Windows 8.1 preview fixes the failings of Windows 8 for the enterprise

The Windows Assessment and Deployment Toolkit included with the Windows 8.1 preview addresses concerns hindering adoption of Microsoft's OS.

Microsoft has dominated enterprise desktops with its Windows operating system for years. Nevertheless, the company has struggled with getting enterprise users to adopt the latest version of Windows as quickly as possible. Many IT departments take a wait-and-see approach before upgrading to whatever Microsoft says is its latest and greatest invention in the hope that others will vet the software for them. The Windows 8.1 preview tries to address this problem.

Other than sales of new systems and consumer-level upgrades, Windows 8 did not make major inroads into the enterprise. The reasons for that are numerous, ranging from budget and time constraints to worries about how a new user interface and focus on mobile computing could affect productivity.

Microsoft seems to have learned from that stalled enterprise adoption challenge and has packaged Windows 8 enhancements in Windows 8.1, formerly called "Windows Blue." The Windows 8.1 preview restores a few features that were originally found in Windows 7 yet disappeared from the initial Windows 8 feature set.

For example, the oft-maligned Start button, which resided on the bottom left-hand corner of the Windows 7 desktop, disappeared from Windows 8. Instead, users found what was once called the "Metro interface," a series of tiles for launching applications. Millions of users worldwide had come to rely on the Windows 7 Start button, whose elimination of it caused much strife and productivity loss.

However, the loss of the Start button was only a minor blip on the radar of enterprise network administrators, whose primary concerns about Windows 8 focused on deployment, management and compatibility.

With these issues in mind, Microsoft has announced or released several tools that should assuage administrator concerns about Windows 8. For example, the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 Preview contains several tools and information geared toward helping admins push out Windows 8.1 across the enterprise.

The preview includes the following:

  • Support for the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8.1 Preview. The Windows ADK for Windows 8.1 Preview is available on the Microsoft Download Center.
  • Support for deployment of Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, as well as Windows 7 and Windows 8 families of operating systems.
  • Support for zero-touch integration (ZTI) with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Preview.

All of these Windows 8 enhancements are intended to ease the deployment and integration challenges presented by Windows 8.1.

The ADK for Windows 8.1 Preview provides tools for deploying and assessing Windows systems. The Windows Deployment feature is designed for OEMs and IT professionals who customize and automate the large-scale installation of Windows on a factory floor or across an organization. The Windows ADK supports that capability by incorporating the deployment tools that were previously released as part of the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) and the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK).

ADK creates images for deployment, takes advantage of the Windows Preinstallation environment and offers the Windows System Image Manager. In theory, the ADK will make deploying Windows 8.1 as simple as (if not simpler) than deploying Windows 7 across an enterprise, at least for new installations.

These tools can be used to automate Windows 8 deployments, removing the need for user interaction during Windows setup. Deployment tools include Deployment Imaging Servicing and Management (DISM) command-line tool, DISM PowerShell cmdlets, the DISM application programming interface (API), Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) and the OSCDIMG command-line tool.

For administrators looking to migrate to the latest version of Windows, the process becomes a little more complicated because it entails multistep chores that have to be done in a certain order. To smooth the process, the ADK includes a new version of the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT), which inventories apps already in use across the enterprise and then identifies potential application-compatibility problems. That step allows administrators to mitigate compatibility problems before moving ahead with an upgrade.

Note, however, that some native Windows applications may not be identified as potentially incompatible, causing applications such as Windows XP Mode to no longer be available after an upgrade.

The ADK also includes the User State Migration Tool (USMT), which allows data and settings from existing Windows installations to be migrated to a new installation of Windows 8.1. But USMT may not capture everything, and administrators may have to turn to third-party tools to be completely successful. For larger enterprises, the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) can ease activation and licensing chores.

A move to Windows 8.1 doesn't just end with a migration; there are ancillary tasks that should be performed after a successful migration to maintain performance and isolate any issues that may crop up. Microsoft includes a few additional tools in the ADK to handle those issues.

The Windows Performance Toolkit (WPT) includes tools to record system events and analyze performance data in a graphical user interface. WPT includes Windows Performance Recorder, Windows Performance Analyzer and Xperf.

Also included is the Windows Assessment Toolkit, which is used to run assessments on a single computer. Assessments are tasks that simulate user activity and examine the state of the computer. Assessments produce metrics for various aspects of the system and provide recommendations for making improvements.

