric - ie the great majority of apps used by business and the average user at home. So it's clear they did NOT think of the users, because if they had they would have included the option to choose between and use Metro or Win Classic style GUI, based on what sort of device you had. Sure, the client who pay get the service, but that does NOT mean I like having to drive forty or fifty kilometres each way for a minimal fee job explaining the new layout just because the person can't understand how MS have changed around what they've been doing for years.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

MS DID think about the users and they DID design Windows 8 to be easy to use. Undoubtedly, there will be some confusion at first, but in the long run, people will learn how to take advantage of the enhanced interface. Besides, gettng called out to fix issues is our job, as "IT Pros." It's what our clients and employers pay us to do. What's so bad about doing what you are getting paid to do? Perhaps a career change is in order, if you don't like what you are doing now? Rick

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

and we each know when the other is joking. I didn't know if you were joking in your reply to rayadair above. That's why I asked you to explain your comment further. Since I know he was joking, I find his comment no more disturbing than my preceding one suggesting that business users could only learn new habits under threat of electrocution. I'm the one who first mentioned a cattle prod, not Ernest; how could I find it disturbing? Your upping the ante to firearms implies you also didn't find it too disturbing to prevent your participation either.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

when you need one and are working on a property about five hours drive from the nearest place you can buy one. Well, I got news for you, people who work on farms and properties and very used to having make do with a lot of things and often end up making home made versions of items you can buy in a store simply to save either time or money or they just aren't readily available enough. Mind you, just about every item ever invented started off with a home made versions.

myangeldust
myangeldust

You don't find it just mildy disturbing? Homemade cattle prod... Not just a little disturbing?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

a stick, and two wires set on the end of the stick so that contact of the wires with the target allows the current to flow and stimulate their muscles and nervous system. very handy when working with cattle on a farm property - as I have in my younger days.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Ernest's comments were directed toward me, not you. Is it weird when you reply to comments not directed toward you, or only when others do it?

myangeldust
myangeldust

Right next to your homemade AR-15 and custom molded kevlar outfit, huh?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

average users than you are, as all they care about is what it looks like and does it still open the apps the way they're used to - they do NOT get at any of the behind the scenes stuff, that's left to techies. With things like GUIs etc I try to see the differences from the perspective of my clients, and also from the perspective of what extra it provides. What I've seen of Win 8 so far gives nothing extra and the Metro GUI only causes more trouble and a need to retrain people, so it's not an improvement for the clients.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

my keyboard is a microform one that does NOT have a Windows key or media keys. So it's more than pushing the Windows key that is NOT there.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

So you're saying Linux works exactly the same as Windows? The Control Panel and all the settings and all the applications are exactly the same? All the "command prompt" commands (e.g. ipconfig, sfc, chkdsk, etc.) are all exactly the same? People can switch to Linux and not have to learn anything new at all? That sure wasn't my experience with Linux, but I'm sure you know much more than I do about this stuff... Rick

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

Seems to do the same thing in Windows as pressing the Windows key does. In another post, Ernest said it would be too difficult for him to remember that. Rick

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

that looks and works the same, so instead of going to Metro you can got to Linux with the interface you're currently using. Heck, they even have a Win 2000 / classic interface. In that situation people don't have to learn anything new at all, just stay with with what they have.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Though last I saw, Control + Escape still opened the Gnome and KDE menus.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

Wait a minute... in another post you where whining about how hard it would be for you to learn to press Ctrl-Esc on your keyboards that don't have a Windows key... and now you are suggesting everyone should dump Windows and move to Linux? Seriously? Rick

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