Windows

CIOs may have no choice in supporting Windows 8

Scott Lowe has some advice for those CIOs who intend to ignore Windows 8: It's not going to be as easy to do as you think it is.

It's more than obvious that an enterprise migration to Windows 8 will not look like the migration to Windows 7.  In fact, many organizations remain in the midst of their Windows 7 deployments and won't even consider a look at Windows 8.  Other organizations have completed their Windows 7 projects while still others remain firmly and happily planted on Windows XP.

Many CIOs have indicated that Windows 8 is not currently on their radar and many have also indicated that they intend to skip Windows 8 altogether while they either await Windows 9 or simply stick with Windows 7 or XP.  Personally, I see many XP organizations ultimately being forced to Windows 7 because of emerging compatibility issues in new third-party software releases.

For those that intend to ignore Windows 8, I don't think it's going to be quite as easy to do as it may have been to skip, say, Windows Vista.  Sure, many organizations will put into place policies that prevent the installation of Windows 8 on official corporate desktops and laptops, but that alone will not prevent these same organizations from having to support it anyway.

BYOD

Primarily, Windows 8 will worm its way into organizations through BYOD initiatives, whether or not those initiatives are officially sanctioned.  Even if an organization doesn't deploy its own Windows 8 desktops and laptops and absolutely forbids the use of personal Windows 8 desktop and laptops, it's important for CIOs to bear in mind that we're moving to a Windows 8 everywhere world.  In this era, Windows 8 runs on devices that span the spectrum and include tablets and, if you count Windows Phone 8, mobile devices.

For organizations that have implemented BYOD policies, it will be difficult to make Windows 8 tablets an exception to the policy.  After all, Windows 8 tablets will likely be a whole let easier to support than some other tablets.  Organizations tools may run natively on the tablet.  This is not generally the case with iOS- and Android-based devices on which it's necessary to run Windows-native applications through some kind of remote connection.

Although Windows 8 is quite different than Windows 7 in many ways, those that have experience in supporting Windows 7 won't have much trouble upgrading their skills to include Windows 8. From a support perspective, it may be easier in some ways to support Windows 8 in a BYOD scenario than it is to support other platforms.

The executive

I expect that, upon its release, Microsoft's Surface (Windows 8, x86-based edition), will, at least for a while, be a popular device and, if Microsoft executes well, could be a long-term winner.  I also suspect that there will be some in the upper echelons of the organization that will buy these devices and want to use them at work.  This is part of the BYOD coin, but senior management, unfortunately, often has different rules, so IT may end up supporting these devices through that backdoor entrance into the company.

Feature set

Windows 8 does, in fact, carry with it some features that CIOs might find compelling, depending on the organization's needs.

Windows To Go

Windows To Go might be an answer for your need to support part-time or temporary staff.  In short, you can provide these people with a USB stick that contains Windows To Go, which is a full corporate desktop.  This USB stick can be inserted into any Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer and the person will be presented with your corporate desktop image.

Direct Access

Direct Access has been improved in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 and provides users with a VPN without needing to use a VPN.  With Direct Access, users are able to directly access the corporate network from anywhere, which means that their machines cab be managed as if they were local and the user gets access to the resources they'd have if they were on the local network.

Side load Metro apps

With the Enterprise edition of Windows 8, organizations will be able to side load Windows 8 Metro apps without having to use the Windows Store.

Summary

Although many out there are planning to skip Windows 8 altogether, forces may align that make this decision far from a slam dunk and you may end up discovering that Windows 8 is, in fact, a part of your support portfolio.

About

Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive w...

149 comments
dlovep
dlovep

Let's put it this way, you see a very simple logic of Triangle, Circle, Triangle then you should see a Circle... apply this to Microsoft's product as below: Good, Bad, Good then you should see a Bad coming... apply in OS series.. Windows XP (Good), Windows Vista (Bad), Windows 7(Good), Windows 8 (you name it)... oh, you can also apply in the Office series. Office 2003 (Good), Office 2007 (Bad), Office 2010 (Good)... Wasn't this simple theory explain it all ?

