Why IT chiefs are irrelevant to Microsoft's Windows 8 strategy
Redmond looks to barge its way in via BYOD
Further evidence has emerged of the irrelevance of Windows 8 to enterprise IT – and of the irrelevance of this irrelevance.
A Forrester survey of IT hardware decision makers has found Windows 8 is less popular than its predecessor Windows 7 at the same stage in their launch cycles.
Just a quarter of firms expect to roll out Windows 8 versus half for Windows 7 back in 2009. Just 5 per cent plan to update to Windows 8 in the next 12 months, compared to 10 per cent in 2010.
The fact enterprises are not interested in Windows 8 and have no plans to migrate should come as little surprise for two reasons.
One is that a vast majority are only now beginning to move to Windows 7, thanks to the impending demise of Windows XP. Windows XP to Windows 7 means an application rewrite for many, and getting off Internet Explorer 6 - unless they use a get-around such as Browsium’s Ion.
The other reason is Microsoft’s own field sales team are pushing Windows 7. The goal for Microsoft’s fiscal year 2013 is 70 per cent of enterprise PCs running Windows 7.
Taken together, these two facts are one reason statements such as this from analysts like Forrester are obvious.
However, Forrester is looking in the wrong direction. Despite what Microsoft would try to have us believe - that Windows 8 is business-ready - businesses are not Microsoft's big focus on Windows 8. And that's why talk of lack of interest among IT shops is irrelevant.
Microsoft wants Windows 8 to prove a hit with consumers, hence the decision to produce and promote Glee-style ads for Surface.
If this strategy is successful then Microsoft can secure an end-run around enterprise IT as consumers bring Windows 8 devices into work. Then, IT shops will end up supporting Windows 8 on their network; there's no need for hardware types in the IT shop to bother refreshing their own PCs.
Twenty per cent, or one in five, of those surveyed said they’d prefer Windows 8 on their next touchscreen tablet – almost the same as iOS - according to Forrester. The only curiosity is that Forrester has included Windows 7.
“Which operating system would you prefer to use on your next tablet?” was the question Forrester asked. The survey respondents gave Windows 8 equal billing to iOS, but Windows 7 pulled in 12 per cent support, placing it third.
Given that Windows 7 has no touch capability to speak of, this suggests users want to stick with what they know and to make their existing apps work in a world of touch. This is not what Microsoft wants, however. It wants people to buy new Windows 8 licences and for people to buy Windows 8 on new machines.
While existing Windows 7 apps will run on Windows 8, what you can’t do is pinch, squeeze or swipe them and you don’t get the data and interface integration that comes with apps for Windows 8.
It's early days for Microsoft's Windows 8 BYOD hopes. From what we’re seeing, Windows RT- and Windows 8-based tablets from Microsoft and others are not materialising in numbers and Gartner doesn’t expect sales will provide the much-needed jolt to the chest of the flatlining PC industry during the Christmas period.
The test for Microsoft’s plan to subvert corporate IT will be whether Windows 8 devices arrive in large enough numbers through the established PC-makers’ channel to make a difference. If they do, and this results in a reasonable level of sales, Redmond is surely hoping the touchy fondletops and tiled phondleslabs will barge their way into the enterprise in the same way that Apple's iPhone and iPad once did. ®
Yet another hack at pushing BYOD.
<Quote from Forrester>"
"But we do expect that employees will force IT to have a formal support policy for Windows 8 for employee-owned devices. Windows 8 will accelerate BYOD demand. "
So we have now decided that the only way to make changes in a company is to use a back door/low level trick of getting the employees to "override" the upper management decisions - because the employees "want" to bring in their own devices !!!!!!!!.
Some problems here :
* The employees don't hold the purse strings.
* The employees don't generally understand the importance of budgets.
* Employees will look no futher than the end of their noses.
* The employees do not have to support Device X, Y, Z etccc...
* Companies buy devices in order to get jobs done, not to simply please their employees.
* An employeee bringing their own material probably won't bring it for the purposes of working.
* Employees are just that - Employees.
Side note : The term "employees" is used in the Non Management, Non Decision making kind of employee.
Who profits from BYOD, probably not the company and definately not the employee. Therefore, this push of BYOD is stemming from whom exactly, the manufacturers, Microsoft, Gartner et al ?
It would be more interesting to ask the employees:
* Would you like to bring you own devices to work : 90% would reply Yes.
* Would you like to bring you own devices to work for work purposes : 5% might reply Yes.
The <ul>majority</ul> of employees probably want to BYOD for their own purposes, Facebook, Twitter et al.. There probably are one or two that have a genuine requirement but it may be more advisable for them to simply change job if the correct material is not being supplied.
"Microsoft can secure an end-run around enterprise IT as consumers bring Windows 8 devices into work. Then, IT shops will end up supporting Windows 8 on their network"
Lol. There is so much fail in this paragraph. Firstly they won't be receiving support for their own devices and secondly if they bring in their own device, they are limited to services they can get outside of the network anyway which is no different from working at home.
I agree, it seems that the device will only be able to get on the internet as software can't potentially be installed under license agreements, you not going to give up a Office license for someone to take home and keep on their own machine. If someone comes in with a W8 box then the local IT support shouldn't be supporting it. Who's at fault if they screw up an owners device and it blue screens when they fire it up at home?
I still can't get my head around the BYOD concept as its a security risk if nothing else. Lets see, the night before the device gets a virus, then the next day its exposed to the corporate network. Plus if the device is running a consumer free AV, how is it legally allowed to be ran in a corporate environment.
I just don't get it.