[Updated to include additional Case Study per reader recommendations]
Twice a day, I try to check the internet blog-o-sphere to get a perspective on trends, thoughts, and posts related to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. It is amazing to see the diversity (the love AND the hate) towards the new Windows 8 operating system. Even before the actual release of Windows 8, the naysayers started filling the web with their blogs on how Windows 8 will not succeed.
At first, I was a little bothered by these posts. But as of late, I find many of them quite amusing. I think the reason that I find entertainment in reading many of these articles is that I firmly believe these “blog experts” haven’t taken the time to actually dig into the new capabilities. It is also completely contrary to my experiences when I deliver a presentation or demo at a convention or business forum; or when I’m discussing Windows 8 for large enterprise organizations. I find when you take the time to demonstrate the differences and improvements, people seem genuinely enthused.
With any change, there is a slight learning curve. It is this change that I believe has many in the blog-o-sphere taking advantage of people’s tendency to embrace the status quo.
Let this sink in (read it twice):
“This new version of Windows is a disaster. Power users can’t wait to replace the UI, and businesses are avoiding it like the plague.” – Ed Bott
I only took a portion of Ed Bott’s quote. Read it in its entirety:
“This new version of Windows is a disaster. Power users can’t wait to replace the UI, and businesses are avoiding it like the plague. I’m talking, of course, about Windows XP. Ah, how quickly we forget.” – Ed Bott
Windows XP was probably the most successful operating system that was deployed across the globe – especially if you are a small business or a large enterprise. It too had a slight learning curve and many people were resistant to this initial change. We soon find that with change, good things happen.
It is true – I am a Microsoft fanboy. It was a life goal to fulfill a dream and actually work for Microsoft. For the last 12.5 years as an employee, I have witnessed a lot – the ups and the downs in the industry.
With Windows 8, I’ve never been more excited and more passionate about the possibilities that the new operating system with the cloud services afford. Everything is finally starting to come together. There are great synergies between the devices that are available: the PC, Laptop, Tablet to the Phone to the XBOX. With cloud services like Office 365, Windows Azure, SkyDrive, and Windows Intune, I have the ability to merge my work and personal lifestyles where I can finally do both: work and play.
In closing, I want to take a peak into three stories that convince me that Microsoft is on the right track. I picked both of the educational stories because they focus on the youth that will be entering the workforce. I added the the Emirates Airlines Case Study for a non-educational review on the value of Windows 8.
Seaton Hall University
October 2012, Microsoft published a case study with Seton Hall University. Starting with the Fall 2012 school year, Seton Hall University will be giving all first-year students a Windows 8 tablet device and a Windows Phone. Windows 8 and Windows Phone were chosen after rigorous comparative testing and they found that the students wanted the familiarity of Windows with the productivity of Office. It also provided the administration the security and management that they have come to expect and demand.
Here is what Seton Hall University’s CIO, Stephen Landry, had to say about it:
“In the fall of 2011, Seton Hall distributed 50 iPads and 400 tablet devices running on Google Android to members of the university community. We received consistent feedback that people generally liked those consumer devices,” says Landry. “But they missed the familiarity of the Windows interface and the Microsoft Office environment that enables them to be as productive as possible. They wanted a tighter connection between the tablet and desktop experience.” Landry also noted that he appreciates the enterprise-grade security and manageability offered by Microsoft technology.
What I love most about this story comes from Seton Hall’s President, Dr. Gabriel Estaban:
Windows 8 ties everything together. It facilitates students’ ability to consume and create content and collaborate across multiple devices—basically to extend the learning process far beyond the classroom.
This is the Microsoft story… whether it is a University, a Small Business, a Large Enterprise, or for your own personal workstyle. Connecting experiences across devices.
Southern Illinois University
Reported March 2013 by InformationWeek, Southern Illinois University will also be providing Windows 8 tablets (the Dell Latitude 10) to all incoming Freshmen arriving this fall as part of their Mobile Dawg initiative.
Why Windows 8 Tablets?
“SIU expects to save $3 million or more over the course of the planned four-year program, compared with the difference in hardware, warranty, and support costs of an equivalent program based on iPads.”
“Also, the Latitude tablets can be managed with tools such as Microsoft System Center, just like any other Windows computer.”
“Finally, the Dell tablets provided functionality the iPads couldn’t match, such as the ability to run tutorial and assessment courseware that is standard at the university and is based on Flash, which is not supported by Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. Labs and classrooms can also be equipped with docking stations, allowing the Latitude tablets to be used with a full-size keyboard and mouse.”
Emirates Airlines is one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world and they announced during November 2012 that they are deploying the HP ElitePad 900 for their airline pursers and crew.
Emirate Airlines developed an application for Windows 8 to provide a personalized experience for the crew to better serve the needs of their customers. Anita Grillo, Purser for Emirates, describes the experience as
“Customer information is presented in easy snapshots. I know if it’s someone’s birthday, or what a passenger prefers to eat or drink. KIS running on Windows 8 enables me to deliver an amazing in-flight experience.”
With Windows 8, I enjoy sharing the best of both worlds. The ability to provide a flexible workstyle with the enterprise grade management and security solutions customers expect. Emirates Airlines sees the significance of this:
“For our latest version of Knowledge-driven In-flight Solution, we wanted an amazing user experience that met all the requirements of enterprise IT. With Windows 8, we met that challenge.” – Kevin Griffiths, Senior Vice President, Cabin Crew, Emirates
Read the Cast Study or watch the video below.
All of these examples show the flexibility of the Windows ecosystem with the security and manageability that organizations demand. To help you overcome the slight learning curve, take a look at my previous post on Windows 8 Tips, Ticks, and more.