Windows 8 won't become an enterprise IT standard as customers dump Microsoft's legacy PC operating system XP. Instead, corporate IT departments will stick to what they know and install Windows 7.
That’s according to technology analyst Forrester, which reckoned Windows 7 is fast becoming the de-facto PC operating system for big businesses shifting users off Windows XP. Redmond plans to pull the plug on support for XP less than a year from now, on 8 April 2014.
Just over six months after Microsoft launched its new operating system, Windows 8 isn’t even showing up on company-issued PCs, while 48 per cent of PCs are running Windows 7, according to the Forrester report, IT will skip Windows 8 as the Enterprise Standard. Read more...
Dell blamed Microsoft's Windows 8 as one of several causes for its grim financial future, according to a filing with securities regulators.
"The difficult environment faced by the Company as a result of its underperformance relative to a number of its competitors [includes] ... the uncertain adoption of the Windows 8 operating system," Dell said in a lengthy proxy statement filed Friday with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The proxy statement laid out Dell's case for shareholders accepting a $24.4 billion offer, led by its founder and CEO, Michael Dell, to take the PC maker private. Michael Dell has joined with private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners to buy the company, with Silver Lake in turn tapping Microsoft for a $2 billion contribution. Read more...
Overall, I think Windows 8 is a truly wonderful operating system. The under-the-hood changes make it a fantastic improvement over Windows 7. I am completely in love with Server 2012; I can't imagine the next few years without it. Despite being in love with the technology underpinning Windows 8, I ultimately have to walk away from Microsoft's new client OS.
The overwhelming majority of my Windows 8 interaction has been with it as a workstation operating system. With months of use, I've learned to beat the OS into submission. Tools are emerging to help, but some things still have to be done manually.
Using Windows 8 as a workstation and on my stylus-driven Asus R1F has proven to be frustrating. My brief interactions with it in touch mode have ultimately not softened my mood. Read more...
Out and about shopping yesterday, I spotted a PC magazine in the newsagent advertising the ‘ultimate guide’ to Windows 8 in the form of a ’33 page special’.
As well as reminding me of reports that Microsoft is planning to spend over $1.5bn on Windows 8 marketing, it made me think of those horribly contrived YouTube videos in which some smart arse presents his Dad with a Windows 8 installation, offers no coaching or explanation, then records him struggling (examples here and here).
The purpose of such videos is to illustrate the unintuitive nature the Windows 8 user interface, making the point, either directly or indirectly, that Microsoft has got it totally wrong.
When I first saw this stuff emerging, I remember saying to a few a people how these were pure attention grabbing stunts that bore no relation to how things would pan out in the real world. Read more...
Citing "slower than planned progress" at Microsoft's online services division and a 3 per cent decline in Windows revenue, Microsoft's board cut chief executive Steve Ballmer's pay to 91 per cent of his plan, or $1.3m. But that's the least of his concerns.
Microsoft is about to embark on the biggest shift in its Windows franchise in decades, but early jobs data suggest that companies aren't in a hurry to embrace the Windows 8 newcomer. In fact, if anything they seem to be doubling down on Windows 7.
Is this another Windows Vista debacle in the making?
Probably not, but the signs aren't comforting. For one thing, some IT professionals are dragging their feet on tackling the learning curve associated with Windows 8 user interface changes. For such pros, an upgrade to Windows 7, not Windows 8, is the order of the day. Read more...
Billionaire investor Paul Allen says he's bullish on Windows 8, but it seems even the co-founder of Microsoft has struggled with what he describes as some of the more "puzzling aspects" of the new OS.
In an in-depth review posted to his personal website, Allen says he has been working with a preview release of Windows 8 for a few months, and that while he has been "impressed" and "excited" by it, the experiment hasn't been entirely painless.
"Windows 8 does certainly require a brief adjustment period before users become familiar and comfortable with the new bimodal operating system," Allen writes.
"Bimodal" is the word Allen uses to describe the new OS's twin user experience, which offers both a traditional, Windows 7–like desktop environment and the blocky, touch-centric UI of Windows 8's new Start Screen. Although Allen says he appreciates both modes, like most of us he found it disconcerting how the OS kept bouncing him between the two. Read more...
