Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Windows 8 - What I Think About It

Your first thought was probably: "Who cares?"

Exactly.   But in case you might, here's what I think of it thus far:

It's aimed at consumers.  Nothing Earth-shattering about that.  Everyone else is already saying that too.  But it's not just that.  It's that it is suffering from a similar problem with Windows 7 in the early days: Marketing Stupidity.

That's right.  Most people don't recall how feeble the business marketing effort for Windows 7 was at the start. It was entirely aimed at home users.  All the ads were about how easy it was for kids to use, and how cool it looked.  IT professionals, meanwhile, were left to scramble for their own devices when it came to rounding up a business case to sell to their management for getting away from XP.  It wasn't pretty.

Windows 8 is doing the same thing.  All the marketing artillery is lobbing shells at the consumer side.  Tablets and Metro and Apps Market, and more Tablets, and Cloud this and Cloud that.  When the CIO and CFO pull up a chair and ask:  "Ok.  What the fuck about this Windows 8 is going to make us a better company?"

Most of us will say "Well... uh.... umm..... I'm still looking into that."

Fwamp Fwamp Fwamp...

Here's what Windows 8 needs to have before I could get behind any effort to woo the CFO to stroke a big check to embark on yet another upgrade project (remember, many businesses are still in the midst of a Windows 7 upgrade effort):

  1. A "Windows 7 Classic" theme, that looks EXACTLY like Windows 7.  For businesses to roll-out onto their already shell-chocked XP-to-7 users.  Then we can shift to Metro later when the Xanax runs out.
  2. A native App-V client included in the base product.  App-V is cool, but I'm really sick of how hamstrung it is within MDOP and EA/SELECT and it's really holding back a lot of potential.  Sick isn't the word.  Disgusted is more like it.
  3. A native MED-V feature as an option.  My feeling is the same as described for App-V.
  4. A better approach to COM activation than DCOMconfig.
  5. A better solution to keep the Registry clean
I'm stopping here because, although I could go on (much longer), it would behoove myself to just say it needs to offer a wide range of improvements to literally make Windows 7 seem as outdated as 7 did for XP.  Right now, it's not there.  Windows 8 is a minor step from 7 in most respects.  Sure, it's got a lot of cool stuff and a new UI, but from a ROI perspective, you really have to dig like a starving animal in the desert to find enough to build a strong business case for going from 7 to 8.  Even from XP to 8 doesn't make as much sense at this point as going from XP to 7.  The jury is still out obviously.  I'm probably casting my vote prematurely, and I will give it time to mature.  I will revisit this argument when it gets closer to final release.
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