We’re sure that by now you have heard about Windows 8, and maybe you’re wondering if an upgrade is in order for your business. While Windows 7 will continue to be supported by Microsoft until at least 2020, there are new features in Win8 that make it worth investigating.
Windows 8 focuses on collaboration and mobility more than just about any other OS on the market, but the biggest change you will notice with Windows 8 is a very different desktop layout. Gone is the familiar “start” button and file and folder system. Instead the new OS uses a touchscreen-oriented layout with “tiles” – similar to those found on the Windows Mobile OS – which replace the desktop icons that were found on Windows 7. Just “swipe” to the tile that you want and click on it, and your program will open.
These changes are intended to more closely integrate PC’s with mobile devices that use touchscreens, and indeed is a look forward to PC’s that themselves use touchscreens (which will shortly be available from companies like Samsung and Viewsonic, if you really want to be ahead of the curve). If you’re uncomfortable with change and like your desktop as-is, Win8 might not be a great choice. But if your company is looking to introduce mobile apps for your tablet or large touchscreen users, Win8 makes sense. And never fear, there is a “Desktop” tile on Win8 that will change your display to a more traditional Windows desktop.
One handy advantage of Win8 for businesses is something called “profile syncing.” This feature gives you the ability to leave your computer, log onto another, and have all of your preferences, settings, and documents travel with you. The sync can be completed either via the cloud or by USB stick. This makes the OS way more mobile, and makes it possible for a worker to easily switch to a different physical workspace just by logging in and syncing.
Another feature we like is AppLocker, which enables administrators to control employee access to files and programs, and to push out updates to all computers at once. AppLocker makes management of multiple PC’s a snap, and helps you keep a lid on your critical information.
So far the experience has been that most Windows 7 programs will run just fine on Win8, but if you use specialized or custom software, you should check with your provider before upgrading.
Have more questions about Windows 8? We’re here to help.