With most users seemingly content to run Microsoft Windows 7 for the foreseeable future, why should you upgrade to Windows 8? This new OS is a response to new trends in the rapidly evolving IT landscape like BYOD, VDI, and an increasingly mobile workforce. Here are 8 important aspects of Windows 8 explained so you can decide if upgrading is the right move for your organization.
1. Microsoft Windows 8 is available in several editions: Windows 8, Windows 8 RT, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 Enterprise. You’ll find Windows 8, Pro, and RT pre-installed on any new devices you may purchase, while Windows 8 Enterprise is only available through volume licensing with software assurance.
2. Hardware is changing practically every day; your OS needs to be able to keep up: Touchscreens, tablets, notebooks, and Ultrabooks™ are thinner, lighter, and faster. Windows 8 takes advantage of the advancements in each of these form factors, so you can choose the best devices to fit your workforce.
3. Windows 8 volume licensing is only available as an upgrade: If you want to order Windows 8 for your organization, the devices you’re using must have an OS already installed. No sweat if you’re already running Windows 7 or XP—or even Mac OS X.
4. Your full desktop, on the go: Windows 8 Enterprise includes a brand new feature called Windows To Go, which has been specifically designed to support BYOD. Windows To Go lets users keep a full version of their desktop on a bootable external USB drive, so they can take their workspace wherever they need to. 5. You can still downgrade if you need to: If you have users who just aren’t ready to make the switch, you can downgrade any new device with Windows 8 pre-installed to any previous version of Windows, including XP.
6. VDI made easy: Microsoft has created a Windows Companion Subscription License (CSL), which is an optional add-on subscription that grants the primary user of a licensed device the right to access a corporate desktop via VDI or Windows To Go—on up to four corporate-owned devices capable of leveraging these technologies.
7. Windows 8 also includes several new technology features: Trusted Boot and Measure Boot make boot times appear much faster than previous versions, as Windows 8 will usually hibernate instead of shut down. Mobile Broadband allows for even greater mobility. Refresh and Restore lets you easily reset a computer to a known state.
8. Be aware of hardware requirements:
Most systems running Windows 7 today should be able to upgrade Windows 8 without problems, but just to be sure, here’s a helpful chart of the minimum (not optimal) requirements for running the new OS. You should now have a better idea of what Windows 8 can do for your organization. For more information, check out our Windows 8 whitepaper. And if you’re ready to upgrade today, get in touch with us.
Windows XP reaches final end-of-life on April 8, 2014. What this means for your organization is that Microsoft will stop providing Service Packs, security patches, and support after that date. It’s time to break up with XP; click here to start crafting your exit strategy.