Windows 8, with its controversial new interface, was released on October 26th. How is it being received by consumers and IT pros? Enter the METHOD IT roundup of reviews, videos and more to bring you up to speed.
Like it or lump it Windows 8 is here to stay.
This is Microsoft’s bridge between the long-in-the-tooth desktop/folder paradigm and the unstoppable switch to touch-screen interfaces, designed to offer the same experience across all devices.
It also lays the foundations for Microsoft’s own Apple-style walled garden, with Windows 8 Apps being purchased through the Windows Store.
The new Start Screen with its brightly colored tiles, the addition of Charms and ‘hot corners’ (familiar to Mac users), and the absence of the old Start Menu have been causing much consternation ever since the preview release.
So now it’s out in the wild, what kind of reception is Windows 8 getting from tech websites and consumers? And what kind of impact will it have on enterprise IT and software development? We’ve trawled the web for you and found plenty of answers.
Thinking about upgrading your company’s PCs to Windows 7 or 8? Concerned about integration with your existing IT infrastructure? Let us perform a full IT assessment of your systems and recommend the best course of action. Once you are up and running we also provide Service Level Agreement (SLA) Help Desk Support for hardware and software.
Request a quote now using our simple questionnaire.
What does Windows 8 look like in action? This is a major factor in deciding how easily you will take to the OS. Tour the fundamentals in around 15 minutes with this collection of videos.
- CNET Update : What you need to know about Windows 8 (YouTube)
- Wall Street Journal Windows 8 Review (YouTube)
A bunch of Microsoft training videos were leaked online in early October, showing PC sales staff how to demo the radically new features of the operating system to customers. These are a good introduction to the Start Screen and Tiles, designed for operation either by touch or by mouse and keyboard:
MS Training Video – Windows 8 Start Screen (YouTube)
MS Training Video – DEMO: Windows 8 (YouTube)
MS Training Video – Easy Sharing Demo (YouTube)
Discover the new features in Windows 8 and find out what it’s like for the average user to work on a Windows 8 PC.
- Windows 8 review: A big, beautiful, slightly shaky step forward (CNN)
- An informative Windows 8 primer – Fresh Windows, but Where’s the Start Button? (New York Times)
- Top 10 Windows 8 Features (readwrite) – A useful series of articles detailing the most interesting additions to Windows 8. At number one is the Windows Store, where much like iOS, Mac and Android you can download both free and pay apps.
As with previous releases, Windows 8 comes in a few flavors – Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro for regular PCs, and Windows 8 RT which will only come pre-installed on mobile devices like tablets. Here’s the best, simplest breakdown of the differences we’ve seen so far:
For a Windows 7 user, the question is whether to upgrade or not. The upgrade to Windows 8 can be a lot cheaper than previous Windows versions (starting at ¥3,300 in Japan), but comes with its own pros and cons.
Both sides of the coin from PC World –
- Why you should upgrade to Windows 8
Why you shouldn’t upgrade to Windows 8
How painless is a Windows 7 to 8 upgrade?
The Windows 8 upgrade install experience (Ars Technica)
The flagship Windows 8 device, Microsoft’s Surface tablet was also launched late October, marking the company’s first foray into computer hardware. Surface comes in two models, the ARM processor-based Windows RT version that will only run Windows 8 apps, and the yet-to-be-released Pro version which will also run legacy Windows software.
- Surface RT review: Microsoft’s new tablet is a mixed blessing (NBC)
- The magnetic snap-on keyboard cover is one of Surface’s major selling points, so is it wise to be charging an extra $100 for it?
Microsoft’s Surface Pricing is Flat-Out Crazy (BGR)
- All the big PC manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus and Toshiba have Windows 8 hybrid tablet/laptop devices on the way too – think lots of twisting, turning, flipping and detachable screens.
Putting any user interface gripes aside, there are many improvements in the guts of Windows 8 that will please developers.
- Better on the inside: under the hood of Windows 8 (Ars Technica)
- This casual game developer is excited about the possibilities: “Windows 8 Is Everything My iPad Isn’t” (Forbes)
What impact will Windows 8 have on enterprise IT?
If Windows 8 looks to be too drastic a leap for your organization, consider upgrading your aging and potentially vulnerable XP machines to 7 instead, which MS has pledged to support until January 2020.
- Some interesting Windows 8 adoption and avoidance case studies in this report from ZDNet:
In The Enterprise, Windows 8 Tablets May Zoom Past PCs
- How the rising popularity of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) IT policies may be just what Windows 8 needs:
Microsoft Needs To Push BYOD For Surface, Win8 (Information Week)
- Security-wise, how does the new OS compare to Windows 7?
Windows 8 As A Security Tool: Its Anticipated Effects And Risks (CRN)
Postulations on how the enterprise will cope with co-existent PCs + tablets, Windows 8 apps + legacy software:
Windows 8 in the enterprise: Fragmentation and deployment (ZDNet)
- Finally, loads of useful resources for deploying Windows 8 in the enterprise can be found in the latest Microsoft TechNet newsletter, including video presentations of key features and a free PDF eBook – Introducing Windows 8: An Overview for IT Professionals.
Windows 8 Is Ready for the Enterprise (Microsoft TechNet Newsletter)