g.widdows
g.widdows

As an IT pro for over 30 years, starting the MS journey with the first version of DOS, I have to urge caution with any MS new Operating System in a corporate environment - Windows is a massive, unwieldy beast now and I suspect that even MS have lost control of it in the race to try and look like a modern, corporate system. The London Olympics is a great example - what MS system did they use - Windows XP!!! Any corporate should wait for more than 2 years before taking the risk and even then only in a testbed environment - there are just too many variables with a windows platform to manage.... for the early adopters - good luck

pickleman
pickleman

Yes, Windows 8 will in fact be ignored by the vast majority of CIOs. No self-respecting IT person in a position of management will want to touch that piece of crap with a ten foot pole. Furthermore, no self-respecting IT person will want to take the blame for a rollout that will ultimately prove to be something FAR WORSE than Vista ever was or would've been. Microsoft made a huge gamble with Windows 8 and their so-called "Metro" nonsense. It will prove to be a fiasco on an epic scale, and Windows 9 will come along to fix it, just as Windows 7 came along very quickly to replace the embarrassment known as Vista. Anyone who honestly believes that Windows 8 will be a success on the desktop will end up looking like a complete fool when all the dust settles.

ptrckwllstn
ptrckwllstn

I am an end user and after the Vista fiasco I had pretty much looked at some of the other systems out there.While linux is good it seems to be constantly on the move like windows. And to be quite honest changing all your programs to something similiar but not quite the same you would be running in to the problems of retraining your work force again.The only other options would be to have a system built for your specific needs and stick with it, this again would be costly but in the end you have exactly what you want. Not too many companies could afford such a venture.Mac is built on its own stable platform, and probably would be very happy to win companies over by coming up with ways for your companies applications to work. It is time we all stop being held for ransom, private users don't have much in put into what operating system makes it, it the corporations and small business that allow Microsoft to force everyone to move to the next big idea it has. If you really want to stop bullying its the big guys that have to take a stand. Just like we teach our kids.There will always be a human factor to Tech.whether it is the It specialist or the end user. Just an opinion.

dcolbert
dcolbert

This morning I had my corporate laptop tied up with a task, so I pulled out my BYOD Android Transformer to do some work on the side while I waited for the demanding task to complete on my work PC. I realized I wanted to access a shared document in OneNote to make some updates. Unfortunately, at this time OneNote Android does not support shared documents. I thought to myself, "I should give Skydrive a shot," so I opened up Chrome Mobile and accessed my shared folder and document there. It displayed, but it didn't work right, as we've all become used to discovering in Web Apps designed for desktop devices when rendered on mobile browsers. After this failure, I thought to myself, "If this were a Windows 8 hybrid, I wouldn't have had these problems". The RT version of OneNote would probably support shared documents - but if I had an Atom or IA based Windows 8 hybrid or convertible - even if the mobile IE failed to render Skydrive, I could always drop to the desktop version of IE and access Skydrive there. There is a good chance other management and executive level staff are going to catch on to this and we'll see increasing corporate adoption of Windows 8 hybrid devices.

skipper747
skipper747

Since you are writing for an international audience, please define abbreviations. Your sub head "BYOD" could just as easily have spelt out what it is and saved me a trip to Wikipedia.

MikeRigsby
MikeRigsby

While I have total respect for the author's skills and experience I generally find that I disagree with most of his articles on here. It seems to me like all of his years of experience in the CIO level of the Industry has caused loss of focus on the reality of day to day living in the 'IT Trenches'. There are far too many instances when someone who makes policy actually forgets how to implement and support those policies. Sometimes the 'view from the bottom' actually sees things clearer than the 'view from the top.'

pixelated
pixelated

I read this article up to the point where there was a typo. Credibility goes out the window if the author can't find the spellcheck (set to Auto on most progs.) So, being hooked by the title article... back to search for problems only system admins need to be concerned with.

pdegroot
pdegroot

I have no doubt that, just as they had no choice but to support the CIO's iPad, and those of employees who brought them in from home, they'll end up supporting Windows 8 devices to some extent. The article doesn't make an important distinction, which is the two versions of Windows 8 that will run tablets. Microsoft Surface tablets with Windows RT will be like iPads, with an embedded OS and ARM procs. Microsoft Surface tablets with x86 procs will have regular Windows 8, local storage, ports, etc., so they are just a type of ultrabook. Features like Windows to Go won't run on RT devices, even though that's where it would be most useful, since Windows to Go doesn't support ARM processors. Every single feature he mentions, Windows to Go, Direct Access, and side-loading of Windows 8 apps [on RT tablets; x86 Windows devices won't need it] requires Software Assurance on the OS. Since employees who bring these devices into work won't have SA, they won't have access to these features. The devices will have to be corporate owned, since beneficial Companion Device licensing rules say " 'Window RT Companion Device' means a Companion Device you (not a third party) have licensed for Windows RT" You, in this case means the party who has signed the volume licensing agreement that is subject to these rules and gets the corresponding privileges. Of course, iPads have never and may never have access to these features, and that doesn't seem to have been a barrier. The point is that these features don't give personally owned Windows RT tablets any advantage over other tablets.