Building on the Windows Assessment Toolkit is Windows Assessment Services, which is used to remotely manage settings, computers, images and assessments in a lab environment where Windows Assessment Services is installed. This application can run on any computer with access to the server that is running Windows Assessment Services.

Although change can be painful and off-putting, Microsoft has learned a few lessons with Windows 8 and has applied the knowledge gained to the Windows 8.1 preview, which might be easier to deploy in an enterprise. These tools offer a less traumatic paradigm shift for end users, helping to preserve productivity while bringing new capabilities to enterprise desktops.

This was last published in August 2013

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Are you more likely now to migrate to Windows 8 than a few months ago? Explain why or why not in the comments.
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already got windows 8 pro
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Perfectly happy with Windows 7.
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We don’t have budget to upgrade
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Windows 7 works fine. What’s the rush.
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Think 8.1 is likely to respond to many concerns so yes, migration is it is more likely now than before. But there are still so many questions . . .
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The investment is too high: hardware, software, change legacy programs… plus we have a low budget for IT personnel
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We upgrade as we buy new hardware. This has always been the case for us.
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Too much change for end users. Would be a support nightmare for my one and a half person department…
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Still too many ‘gotchas’ in the Conversion….
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No need for now … no BYOD is using WIndows 8 for now: only iOS and Android + no need to access (for now) the data on our Windows Server 2003 R2.
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Just migrated to Win 7
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Yes, but it will still be a while since we just migrated to Windows 7.
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You have got to be kidding, the reasons why not to are too numerous to list. Where is start/run? Do you think the enterprise is full of idiots?
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Tell MS to put a Win7 type interface onto Win8.1 and restore ALL the facilities that were available in Win XP and/or Win7, including the ability to have more than 2 windows open, to put a shortcut to the desktop, to have access to all files and programs, to have a fully functional control panel, to search everywhere on the computer, to play a DVD, to have more user definable freedoms.
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Oh, yeah and the Windows 8 color scheme is "way ugly"!
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OS is still aimed at touch screens which is not the reality in business. The interface is too much of a step change for most users and therefore adminstrators are not going accept the burden of additional support for very little gain.
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Many of my end users have very little idea about using any version of Windows. They come in, logon, and double click on the icon of the application they will use for the rest of the day or shift then close for the day. With this in mind it is me, the supplier of systems who is resisting change. Most previous versions of the operating system was an evovling process, Win8 is a change. I know I must change eventually.
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It is not a desktop friendly system, in fact it just is a plain miss. Ok for phone and tablets but not in the enterprise. Microsoft has lost it's focus on the business desktop and is to busy trying to eat the apple. My guess is that Microsoft will not survive by the year 2025, Windows 8 is the start of the downfall, even worse than
vista and me, three strikes and your out.
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Allowing users to choose between standard desktops and touchscreen all-in-ones.
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Upgraded earlier this year to discover many technical glitches, so windows 7 was reinstalled, hopefully windows 8.1 will really capture consumer and businesses imagination of what the OS is really capable of doing!
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XP STILL IS BEST AND STABLE WITH OUTLOOK
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bough a w7 laptop recently just to avoid the metro plague
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The tile interface is impractical on a PC
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I've used it and it is confusing annoying and I want windows 7 back !
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Too complicated. XP still does all I need from a desktop computer. Microsoft needs to apply an old marketing concept .... KISS ...Keep It Simple Stupid.
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I'm happy with windows 7
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Windows 7 is stable and intuitive. Don't like the tile format and appearance of Windows 8.
Earlier I tried the Windows 8 RC for a while and found it confusing and unwieldy.
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windows 7 was simple to use. Windows 8 is confusing and awkward. I'll be staying on 7 for as long as possible.
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Cant afford it
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what advantage?
cnc machines not compatable
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We migrated to Windows 7 a year back and we are happy with that. Microsoft want to make money all the times that is why they are releasing a new OS every year
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Users cannot handle the changes
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It offers no improvement
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Windows 8 should have just been a 'Touch Tiles' application installed under the stable windows 7 platform, not a replacement !
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Windows 8 compromises user efficiency. It's reason for existence is Microsoft's need to gain a footing in the mobile market.
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No start button, no windows 8
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still need a proper start button!
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Using Windows 7 - perfectly adequate for current needs
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DID NOT LIKE WINDOWS 8 WENT BACK TO WINDOWS 7.ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY.WINDOWS 7 IS FAR BETTER.
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my desktop is not a phone the only way 8 is useable is after you install classic UI , will only update when I am forced by lack of available win7 drivers for new hardware
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I cannot get a windows 8 printer driver for my canon imageclass D380

