The increasingly accepted BYOD trend in the enterprise may cause a disconnect between the expectations of employees and the reality of their employers' IT environment, Suzuki says. Although employees will see their tablets' compatibility with Windows applications as an opportunity to improve productivity, their migration-fatigued employer will treat it as just another personally owned device. From there, conflict is likely to ensue, Suzuki says.
"The potential implications are then that all other people start bringing their Windows 8 devices as their sole computing platform and the expectation is if they bring it to work then they can do all of their work on it," he says. "Technically, it's an unmanaged device because you may not be set up to lay down antivirus or all of the applications that you use to secure the network on that new platform. You may not have the licenses to do so."
Silver also acknowledged that, if this Windows 8 consumerization trend were to become significant, there will be "certain accommodations organizations need to make for personally owned Windows machines."
Beyond the complaints from end users who may feel entitled to compatibility between their personal Windows 8 device and their work PC, the IT department will further be plagued with the addition of new hardware running yet another mobile OS on the network. That means installing more clients on more devices, which, while necessary, "does get some user backlash," Silver says.
Suzuki toyed with the idea that Microsoft may execute a successful "bottom-up" approach, in which consumer adoption of Windows 8 devices may cause such a disruption in the workplace that enterprise customers are forced to upgrade to Windows 8. However, he added that it would take years if that trend were to even gain traction.
Silver also speculated as to whether Microsoft could ever see enterprise interest in Windows 8. But, considering the current climate for OS migration, he concluded that it would be a long time for that to happen, which means the IT department could be in for a long wait for Windows 8 harmony.
"On PCs, if Microsoft is lucky, I think it's more likely that organizations will decide that at some point in the future, maybe sometime in 2015, maybe they'll bring in Windows 8 for their new PCs," Silver says. "But I really don't see that many organizations deploying it on existing PCs, and even on new PCs I think there will be a lot of organizations that try to skip it entirely."
Colin Neagle covers Microsoft security and network management for Network World. Keep up with his blog: Rated Critical, follow him on Twitter: @ntwrkwrldneagle. Colin's email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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