Pocos
Pocos

Company ( I worked for) had spent 3 years and so much cash on having a proprietary suite developed they bought the developing company to ensure \long term support and controlled casts. During this process, which started in 1997 and completed in the 2001 FY) the development was based upon Win 2000 and by the time it was completed MS XP had been introduced. MS's answer to resolve many of the comparability issues was to run the proprietary suite in a virtual machine inside XP. Here we are in 2012 and the same system in still chugging along with 99% of any bugs long gone and the IT staff reduced to save costs and so it goes in the business world today...it's all about the dollars. An upgrade of any kind to the OS of this firm would be in a general range of $50 mil. and effect 2500+ locations and each location having 10-12 employees to retrain. Then they would most likely still need to run the Prop. suite in a VM.

Dimitrios Staikos
Dimitrios Staikos

Win8 on the desktop will have the unfortunate fate of Vista. Vista was a colossal step forwards, in all respects, and corporations and users ignored it, and jumped straight to Win7, or are still running XP. BYOD or not, executive-level fanciness or not, touch-slap-punch screens or not, migration to Win8 is a totally unnecessary nightmare for normal desktop users. We already have the preview version installed at our office, for Win8 phone development purposes. The guys that use it spend 90% of their time on the classic desktop, and 10% of their time wondering "where is everything???".

billtomlin
billtomlin

This is the next reality check on Win8 for CIOs to adsorb is that they will be running against the grain to deny the infrastructure group the benefits of Server 2012 which runs the Win8 kernnel, desktop, etc. (see Scott's other articles).

maszsam
maszsam

If I'm a CIO, I do advise some small business, I wouldn't even get off XP is it was still working for them. Why? And then I would seriously look at Linux and BSD as a first choice. Just did a new network for a small start up and begged them to set up Linux. They went with windows and in 3 weeks they got virused up. Now am setting up Linux boxes for all internet connections, right after I redo the machines. To start a roll out with windows 8 like it was matter of fact, strikes me as seriously uninformed.

delimitaciones
delimitaciones

The point of BYOD policy is to move the business to the cloud, so the only support needed is conectivity, it's imposssible for a company with a traditional strict infrastructure support unpredictible devices, what to do if someone brings a Haiku device... impose to buy a list of devices is not "bring your own device", that's more bring the device compatible. Companies want employees to move into BYOD policy they have to move too in order to get it's goodness.

Dr. Frumious Bandersnatch
Dr. Frumious Bandersnatch

We still run a Win 2003 Server based network/domain with XP and Win 7. Mobile use falls to Apple iPhone and iPad and will most likely stay there. Even Windows 8 still doesn't get it for mobile...

paul.watson
paul.watson

The core problem is that organizations have been setting requirements based on vendors and products. The organization's requirements should be set on standards such as ISO and ODF. Yes, the organization will internally want to limit the number of configurations to be supported. However, basing requirements on standards gives the organization many more choices. It also reduces vendor lock-in and is a strategic advantage in negotiating with vendors. The BYOD syndrome can be more easily managed by setting forth requirements in terms of standards. If the employee wants to use their ...whatever... device to prepare a document, then that's fine as long as the result adheres to the standard. If it takes the employee longer to figure out how to make it work, then they are less productive. Their performance review should be based on the work done, not on what device they used to do it. "The executive" problem of new, shiny gadget lust is a difficult one. The same principles apply. If the executive gets less done, they will get an appropriate review and salary correction.

