|Windows 8 allows for seamless integration of all things mobile, but the typical office worker will find it jarring.|
Windows 8 means big changes for big businesses. By far the most humongous is that Windows 8 does away with the traditional desktop environment of, say, Windows 7, XP or even Apple's various operating systems. Instead, word processing, spreadsheets, mail, maps -- or whatever -- are accessed through graphical shapes called tiles. Click in a tile labeled "messages" and off you go to your instant messaging or email, depending on how you set it up. Think how your cellphone or tablet PC works. That's Windows 8.
Considering the mobile vibe of Windows 8, companies that have made that mobile migration -- that is, they rely on mobile phones, tools or tablets -- should find 8 easy enough to use. It allows for seamless integration of all things mobile. Invoice, human resources, job order forms and sales orders all can be engineered to work across all devices using Windows 8. It is fast, stable, secure and backward-compatible with the machine I've used it on. Though many bugs remain in this early version -- getting back to the home screen, for example, was often a pain -- Windows 8 will not be Windows Vista 2.0. Overall, it works. 3. Your people will go crazy.
Now comes the bad news: The bone-chilling takeaway from my brief time on Windows 8 is that, while the traditional desktop interface is still available if you need it, ultimately there will be no escape from the radical shift in culture this software demands. Everything changes on 8. And most rank-and-file employees will simply not have the patience to master a completely new way of doing their jobs. I found myself imagining larger, change-resistant organizations turning Windows 8 into one of those idiotic fire drills that saps resources and kills productivity. It's impossible to overstate how big a change Windows 8 demands. Bottom line
Make no mistake, Windows 8 is a sweet OS. It's fast and light. Even so, Windows 8 will be a brutal hurdle for bigger firms. Unless your shop is utterly mobile, utterly tablet-based or utterly cutting-edge -- and honestly, who's really is? -- Windows 8 will be a tough sell. Windows 8 just ain't worth it. >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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