Join an online community with more than 350,000 members from 150,000+ organizations, where you can ask questions and get advice.
TechSoup hosts free weekly webinars on a variety of topics, from cloud computing to fundraising to social media and tech strategy.
Thinking about updating software, investing in new computers, or deploying a network or server? Our IT consulting services can help!
Close this window
I am usually a bit more excited when it comes to playing with a new operating system, especially one with such history as Microsoft Windows. Evaluating new features and estimating the upgrade path for a company the size of ours is a challenge, to say the least.
Suffice it to say that I don't think Windows 8 on the desktop is part of our plan. Microsoft has really missed the boat in that they are apparently trying to make your desktop interface mimic your phone and your tablet rather than the other way around. If they are intent on getting the desktop marketshare equivalent to their current Windows mobile OS marketshare they are well on their way with Windows 8. Strangely I don't think that is what they had in mind.
As opposed to a lengthy diatribe by me on the subjet, I would like to hear what you think. Have you had a chance to take a look at it? Am I off base here?
Tim ClaremontSystems AdministratorRochester, NY
Top of Thread
I've been testing Windows 8 for a couple months now and I think you're right on target.
I'll give Microsoft credit for wanting to unify the UI and O/S on all types of devices so that there might eventually be a more uniform user experience and improved compatibility for BYOD scenarios.
But Windows 8 and the other new MS offerings are clumsy and too insistent on shifting to a cloud paradigm. Given that most organizations are content with their current systems and have barely finished their upgrades to Windows 7, there is little reason for them to upgrade yet again.
Patches and service packs might make Windows 8 easier to like but I see it as the new Windows Vista; a version that most people will do their best to avoid.
I think 8 looks very promising from a tablet and/or phone standpoint. I really like my Android phone, but I really am disappointed with my Android tablet and I think MS will fill a major gap there and provide plenty of competition assuming that their tablets can perform suitably.
On the desktop side I am far less convinced. We still have about 50% of our computers running XP and even some legacy junk running Server 2000 that cannot be upgraded. For business users that require Office and a CRM and other minimalist business applications, switching to a completely different and anti-desktop interface just isn't in the cards.
I personally think it's crazy to assume that desktops are dead. I will really not be surprised if 8 goes into the Me and Vista disaster list. Not because it is a failure in design or function, but because they're alienating a huge portion of their user base with it. 7 is very usable, and unless MS pushes out another desktop specific OS, or they come up with some very compelling reasons for corporations to move to an entirely different interface, I think Windows 7 is going to be harder to get customers off of, than XP is right now.
The Merchant Store, non-profit merchant accounts and equipment
i don't see Windows 8 as being a huge success in the desktop market. If I wanted a tablet, I would have bought a tablet. We have no plans to use Windows 8 here at our non-profit. We actually still have mostly XP and maybe a dozen Windows 7 machines.
Gary Network/Systems Admin Berlin, NHHost Non-profit Tech Careers, Security ForumsCo-Host Networks, Hardware, & Telecommunications Forum
I tried to beta test W8 some months ago, but the installation on my VM did not work, and I did not try again, so I have no experience. But, from what I hear, there is no reason for us (any business) to use W8 on the desktop.
MS has a long way to go to convince me to use W8 on a tablet or phone; the biggest selling point I've heard is the music repository, and I'm not a big consumer of streaming music.
FYI, here's David Pogue's consumer-oriented review from the NY Times.
Robert L. Weiner Consulting
Strategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizations
San Francisco, CA
robert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] com
As much as I would love to disagree with Pogue... I can't. Trust me, I am really trying to "get it" with regards to Microsoft's approach here, but I am just not buying into what they are trying to promote. And if I don't get it, I have serious doubts that I am alone. And to tell you the truth, I am so far from "getting it" that I am fascinated by it.
Out of pure curiosity, I downloaded a 90 day Windows 8 trial, and fired it up on VMplayer. I had it installed and running withing 20 minutes, after the lengthy download of course. I've been playing with it for the last hour and I must say it runs quick. I tried installing our Electronic Health Record software and ran into some issues, so I'm not even sure we could adopt Win8 even if we wanted to. I'm not a fan of the new interface, I like to be able to easily find things and Windows 8 does not offer that. Perhaps I could grow to like it, but I highly doubt it. I managed to find some of the more common tools that an admin would need by trial and error. As I learn more, I'll post back here. Anyone else have any experience?
I have not tried to install any printer drivers or anything of that nature. Has the driver model changed? Do existing Win7 drivers work just fine in Win8?
I have a test system that I am going to "upgrade" from Win7 to Win8. (My previous experience was with fresh installs), I will report back on how well that goes.
I'm not switching to Windows 8 until this newest OS has been officially out for a while, maybe 4-6 months or longer.
Once this OS is officially released and hits the mainstream, I want to give Microsoft some time to properly clean up all the bugs and other issues that will be discovered in Windows 8.
I'm eager to check it out, but I'll consider upgrading my system once most of the initial kinks get worked out.
Yann Toledano, Digital Marketing Strategist
Host, Web Building Forum, TechSoup.org
I could not agree more! I watched the webinar, and kept thinking "How does this help (or even work with) our employees who sit at a desk and use Word, or Excel, or PowerPoint or Outlook on a daily basis?" It seems even more distractive for individuals who I would rather not have distracted from our non-profit business at hand. No plans for implementation or upgrade here. Thanks for the warning! Dale Dutton, Special projects, Casa Allegra Community Services, Marin County, CA
Here's a blog from David Dawson at CITI (Community IT Innovators) in DC about his experience with Win 8. He's also having a free webinar on Dec. 6 that will be a tour of Win 8 (at least, I think it's free).
I find the fact that the lead on the Windows 8 team has already been fired to be thought provoking. Nobody will state that it had anything to do with Windows 8, of course.
I have not met anyone that is embracing this move. Most find it very much akin to the Edsel fiasco by Ford. Many great ideas, but the timing is clearly off target.
Amazingly, I would say a full THREE QUARTERS of the kvetching could be silenced by the trivially simple return of the start menu. As a matter of fact, the return of the start menu in the beta versions was a simple change of a registry key. That very registry key is simply not there in the RTM version, thus third party solutions are needed. So, for whatever reason, MS consciously removed the ability to solve the single largest barrier to adoption of the operating system. The mind boggles as to why this would be the case.
Whenever the mind boggles over MS taking a perverse turn, it is usually that MS has a commercial advantage if they can force things their way. Maybe Windows 8 is the epitome of hubris, and will demonstrate its classic consequences.
I have had enough. I "upgraded" to Windows 7 from Windows 8 last night. And let me tell ya, the system fought me every step of the way, too.