Organic53
Organic53

While many things may be true (it seems like the writer doesn't have a lot of real life experience), one thing that will decide on the migration: Vendors will just stop selling anything except new PCs with Win8. Our company has a mix of devices from XP to Win8 (we finally replaced the last of the Win98 machines). Our PC vendor simply sells the latest O/S and that is what we buy. FYI: BYOD is forbidden in a number of industries and should not be encouraged.

cybershooters
cybershooters

Which is why I spent a week figuring out all the new GPO options for Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10, because I know someone is going to want to join a Windows 8 tablet to the domains (hint: default homepage URL is now a GPO preference). The policy shouldn't be "no Windows 8", it should be "no Windows 8 RT". Also I think Windows Phone 8 might actually be reasonably popular so that might cause issues. I agree on DirectAccess as well, that is my own fear, it does work really well on Windows 8/Server 2012 and I can see a push for it over traditional VPN solutions. DirectAccess is in Windows 7 and 2008 R2, I haven't tried DirectAccess to a 2012 server from Windows 7 yet (here is an idea for an article), but hopefully worst-case scenario Windows 7 with SP2 will resolve any issues and it's just a case of using Windows Server 2012 on the gateway servers. Windows To Go without DirectAccess is pretty pointless, imo.

jbaker
jbaker

[i]First off, I have to say that this is the most disjointed article I have ever read on TR. I normally enjoy what Scott brings to the table, but this one was very Meh.[/i] In all of the flavors of Win 8 I have seen, there is very little that is compelling to drive an upgrade. The very fact that Metro is in the way on 90% of all things that are done on the OS, the vast majority of applications will never be compatible with it, and there is no way to turn it off. Many of the tasks that have always been simple or relatively simple are much more cumbersome now, and the number of support incidents for IT is going to go through the roof, which inevitably lead to some staffing changes... I understand the need for a Tablet OS. So make a tablet OS. But at least differentiate the relevant feature sets in such a way that non-tablet and smartphone users do not have to suffer through being bound and gagged by the touch interface on a non-touch device.

dcolbert
dcolbert

But started deploying Windows 7 with no real headaches and a lot of tangible improvements. Servers, we went from W2k to W2k3 to W2k8. XP is dated and difficult to support and more prone to problems than Win 7. I'd prefer to have a complete OS recycle and get rid of Win XP... but it works well enough that the cost justification isn't there. While your advice isn't unsound - I don't think it is a hard and fast rule that 2 years is the time you should wait before adopting. You should enter into any new OS by any vendor with caution - I don't think it matters if it is a *nix, OS X, one of the mobile OS platforms, or a Microsoft platform. Evaluate, test, solicit feedback from the industry, and go in with an informed opinion. Windows 8 is a major departure - so for business I think it requires an additional level of caution over a normal evolutionary upgrade of an OS. But if it caught on quickly and established a solid business case, I wouldn't want to be 12 months behind the industry.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You wanna explain why you don't think anyone will touch it?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Catch on to what, buying everybody two devices? If so, wouldn't it be cheaper for a company to buy a desktop to run the job bogging down an existing corporate laptop instead of supplementing the laptop with a tablet?

JCitizen
JCitizen

my clients have had similar problems trying to use Google apps on Android. Good points, all.

NonBreaker
NonBreaker

Makes sense to me, but I'm confused by one thing. "Every single feature he mentions, Windows to Go, Direct Access, and side-loading of Windows 8 apps [on RT tablets; x86 Windows devices won't need it] requires Software Assurance on the OS." I thought SA was used to basically pay extra now for upgrade rights when a new version came out. Why would this have any effect on using those features? Also, does that mean that a non-RT Windows 8 device 'without SA on the OS' wouldn't be able to use those features?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

any major Windows change. They should be easily able to set up to run their app in a VM on Linux.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It's not as big a problem to unleash something like that within the confines of the server room. An IT staff is expected to have to learn new tools, and CIOs (should) understand their staff will be less than productive while climbing the learning curve. it's another matter justify inflicting a radically new interface on the productivity of end users.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The fly appears in your ointment when a company's customers dictate what software to use. We manufacture railroad safety products. Many of our customers contractually mandate the tools we use to produce documentation, drawings, and applications, down to the version to be used. They don't care about ISO; they want MS Word 2003 and AutoCAD 2007, and if we won't use those tools then our competitors gladly will.