Canon support said it will not provide a driver.
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Windows 7 is fine, 8 should have been just for their tablets.
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Window 8 annoying, harder to work!
Window 7 a breeze!
A good system needs fine tuning not replacement!
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it takes too long to do a simple task
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I don't have a touch screen
I like the start menu
mobile interfaces are for mobiles not PC's
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Enterprise is always 2 versions behind. SOE's take 2-3 years to be mastered for individual workplaces and thus the thought of using a new OS just to stay "trendy" cannot be accommodated in the business world.
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I just brought a pc with windows 8 about two months ago, i am saving my mony to remove windows 8 and install windows 7, windows 8 is just to complicated to use, worst version of windows ever :(
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it is to far from windows 7 and is change just to sell computers
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windoze 7 works and money doesn't need to be spent because its in your account..i need it to pay visa card retailer surcharges the RBA does not enforce because it loves its bank holiday. The only person that was there yesterday was the security guard. lol x infinity + 1
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MAC OsX rules, Windows sucks. Always playing catchup and never as stable or seamless...
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There is no need for a Windows 7 style start button. In Metro go to desktop tile and File Explorer is found on the lower task-bar. From there Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and removable drives can be accessed. No need to use Metro Tiles if you don't want to. MS Office (if installed) icons can be found beside the Tiles along with other Program icons. Firefox runs well on this system.
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The metro interface with it's hidden active points/menu's - why upgrade when Windows 7 already does everything I need without the confusion. I want Windows for a desktop computer, not a touch screen device.
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Can't tolerate the interface. Boring, uninspiring on a pc but ok on a mobile maybe,
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Been using 8 + 8.1 for while in a touchless environment. Still have trouble navigating myself. How on earth will my not so savvy staff get around. It's a bit like getting a fleet of new company cars and all the brake clutch and accelerator pedals are in different positions!
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I'm sick of windows needing to be rebuilt every so often. I dislike the licensing system that makes it hard to change hardware. I can do all I want using linux and no licenses.
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windows 8 is purely an attempt to make money and as far as I am concerned I will never migrate to windows 8 or at least I will fight it kicking and screaming
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Simple maths.
I am not buying a PC or laptop and then paying to change the OS also, just no!
Instead I built 2 new machines and put Linux on them. I put Linux on my 8 yo laptop also.
I was a MS customer since Win 3.1! Now I doubt I will ever buy anything with a MS OS on it again.
MS you screwed your customers and hardware vendors both! No amount of sugar coating will hide the turd that it is.
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wpt adp bla bla bla
I don't know what the f*#@K your'e talking about!
I won't a windows 8.99 that works like my Iphone when I turn it on
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Badly designed. Monochrome icons! How much did the design department get paid for that work? It really is a cheap looking tablet version of Windows. Linux and MAC are much more interesting and useful.
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The slow-motion train wreck that is Windows 8/Windows RT/Metro UI/Surface/Apps Store is exactly what tens of thousands of we advanced testers told Microsoft was going to happen nearly two years ago when we saw Windows 8 and Metro UI for the first time. Microsoft failed to listen then and they changed nothing then. We can now expect the slow-motion train wreck to continue until the bitter end when all of the Microsoft Windows 8 ecosystem boxcars have completely crashed to the bottom of the gorge.

The primary reason to expect the train wreck to continue is that Surface, Windows RT, Windows 8.x, Metro UI and Microsoft Apps Store have almost completely failed in the marketplace and there is no longer the possibility of resurrecting failed products in today's technological milieu. Social media and internet resources rein supreme now, phenomena that did not fully exist during Microsoft's last disaster, namely Vista.

All is different now. Word of failure now spreads through the population at the speed of light, and the net is cast large. Very few haven't now heard of the horribleness of Windows 8, Metro UI and the various Surfaces. Because there are no longer second chances for failed products in this new world, Microsoft can no longer expect to release 1/4 baked products on an unsuspecting world and then expect to make them work half-way decent a couple of years later via SP1, SP2 or SP3.

Microsoft is truly beating a dead horse with the Windows 8 ecosystem. Continuing with any of these brands would be as if Coke had stuck with New Coke, issuing New New Coke, now in small cans, or Ford released the new Edsel Sportster to repair the Edsel brand image.

