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What Does It Take to Use Win8 on a Business PC?

Today, I’m doing a recap and shout-out to Tony Bradley’s excellent PCWorld blog entitled “10 Essential Ingredients of a Killer Windows 8 Business PC.”

The Lenovo Yoga 13 runs full-blown Win8 and has a great tablet ethos, too.

The Lenovo Yoga 13 runs full-blown Win8 and has a great tablet ethos, too.

Instead of the Sony Vaio with which he kicks off his blog, I show a publicity still of the new Lenovo Yoga 13″ convertible laptop/tablet, which is garnering accolades as one of the best combo platforms for Windows 8, with strong chops both as a tablet and as a conventional laptop. Bradley cites an interesting iYogi survey in his blog that “…38 percent of the respondents currently using iPads for business are exploring Windows 8 tablet options…” and “…one-third of small businesses are considering switching to Windows 8…” Both of these numbers are somewhat higher than I would expect (I’d love to know how they selected the population of 175 small business customers they interviewed).

The ten characteristics that Bradley enumerates in his blog are as follows:
1. Touch support: if not an outright touch screen (not terribly practical for conventional desktop or laptop PCs), then a multi-touch touchpad is essential for Win 8.
2. Horsepower: Win 8 works well on existing Win 7 PCs and laptops, and doesn’t make strenuous budget demands for new PCs, either.
3. Storage: 500 GB or more of local storage, plus access to SkyDrive, means that Win 8 users don’t have major storage woes.
4. Battery: The focus on mobility for Win 8 means it’s an excellent power miser, and makes the idea of “a day’s work on a single charge” more realistic (if still a bit too optimistic) than ever before.
5. Portability: Nothing beats a tablet for light weight and small form factor, though the size and weight of the platform is best determined by the kind of workload users must manage.
6. Connections: Choose your ports wisely and well, and recognize that tablets come with precious few of them. Pick USB 3.0 whenever possible to exploit its higher throughput.
7. Networking: If you need mobile networking, look for devices with 3G or 4G WWAN support. Consider waiting for 802.11 ac wireless, if high network bandwidth is important to you.
8. Durability: Be sure your tablet or notebook can take a beating to improve the rates of survival for business travel or you might be sorry. Another great argument for SSD storage comes from its ability to withstand shocks and trauma without damage to data and programs.
9. Security: Win 8 offers improved support for UEFI, TPM, biometric scanners, and more to up the overall security for this new OS.
10.Flexibility:Win8 lets users combine tablet and laptop functionality to give buyers (and users) more options on how to work while on the move. Overall, this is a good thing for business users.

Overall, I’m in agreement with Bradley’s analysis, and believe that Win8 will enjoy some business uptake and success. But I think it’s going to take time, and it will be something of a difficult slog for MS to convince business users to give up on Windows 7 in the wake of recent migrations and the whole Vista debacle.

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