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End users say 'no thanks' to touch changes in Windows 8

IT shops are weighing the upgrade to Windows 8, but major touch changes in Windows 8 are actually pushing end users closer to Windows 7. Here's why.

Now that Windows 8 has been released, every enterprise IT department is playing the “If, when, how” game to determine how Windows 8 will be rolled out. So, for enterprise IT folks, I’d like to add another data point to your calculations: The perspective of end users is, “No thanks!” Seriously, we’re fine with Windows 7. Don’t go to Windows 8 on our behalf.

While there’s debate in the press about how much Microsoft is spending to advertise the Windows 8 launch, we consumers can see that the budget is huge. Billboards, TV commercials, online banners, bus wraps and full-page magazine cover wraps throw Windows 8 in our faces. And yeah, every Windows-based computer or tablet that we get this holiday season will run the operating system, but that doesn’t change our core position on Windows 8 at work, which is, “No thanks—really. We’re good!”

From a user standpoint, the biggest change in Windows 8 is the new touch-based tile start screen, which replaces the traditional desktop. While it looks awesome on a tablet, it doesn’t make sense on our existing devices, which are all keyboard- and mouse-based laptops and desktops. Please don’t inflict the tile world on us!

Still Lovin’ Apple

When it comes to tablets, we love iPads. End users want to remind you that even though Microsoft is pushing the familiarity of Windows for its Windows 8 tablets, the reality is that none of our familiar Windows desktop applications are meant to be touch-based. So if you think that we want to touch our laptop screens to use our traditional applications, remember that we didn’t like the Windows XP tablets you gave us in 2001, and we’re not going to like the Windows 8 ones now.

And don’t try to give us the lightweight Windows RT tablets because they feel like iPads. We’ll remind you that they don’t run traditional Windows desktop applications and that we’d rather just have the iPad. (But don’t worry: We’ll still gladly let you manage our iPads with enterprise mobile application management software. And we’re happy using Quickoffice on them—there’s no need to wait for “real” Microsoft Office for iOS.)

The other reality is that the many Windows 8 “enterprise” improvements aren’t tied to Windows 8 at all. If you want to move us to Office 365, Office 15, SharePoint and SkyDrive, I can speak for all your users when I loudly shout, “Yes! Please do it!” But of course all of these applications work wonderfully on Windows 7. So please don’t get swept up in the hype and make us use Windows 8 just to get the cool new Office productivity features.

The bottom line is that we recognize  we live in a Windows world. We’re fine with that. But that world can stay on Windows 7 until 2020. We’re fine with that, too.

About the author
Brian Madden is an opinionated, supertechnical, fiercely independent desktop virtualization and consumeriza­tion expert. He has written several books and over 1,000 articles about desktop and application virtualization.

This article originally appeared in the December/January issue of Modern Infrastructure.

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I totally agree that it doesn’t make sense on our existing devices. There doesn't appear to be a compelling reason for businesses to switch, and with the huge costs involved, most IT shops will delay the upgrade as long as possible.
Quick Office on iPads might be fine for Americans but mangles dates an urgency fields for the rest of us. If Microsoft released proper Office for iPad and Android it would sell be the bucketload.
That's currency, not urgency. Where's the edit?
Users will say no to anything that involes learning new things. Not rocket science mate, but as a species we are lazy as ****
Lack of Windows 8 retail version is most important problem for me. I am not interested in purchasing 4GB/4Core/game videocard computer which most OEMs does offer. And don't want to pay for windows 7 in order to use windows 8 on my custom PC configuration.

So, if Microsoft will continue this policy, someday I'll find Mac more suitable for my needs.

And sure, there is no any other reasons not to sell fail8 retail versions, besides marketing reasons

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