What IT should know about Windows 8

The three faces of Windows 8 herald tough choices and significant changes ahead for corporate IT

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That's a tough pill for IT developers to swallow. Think of it this way: If IT has to make two different versions of its Windows 8 tablet apps to run on the Desktop on Intel and ARM processors anyway, why not go with an OS that's well known -- pick your poison, Android or iOS -- and forget about Windows on the tablet entirely?

If you're planning for next year, you can commit your company to just Intel tablets, or you can take the pig-in-a-poke approach and bet on the ARM Desktop. Or you can wait to see what shakes out. But if you, as an IT developer, choose to jump ship right now and go with Android or iOS, you can get your tablet apps up and running a year before Windows 8 is ready.

No matter how you slice it, that's a compelling option.

The writing on the wall

When Microsoft presenters start calling Windows 7 applications "legacy apps" and Metro apps "the future," you should take note. The times are changing.

Make no mistake. Whether it's a Windows 7 desktop or an Intel Windows 8 desktop, the Desktop, like Windows XP, will be around forever.

Come to think of it, that's what everyone said about CICS and Cobol.

Two years ago, when Windows 7 was young, the iPad didn't exist, and tablets were like luggable Oldsmobiles, few people would have dreamed we'd come to this point. The same tide that swept PCs into corporations 25 years ago has returned, and it's stronger this time. Windows 8's design simply confirms that observation.

IT can fight the tablet tide tooth and nail. Or corporate developers can run out in front of the parade and pretend they're leading it. The biggest question is whether IT can afford to wait another year before they start waving the banner.

Now that you know the rest of the story, you're in good shape to read Microsoft's overview of Windows 8 development for businesses. Download the Windows Developer Preview Guide and start on Page 35.

This story, "What IT should know about Windows 8," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in Microsoft Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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