Even worse, though, is that while Microsoft has been busily proving that they don't have a snowball's chance in Hades of becoming a meaningful player in the consumer mobile market, they've simultaneously alienated their bread and butter enterprise and SMB customers by trying to foist a cell-phone interface on industrial servers and business PCs, all the while trying to foist the insane notion that touch on the PC is the wave of the future.

Touch on a PC is about as useful as teats on a boar hog. Actually, less useful. Does Microsoft really expect 100 million CAD/CAM designers, accountants, and other industrial content makers to hold their arms up horizontally all day inaccurately poking smudges on their 42" monitors with their fat fingers, working at 1/100th the speed as before Windows 8 with 1000 times the physical effort, in the mean time destroying their neck and shoulder girdle?

Touch is an extremely low bandwidth input method with horrendous inaccuracy and extremely harmful ergonomics when compared to a keyboard and mouse. Touch might be OK for looking up the latest cat video, or tweeting, texting, or talking, but that's about it, and if that's all anyone is doing, then some kind of $300.00 slab might be just fine, and you don't need a Windows OS for that, with all of its horrendously awful failure modes, bloat, brittleness, weekly updates and viruses that the consumer public has been wresting unsuccessfully with for decades.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, they have no Plan B to solve the above mess, and their only strategy is to rearrange deckchairs as they watch the SS Microsoft Titanic sink beneath the waves caused when Captain Ballmer rammed them into the big iceberg.