DiWilliams
DiWilliams

Hey look, I understand your concerns but you do not need touch by any means. That's the joy of using it, I thought it would cripple me to not have a touch screen monitor. WRONG, I move just a s fluid without it. However I know I would have an even more gratifying experience if I were on a touch screen monitor :) Don't knock it until you try it.

cybershooters
cybershooters

and he's right, as soon as someone deploys DirectAccess they have an advantage over people using a VPN, try it and you will see why. With Windows To Go it also makes it even more powerful.

dcolbert
dcolbert

does a great job on ZDNet of explaining why this is more likely history repeating itself. http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-is-the-new-xp-7000006095/?s_cid=e539 He points out that people were sticking with Windows ME rather than migrating to Windows XP, for 3 years after release before it got traction. This happens ever cycle, Ed is right. I'd also point out that Windows 7 is just Vista with some updates... so when M$ Windoze trolls trot out Vista, they're ignoring that it was ultimately a success after being re-branded. Tech bloggers killed the Vista name, but the platform is doing fine.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Many companies have already realized the benefits of buying employees laptops. Intel was among the first to do exhaustive research that showed several things: Laptops have a longer lifecycle than desktop machines. Employees are willing to exist with a laptop longer than with a desktop at all levels. Laptops improve productivity. Employees equipped with laptops are more efficient and productive than their counterparts with desktop PCs. They can share, collaborate and travel more efficiently with their comfortable device and their critical work. Laptops reduce accessory costs. Frequently a dock, external monitor, keyboard and mouse are at the employee desktop - but not always. Those costs may be reduced with a laptop. Additionally, a built in UPS on a laptop not only removes that cost (typically about $75 per employee) but means less corporate data is lost and more productivity is maintained throughout power outages. All of that combined means that there is a cost benefit over the long haul to supplying laptops. So with that said, a few observations. 1: At the IT, management and executive management level, supplying employees with more than one device, almost inevitably mobile devices, has become a standard operating practice that we can trace back all the way to the Palm PDAs. The executive road warrior with a Batman toolbelt and satchel loaded down with electronics emerged during the era of the PDA. Small and middle companies may be less common to embrace this, but even that seems to be changing. My friend recently started supporting servers at a Linux based web-design organization in Seattle. They supplied him with a Mac powerbook and an iPad. Companies realize the use models for tablets and for laptops. There is simply a prestige factor, as well. Executives *want* the shiniest new gadgets - and it is a relatively inexpensive way for an organization to show it is affluent and successful. So yeah, I'm saying you'll see the upper ranks embracing these kind of options. I think it is quite likely.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I'm all to familiar with the shortcomings of the platform. Mind you, it still beats the current alternative... ;) I just think things could be better - and it looks like Microsoft may be first to actually deliver that improved experience.

pdegroot
pdegroot

SA has about 20 different benefits, not all of which apply to every product. In this case, SA gives the customer the right to upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise on their desktop, which they need in order to do all this stuff with their RT tablet. In general, Microsoft doesn't provide technical support for its own licensing, that is, if you don't have the right licenses, the software itself won't stop you from doing something, even if you don't have the right license. But it's not legal, and if an audit of your firm determines that you have done anything on the list without SA on your product you could face substantial penalties and make-good payments. I'd guess that MS would want at least $300 in make-good for each improperly licensed device, more if you give them a hard time about it.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

for them, then they get yelled out by the few who can get by with the lower productivity it represents to the other person.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Windows to go? Is it .001% or .00001% of them. It's a total waste for most office workers, which are your main corporate users.

pickleman
pickleman

Here we are...about a week later, and now we can see who knows what, versus who theorizes. Remember my original claim? I said Windows 8 will be a flop, both in the consumer market, and certainly in the business world. And now we have some numbers to see just how right or wrong I was: - 74% of organizations have no plans to adopt Windows 8 (source: TechRepublic survey) - 67% of businesses plan to ignore Windows 8 (source: Forrester Research) - 90% of enterprises have no plans to deploy Windows 8 in 2012 or 2013 (source: Gartner Research) I think that pretty much backs up my "no self-respecting CIO" claim. Those are the most recent three surveys. I can cite about 10 others which also very clearly show that the vast majority of both CIOs AND consumers have little or no interest in Windows 8.