After months of heralding its Clover Trail processor for Windows 8 tablets, Intel on Thursday unveiled the chip that it believes is its ticket to success in the ARM-dominated market.
Tablets with Clover Trail, aka the Atom Z2760 chip, will become available around the end of October when Microsoft ships Windows 8, Intel officials said. The chip will facilitate long battery life for Windows 8 tablets and full HD video.
While Intel dominates the PC market, it faces a tough road in the mobile battle with ARM, whose processors ship in most smartphones and tablets including Apple's iPad. Intel has high hopes for Windows 8, and has worked with Microsoft to take advantage of OS features to provide fast performance and long battery life in tablets. Read more...
Security researchers have discovered security shortcomings in Windows 8 that create a means to infect the upcoming operating system with rootkit-style malware.
Italian security consultants ITSEC discovered the security hole following an analysis of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), a successor to the legacy BIOS firmware interface, that Microsoft began fully supporting with 64-bit versions of Windows 7.
ITSEC analysed the UEFI platform now that Microsoft has ported old BIOS and MBR's boot loader to the new UEFI technology in Windows 8. Andrea Allievi, a senior security researcher at ITSEC, was able to use the research to cook up what's billed as the first ever UEFI bootkit designed to hit Windows 8. The proof-of-concept malware is able to defeat Windows 8's Kernel Patch Protection and Driver Signature Enforcement policy. Read more...
Despite threats to its software hegemony from Apple and others, Microsoft's stranglehold on enterprise IT has been its saving grace. Yet this advantage has started to fade as Apple and Android increasingly invade the enterprise through smartphone adoption, with IT departments scrambling to devise security policies that plug the holes created by this bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon. While many expected Microsoft to respond by shoring up its enterprise credentials, arguing that Office will be the big driver of Windows tablet adoption, the software giant has apparently elected to take a much riskier, and gutsier, approach: turn Windows 8 into a serious gaming platform.
Microsoft? That boring purveyor of Windows? Making games the centre of its PC/tablet universe? Read more...
Microsoft's Windows 8 is vulnerable to attack by exploits that hackers have been aiming at PCs for several weeks, Adobe has confirmed.
Microsoft said it will not patch the bug in Flash Player until what it called "GA," for "general availability." That would be Oct. 26, when Windows 8 hits retail and PCs powered by the new operating system go on sale.
"We will update Flash in Windows 8 via Windows Update as needed," a spokeswoman said in a reply to questions. "The current version of Flash in the Windows 8 RTM build does not have the latest fix, but we will have a security update coming through Windows Update in the GA timeframe." Read more...
Kinect, Microsoft's hands-free game controller, will run Windows 8 applications from next month.
In its latest Kinect roadmap here, Microsoft states the controller will include support for Windows 8 desktop applications in addition to supporting Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 for development.
The features will come as an update to the Kinect for Windows SDK on 8 October.
"We want to make it easy for our customers to be able to build and deploy on a variety of Windows platforms," Microsoft said. Read more...
Microsoft will allow users of Windows 8 Pro to downgrade their new PCs to Windows 7 or even Vista, according to the operating system's licensing agreement.
Not surprisingly, users may not downgrade to the still-used-but-slated-for-retirement Windows XP.
Downgrade rights -- which let customers replace a newer version of Windows with an older edition without paying for two copies -- are available only in Windows 8 Pro. That fits with previous practice: Only Windows 7 Professional, for instance, was allocated downgrade rights.
"Instead of using the Windows 8 Pro software, you may use one of the following earlier versions: Windows 7 Professional or Windows Vista Business," states the software license agreement for the version of Windows 8 Pro that will be installed by computer makers (OEMs) on new PCs. Read more...
Windows 8 may be the most disruptive operating system upgrade in 17 years, but the learning curve isn't as steep as some have claimed, enterprise support company PC Helps said today.
"It will be very difficult to adjust to, no doubt of that," said Joe Puckett, PC Helps' director of training. "But there are a lot of things that can be done to minimize the disruption."
Many would disagree.
Windows 8 has been knocked by reviewers, analysts and online pundits as a difficult-if-not-impossible upgrade because of its dual, and dueling, user interfaces (UI), one that supports the touch-first, tile-style apps formerly known as Metro, the other very similar to Windows 7's traditional desktop. Read more...