Bottom line is that by the time Gates and the Board flush Ballmer, Microsoft will have been irrevocably damaged, and will most likely follow many other former mixed enterprise/consumer tech titans by being forced out of consumer markets altogether due to their complete ineptitude at true innovation, becoming just another large B2B company, providing mostly enterprise and SMB products.
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Win 8 Pro 64bit seems to work ok with a keyboard and mouse. I run MS 2007 Office without any hassle. Never had a liking for IE so I've been a Firefox user since way back. It has better ad-ons. I can find things ok in W8 but hardly ever pay any attention to the apps. Seems to be secure but it gets back to where you browse, doesn't it.
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I have used Win 7 for a year and Win 8 for 6 months full time, 6 days a week. Win 7 was a very small step back. Win 8 built on that to take a major step back. They have not done there market research correctly. You (Windows) have tried to be different, let the tech heads run rampant, and missed the bulls-eye by so far, you almost missed the target altogether.
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Way back when I was selling PC's there was a move to make software developers carry out usability studies i.e. watch normal people use their new wizbang software to see how easy/hard/intuitive etc it was to use.
What I see now with new versions of Office and now Windows 8 indicates that Microsoft just do not do this and come up with radical changes that are just down right hard to adapt to.
Have yet to find anyone who likes the new Office and it appears from the conversations around Win8 thats it much the same.
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It's simple. The added cost of re-training staff is too much of a time (loss of productivity) and actual cost burden.
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I tested the product early on and found it a large step for users to absorb. With the 8.1 release it looks closer to the Windows lineage and easier for users to adapt to.
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8 does not show enough to migrate from something that is working, that also took valuable time to fine tune.
Developers of peripherals are reluctant to having changes put on them and are also slow at upgrading what already worked.
Change for the sake of just changing? Pfft! Better things to do with my life.
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Same crap - now with a visible button - woo hoo!
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Most people hate being forced to use metro. It should be an option. Windows 8.1 does nothing to fix this
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Windows 8 Offers me no net gain over Windows 7 for my desktop application oriented business systems
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Good OS
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learning curve too high, yet all i want to do is work.
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Return of the Start Buttom
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This OS is clumsy and unstable.
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Windows updates installation notification has changed completely from Windows 7.
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New laptop has Windows 8 & we are trying to figure it out! Wondering how to navigate between open windows & programs. Can it be done? Irritating to find stuff hidden on edges of screen, etc.
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All our data and processing is perfomred in the cloud, our desktops are merley acting as thin clients, which will be replaced with such when they reach the end of their life
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I don´t like the full screen obrigatory. I don´t like have to use WinKey+D to shell out every now and then. I don´t like the excessive security. If in MY computer I can control everything that would be a plus.
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because of 8.1 updates
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The UI is now unsuitable for a production environment. The Enterprise edition should have a start button and no Metro. Won't be using until the next version that fixes all of these issue. Looks like Win7 for the long haul
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Windows 7 is stable and no reason to migrate at this time.
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We have just finished migrating off Windows XP. We also rely on a custom-made SQL-based application that has issues with Windows 8.
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I will be happy for the start button return for easy access to system commands.
I hope they return the Microsoft games also.
I have customers that will never upgrade without the games.
Buying games from 3rd party vendors that track users work in not acceptable!
Spyware is not acceptable with my corporate customers.
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The more I use, the much better it gets. That's how I feel I guess.
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Will Win 8.1 let me have several applications open at the same time? I don't know. Will Win 8.1 work without having a touch screen? I don't know. Will older software be compatible with Win 8.1? I don't know. Can I trust Microsoft's answers on any of these questions? I definitely don't know. When you can't trust a software company about the software it's trying to sell you, that ought to tell you something. I certainly have trouble believing that anyone at Microsoft is able to even think about practical, reasonable, cost and compatibility considerations.
The Windows 8 ad showing kids break dancing on the conference table, kidding around with their tablets and throwing yellow note paper through the air seems to confirm my worries.
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Windows 8 is user hostile and is not suitable for the desktop.
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Windows 8 and more Windows 2012 are quite unrealistic. Metro for Win 2012 is a no go for me. I'm waiting now the real release of 8.1 to reassess usability of this UI with a mouse and no touch screen.
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Nothing essentially new. Why change the horse that win the race? For my clients, business not some fancy multimedia users, even XP and Office 2003 is enough.
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There are many application to be tested for compatibility. Many of them do not support touch screens. Also user productivity, in daily usage, needs to remain at current levels or better.
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Windows 8 interface is designed for touch screens and not suitable for enterprise.
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Windows 8 is the biggest peace of crap I have ever seen. Only a company as arrogant as Microsoft who has not had serious competition in years would have put it out. People need to unite and boycott Microsoft products tell they get their heads on straight.
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Incredibly poor user experience with a keyboard and mouse. Biggest complaint is the lack of a real start menu. Many applications are inaccessible or very hard to find using the tiles.
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windows 8 is no good,windows 7 is very good,you know what you get,windows 8 is all money greegd feeling and not customer friendly,why di you make windows 8 ?? it really is BONG
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windows 8 has been designed for 14 yo girls who browse through the last party's photos.
nothing for my company who has to work with spreadsheets, tables, data, deadline, etc.. sounds boring ? maybe but that what the rest of world do for a living
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Touch screens are rarely used in the business place, and computers for business is wear Microsoft has shined. The return of the start button is err, a good start. Trying to bring up hidden menu just to turn the darn thing off is a pain, and nine times out of ten doesn't work, or is it just very slow to show up, what ever it is very frustrating.
MS should be trying to improve on there business stronghold position. If they don't it is only going to leave the flood gates open for some one else. Androids smart phones OS looks very good, as do there apps, this is what I was hoping windows might have become instead they have, given us a cheap sales catalogue look with a horrible user friendlyness. For home users and off site users the touch screen devices are very good and fill a much needed void over the years. Android and Apple, know how to do it well, leave it to them or buy them out.
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No motivator, plenty of de-motivators in particular people having to learn to cope with a different interface and too much touch orientation for a desk bound population.
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Only just done Windows 7 so have several yaers to go until refresh is planned.
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Microsft has just given Linux the best marketing boost possible. Long live Linux (and family)!! May every Linux update NOT follow Microsoft changes but remain focused on what real users really really want!
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I need an OS not an interactive pre school plaything. My most used and soon to become only OS is Linux Mint. I am not interested in multi device portability.
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win 8.1 has resolved most of the problems I had with the original release. can't wait for the final release.
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The return of the "start button" ignored the issue, the missing Start MENU and the waste of space clutter of the "Metro" start screen. It simply is not appropriate for desktop / laptop computer.
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We just dont like the UI
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the "Start" button is a real joke, adaptation to desktop computers as well
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i have window 8. Too many problems with a new computer! AMD card not working properly. mouse and keyboard not working, nothing is compatible!!! What else do I have to face with buying a brandnew computer. I never have had to contact IT as often since i had a new computer. Sarcastic, yes but it is very real!
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I have already migrated to Windows 8 Pro.
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The XP zero date is drawing closer hence need to accept and move on
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The UI seems to be the big complaint, so much so, that it masks all the legitimate work that they did with the OS. While they won't, because MS marketing is out of touch with reality, this should be easily fixed.

