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Windows 8.1 RTM availability revealed

The forthcoming latter half of the year will see lots of new systems based on Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system.

Microsoft will ship the RTM version of Windows 8.1 to OEMs by the end of August, just in time to get the operating system on to a host of new products slated for the fall, the company said at its Worldwide Partner Conference yesterday

With the release of the new software, the industry will see a host of new form factors using Windows 8.1 ranging from mini-tablets to notebooks. Already, devices such as Apple’s upgraded MacBook Air are using Intel’s new Haswell chips, a processor designed to provide improved processing and battery life for mobile devices.

But will Windows 8.1 kick start more adoption for the new OS in the enterprise? Probably not, because there are too many large corporations that are just migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7. But I do think the new OS will be more attractive for IT to really start testing Windows 8.1 running it through its paces to see if it makes sense for their environment.

I like the boot to desktop feature, as well as the security and management enhancements Microsoft added to Windows 8.1. The boot to desktop feature is important for enterprise IT so that they can test Windows 8.1 as the next generation operating system and choose to deploy it with a familiar user interface.

However, organizations are not going to deploy Windows 8.1 just because it’s a new operating system. They need to have a problem to solve that helps the company’s bottom line, whether it means profits or increased productivity to justify budgeting for the forthcoming new form factors instead of deploying new technology just because it’s there.

At the end of the day, IT needs to work with their company’s business decision makers to look at the bigger picture: their company’s business strategy, which technologies to deploy, and how any new technology  will help the company’s profits.

Sometimes you can put a number on it, and sometimes not. But the business case has to be there and maybe this is where Microsoft will need to do more customer hand holding if they want Windows 8.1 and future versions to succeed. In this day and age, just building new technology doesn’t mean everyone will flock to it.

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"In this day and age, just building new technology doesn’t mean everyone will flock to it."Especially when it destroys the established desktop usage environment! Maybe in 8.1 they will have seen the error of their ways.