MBC Managed IT Services: Windows 8 Upgrade Strategy

With the release of Windows 8 by Microsoft there have been a number of questions around what the right strategy should be for businesses to implement the new operating system.  In this post we would like to share our thoughts on the release of Windows 8 and and a potential upgrade strategy for your business.  

The major reason for the radical change in the new Windows 8 interface is Microsoft’s plan to begin taking back market share in the tablet and mobile phone space.  Windows 8 phones, tablets, laptops, and PC’s will have the same “Metro” style interface and a very similar experience across all devices.  It is a bold move by Microsoft but one with potentially great rewards to end users if it works.  

The interface change is likely the most ambitious in Microsofts history.  Many indications are that early users of Windows 8 like the experience but there are mixed reviews.  As a Microsoft Partner and Toronto Managed IT Service provider we have done testing and we expect that initially the interface will be a radical change for most people with a fairly steep learning curve.  We suggest it would be wise to hold off on starting the transition of your business to Windows 8 right away until the major kinks are ironed out..   

Dell has confirmed Windows 7 will continue to be available as outlined in a recent Computerworld article:

“Dell has indicated that they will still provide availability for Windows 7 as long as they are able.  The Windows 7 OS, which reached PCs in October of 2009, will be offered as an option to commercial and gaming customers, said Alison Gardner, director at Dell. The company will offer Windows 7 as long as it is allowed to, Gardner said.
"We're still moving our business customers from [Windows] XP to Windows 7, Gardner said.
The company is continuing to recommend that customers migrate to Windows 7 and that those who need touch capabilities on PCs adopt Windows 8, Gardner said.
"The OS migration for a large company is no small feat. We make it easier but it takes some planning and work," Gardner said.” View the Computerworld Article
If you are looking to purchase new PC’s or laptops for your business and are uncomfortable being an early adopter of Windows 8, you may want to consider the following strategy:

You can go ahead and purchase Windows 7 with the familiar classic Windows interface as well as software assurance.  Software Assurance will provide complete upgrade rights for Windows 8 when you are ready.  By purchasing Software Assurance you will have time to wait for Microsoft to work out any issues with the initial release of Windows 8 as well as provide the time to get more familiarized with the new interface on home PC’s and tablets.  When you would like to transition to Windows 8, instead of going through a major budgeting process to figure out the costs to purchase the operating system outright, you simply begin testing and then move into production.  Software Assurance costs about 25% of the license price for each year of coverage and you get access to E-Learning training for end users to reduce the learning curve.  

If you have any questions on Windows 8 or tech questions relating to IT Outsourcing Services in Toronto please call us at 905-307-4357 or email solutions@mbccs.com


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