Windows 9 and Server 2014 comes without a UI. You get the core interface, i.e., line command only with an opening comment of ... to load the legacy interface FEATURE type ...., to load the Metro interface FEATURE type ..., or you could load both FEATUREs, or neither, just run core.

How's that in a few seconds I solved their problem using they're own existing facilities.

That UI issue is so repulsive that no one cares about the underlying upgrades/modifications, some of which are very good.
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I've been looking at 8.1 and it at least is a lot more stable than 8. Still issues with the new IE hanging without any apparant cause.

Touting that they added a Start button is really an insult to the intelligence of everyone who's ever used a start button. All they did was permanently affix the Metro start button to the bottom, so, you don't have to hover in the left corner and wait to see if it will pop-up.

The logon to desktop is a huge improvement.

For the most part, if you think 8.1 did anything to improve on the UI, you just fooling yourself ... or letting MS fool you.
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We have a few Windows 8 machines, but find adoption a steeper curve than XP to Windows 7 ... its not worth the productivity loss. Windows 8 is a consumption OS, not a productivity OS.
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Another piece of crap from Microshit Does windows ME and Vista ring any bells?? they had something good with Windows 7, and then they go and screw it up!!!!
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I have a new computer sitting here on the floor with windows 8 and have yet to open it as I wanted to use it as a home theater PC. But I am about to give up and return it and give Linux a try
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looks nothing like windows looked before, users are lost => lost of helpdesk stress.
Windows 7 was alot better, better hardwaresupport etc
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This is a total failure NOT making a difference between a Phone/Touch system and a normal computer system (Notebook or Desktop/Server) WRONG.
Windows 8 will never be adopted by users or business/Corporate.
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Until we have a functional replacement for the missing start menu and start button, we cannot upgrade to Windows 8 on any of our production desktop systems. The metro interface is just fine for tablet users but we will not risk more workplace injuries associated with the ergonomic nightmare that is the touch screen desktop environment.
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My Surface Pro showed me just how easy it is to use. Not as scary as some folks claim.
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Still not convinced it's 'ready' !
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I have windows 7 and have tried Windows 8 when I bought a computer and set it up for a friend. They hate windows 8. I love Windows 7 and find Windows 8 very hard to use and get used to. I have spent many hours at the Windows 8 computer trying to make it do what I need it to do. Frustrating.
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OK for touch
Hopeless for keyboard/mouse
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It's still windows 7 with a crappy interface with a "make interface slightly less crap" option
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Microsoft will have to bring back all of the functionality of Win 7 and Win XP SP3 to Window 8. Note that I call it "Window 8", because one cannot even have more than one Window open, minimized, maximized, in "Windows 8". Hence "Windows 8" is a matter of "false advertising", as it pretends to have an ability it doesn't have, namely "more than one Window open". Add to this numerous functions that are now more complicated than before, requiring two or three mouseclicks where one previously would suffice, requiring searching for Apps that should be "at EYELEVEL", yes, visible, right there, and the whole thing becomes a non-starter. Where is "Windows Explorer", where is "Notepad", where are the filefolders for documents, etc. ? Where is the "Control Panel"? Where are ALL THE SETTINGS that used to be on Control Panel?
Why is hiding and unnecessary renaming of functions supposed to be progress ? It is not progress, it is harassment and bullying, and we don't like it. Thank You!
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We have WIN8 on 5 test systems and our users refuse to use these systems, claiming they become unproductive. we do NOT use touch as the main stream, and Most of our busiiness is done using a keyboard. Office 2013 is also NOT liked.
We see NO bennifit to moving to Windows 8 or Office 2013.
We will be staying with Windows 7 and Office 2010, and if Microsoft forces us to become unable to get these products then we will be moving to Linux.
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It's the training costs of a wacky interface not designed to be used with current applications. All the workstations we manage do not have a touch screen. Metro on the desktop? Why? Applications used in the real business world are not metro. If Microsoft built on the knowledge base of current users, and had a usable interface, I'm sure migrations would just happen.
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Many of my end users have very little idea about using any version of Windows. They come in, logon, and double click on the icon of the application they will use for the rest of the day or shift the close for the day. With this in mind it is me, the supplier of systems who is resisting change. Most previous versions of the operating system was an evovling process, Win8 is a change. I know I must change eventually.
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