dcolbert
dcolbert

That I'll inevitably run it... but only when I upgrade to hardware that makes sense to leverage it. This is a transitive OS that bridges us from a traditional approach to desktop computing to a new one. I know a lot of people don't think there is any value added or reason for this transition - but there are so many use models where this touch-screen, hybrid tablet/laptop approach to personal computing is superior that I think it is inevitable. The question is if Microsoft Windows can be an OS player in that market, and if IA86 CPUs can be viable there. I think they can. There is no reason why a PC shouldn't be able to do everything it ALWAYS has done *and* give the experience that makes a tablet superior in other situations - as far as actual operations are concerned. I don't think Microsoft will get that right out of the gate - but I bet they'll continue to sink money into it until they do get it right and then it will be a formidable platform. The other remaining question is if they can figure out how to make IA86 and Windows 8 competitive on standby, start-up, run-time, and mechanical heat dissipation. I don't think they have to be *as good* as ARM in this regard, but they've got to be in the ballpark without giving up too much of what makes Intel architecture superior to ARM.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Unlike Vista or 7, I've held off installing it for myself. I looked forward to those two, although we never deployed V. I just can't get excited about W8; there just doesn't seem to be much bang for the learning curve buck. We've got the media and enterprise licenses; there are a couple of brand new HP desktops or laptops I could put it on. I know I should take a look at the final release, but the betas just left such a bad taste in my mouth and I don't see having to support it before 2014, if then.

dcolbert
dcolbert

We're rolling out Windows 7 by attrition. As old machines reach end of life, we replace with Windows 7 machines. We're no longer downgrading to XP. That is how things like this go. Eventually we'll be replacing the Windows 7 machines with Windows 8 (or whatever it eventually becomes). Unless at some point a corporate initiative comes down where someone higher up says, "we're going to have hard lifecycle periods with complete system refreshes at that time, corporate wide". Some companies go all in, some do it a step at a time.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I wanted pickleman to explain his 'no self-respecting' claims. While I wouldn't install it en masse on desktops, I can see several industries and applications where it would be useful on 'non-traditional' platforms. Few CIOs will 'ignore' it. They most certainly will look at it (or more likely have someone look at it). They may choose to not deploy it, but that isn't ignoring it.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

My experience is that the exec is likely to use fewer apps than developers, and the exec's apps are likely to require less horsepower. Most of the execs I support rarely use much beyond e-mail, a web browser, Office, and connections to external resources (MRP, SharePoint, etc.). They're not compiling, running multiple virtual machines, etc. Gods forbid we drag draftsmen into the conversation; their needs are often top of the chart. I'm certainly not saying execs aren't important, but their computer uses are among the most basic. The developer definitely needs the RAM and fast drive more than the exec, although I agree he doesn't need it in a top-end laptop format (if he needs a laptop at all). The exec could keep the business running just as well with almost any corporate-grade laptop; he just wants the early upgrade to keep up with the Jones.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Their "old" systems trickle down to some lucky member of the rank-and-file through redeployment. Studies show that among employees, laptop life-cycle refresh is longer than desktops. Executives frequently exercise "early upgrade" options. Because they're executives. The developer doesn't need the newest, new-fangled machine with 32GB of memory and a 10TB SSD hard drive in a device with a profile the size of a tablet of paper with 20 hours of run-time and 200 weeks of standby without a recharge. He doesn't want it because he needs it. He is just a nerd and probably wants it to game. The executive needs it. He keeps the business running. ;)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I must be in one of those "Small and middle companies may be less common to embrace this,...". We're a shop where the policy is one company computer per employee, unless you're doing development work and need a separate test environment. (Because of our products, we can't always virtualize that.) I find it these to be contradictory statements: "Laptops have a longer lifecycle than desktop machines. Employees are willing to exist with a laptop longer than with a desktop at all levels." and "There is simply a prestige factor, as well. Executives *want* the shiniest new gadgets..." If they're buying new gadgets, they're almost certainly replacing useful devices early.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

legal licence for the software, with or without SA, you have a legal right to use every feature provided with it and it must, by law, be fit for the purpose described in the advertising as capable of doing. All the SA really does give most people is the right to ring Microsoft and get a better level of support from their techs. If Microsoft are selling the product with the software features, then they're selling it with the legal right to use those features - in that case the SA is just another way they're ripping you off by threats and menaces (ie extortion). All an audit should do is check if you have a legal licence for the product obtained in a legal process, not if you're using a feature they didn't think you'd need for the licence on it when bought.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I suspect you meant the USB disc for Windows to Go which is the Operating System on the USB, I suppose the data would have to be on it or another one anyway, but they don't make that all that clear. It still comes down to how many people will need this type of capability in their daily work, apart from the odd tech using it for diagnostics.

andrew232006
andrew232006

That wouldn't even be allowed here, let alone needed.

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