Microsoft Encourages Businesses to Plan Windows 8 Migration Path, To Finally Drop XP

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News Posted: Mon, Oct 22 2012 1:08 PM

With the Windows 8 launch right around the corner, Microsoft has begun encouraging businesses to plan out their OS migration path. At the same time, the company really encourages those businesses still rocking out to Windows XP to accelerate their migrations, as official support for the OS ends on April 8, 2014. That may be a good while off, but deployments in many business environments don't happen quickly, namely due to application support. As far as Microsoft is concerned, the faster Windows XP dies, the better.

Microsoft isn't ignorant of the fact that Windows 7 is still a solid OS, so it recommends businesses currently using it to stick with it (despite it now being Microsoft's previous OS, the company will still generate revenue from it for years to come). That said, it does encourage Windows 8 considerations in some cases, such as if someone needs to develop apps for the OS, are testing on mobile devices like tablets or are planning to support BYOD scenarios.

There's an interesting trend to be found in Microsoft's post, and it can be summed up in one line: "with the goal to move to an environment with Windows 8 deployed side-by-side with Windows 7." It almost seems as though Microsoft is not only fine with the idea that Windows 8 won't be the only version of Windows deployed in business environments, but in a light way, even encourages it. Many have speculated (myself included) that Windows 8 would wind up a tanked release following in the footsteps of Microsoft's scary-accurate tick/tock scheme (where one OS is generally excellent and the follow-up is far from it).

It could be that Windows 8 just doesn't have as much of a business focus as many of us have automatically believed. This is made possible simply by the fact that, to most, Windows 7 is a solid, stable and well-supported OS.

What's Microsoft's message if you're running Windows Vista? Jokes-we're-all-thinking aside, the company encourages a migration path off of it, namely due to the gain of "significant mobility, security and productivity benefits".

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RTietjens replied on Mon, Oct 22 2012 5:00 PM

We've already started planning - for Windows 9, or for Linux if Microsoft can't figure out that Windows 8 (with "modern UI) is a lousy desktop OS.

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fat78 replied on Mon, Oct 22 2012 5:29 PM

I think the only problem with windows 8 is the fact it doesn't come with a start button out of the box, other then that windows 8 is a much better os then windows 7 once you become familiar with it. I dont think a business would want to spend the time to teach people to use it, but if the average user spends a couple of hours playing around with it they will realize how much more they can do with it over windows 7.

PS: Microsoft just add the start button

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RWilliams replied on Mon, Oct 22 2012 5:44 PM

I sucked it up and installed W8 on Friday, and so far, so good. I like some of the enhancements the OS has, and so far have encountered few problems. But, initial complaints about the Start page remain, and I still believe that it's a foolish solution for the desktop. Because I have a rather limited selection of programs installed (that shot in the post is mine), I can access an app almost as fast as I used to be able to with a regular Start menu. But past that, I still don't like the fact that it overtakes my entire screen, and that's made even worse when you're doing -anything- in the Start page at all. Want to configure it? Browse the store? Check for updates? You'll be doing so without multi-tasking. You won't know what's going on with your actual desktop until you decide to go check. And that drives me.

It's also driving me that I can't configure the tiles at all. Can't put a custom image in any of them, and can't configure how they're run, or make it so that something always runs as Administrator. It's frustrating. I am basically sticking with it for now just to make sure I get a good handle on it,but I do foresee myself reverting to a regular Start menu sooner than later.

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RiCoFrost replied on Mon, Oct 22 2012 6:44 PM

I too sucked it up and installed it, at first it was a little meh, i couldn't find things in the same place but after i worked it out its pretty good now.

Like if you add email accounts just mouse most to the right hand side and the menu comes up to add more accounts. I though that was pretty good.

I find it much faster then windows 7, not that window 7 was slow. Been using it for about 4 days now.... I'll stick with it.

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realneil replied on Mon, Oct 22 2012 8:16 PM

Been using it for about a month, maybe five weeks. It doesn't have anything that I would spend money to get, but have decided to stop posting negatively about it. It will stand on it's own, or not, and I'm past caring about it.

Win-7 works great for me and has for a long time. I already own a copy of Win-7 for each PC in the house and it would cost too much to upgrade 6 PCs.

The Win-8 interface isn't such a deal breaker since I tried Classic Shell out with it. It works just fine that way. Gaming with Win-8 is about the same as it is with Win-7.

I could use it if I had to.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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JDiaz replied on Mon, Oct 22 2012 9:31 PM

You could try using snap to keep the desktop app in view as you're doing something else with the modern UI?

Tiles aren't icons, they present information. So the only images you can portray is live tiles showing off your image collection. You should be able to choose colors though...

While you should be able to right click and choose how to run them... Run as Admin, etc...

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RWilliams replied on Mon, Oct 22 2012 10:13 PM

Thanks for the suggestions :-)

I understand that tiles != icons, but there's no reason I shouldn't be able to edit the properties of the shortcuts I create given I've been able to do it with the other Start menu since at least XP. The only alternative for me to get around the Run as Administrator problem is to right-click the tile and click the button (as you pictured) every single time I need it, or just create a shortcut on the taskbar and edit it there. Ultimately, I'll just end up disabling UAC, because it's been causing me problems (need to acknowledge each and every time I open Steam and a game, and Notepad++ for some reason won't save configuration settings unless I run it as Admin), but even so. There should be a better way.

As for the image thing, the only reason I mentioned that is the blank tiles stand out in contrast to the colored ones. Perhaps Microsoft could have offered an option to fill each shortcut tile with a color based on the icon (much like Windows does with the open applications in the taskbar) so that things don't look so bland.

Regarding snap, that is in fact an option, but not a good one (for me). It's clunky, and not as easy to manage as regular desktop apps (again, for me).

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JDiaz replied on Tue, Oct 23 2012 12:07 AM

There are other ways to get around the run as admin...

http://www.eightforums.com/system-security/5160-tutorial-how-make-windows-8-understand-you-administrator.html

... Use the elevated Admin Account...

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/9650-built-administrator-account-enable-disable-windows-8-a.html

They'll likely evolve the UI over time... The original Start Menu wasn't very useful when it first came out either...

 

Even XP took two SP releases before it really replaced 95/ME and third SP release before they were done with it.  So just because it's being released doesn't mean MS is done with it yet.

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RWilliams replied on Tue, Oct 23 2012 1:04 AM

Very good points, and thanks a ton for the link! I might give that a go soon... it seems really silly for Windows to prompt me when opening up Notepad++ ;-)

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