Right now, the vast majority of the customers I talk to have chosen to migrate to Windows 7. They are doing this for a lot of good reasons, and I get it. But it's also becoming clear that specific use-cases within an organization can really benefit from Windows 8/8.1. For more information about what Windows 8 can bring to your organization, read on.
There are a panoply of new devices and form factors coming out that create an awesome work experience. For some organizations, it might be a Lenovo Carbon for sleek and ultralight, it might be a Surface Pro, or it might be Samsung's new ATIV Smart PC, a hybrid Ultrabook slate like the Lenovo Helix. Windows devices for the workplace are becoming cool. In most cases, the cool-factor seems to be centered around good looks, touchscreens, and support for the mobile work-life.
I've been talking to customers who are discovering that certain people within their organization can really benefit from the new devices, and in ways that improve the business. Maybe it's a road warrior who would be more productive with something light, touchscreen, and that doesn't look like an ugly brick. Or maybe it's that HQ employee who's always on the go at the office - never in one place for long - but who has to constantly return to home base to catch up on emails because their main machine is a big, stationary desktop.
Whatever the case, most organizations will find that factoring in touch and mobility improves productivity and work-life quality - not for everyone, but definitely for some of their people. And those people are going to find that touch/mobility on new devices is ideal for Windows 8. In the last few days, I've talked to a retailer that is rolling out Surface Pros for their store sales people, as well as a hospital that is looking for Wintel slates for their clinical workers - it follows a pattern. They're still going with Windows 7 on the vast majority of systems, but now they're looking at Windows 8 or 8.1 in specific cases where there's material ROI for the business.
No matter what, continuing to run Windows XP is not an option. In the rush to migrate up to 7, why not take a deep breath, step back, and look at your workforce? See if you can improve the business with a dash of new device goodness, running Windows 8 or 8.1 for the folks than will benefit from it. The hybrid 7/8 approach may be the best of both worlds: tried and true Windows 7 as the workhorse and sleek new touch devices running 8 as the racehorse.
We've had this conversation with our customers so many times that we decided to build a tool to help them determine where a hybrid approach makes sense, and to help them map the right devices with the right use-cases. Take a look. It's not a gimmick or a “fill out this form to get a free toaster" thing. It's something we designed and built to help our customers. If you use it, drop us a line and let us know how it helped!
Windows XP reached its final end-of-life on April 8, 2014. If your organization is still on Microsoft XP, you will no longer receive Service Packs, security patches, and support. It's time to break up with XP. Click here to craft your exit strategy.