Windows 8 Heating Up; K-12 Embracing Windows 8

Things are starting to heat up for Windows 8.  StatCounter, which gathers information based on 3 million websites, estimates that the current Windows 8 install base is roughly 3.77 percent of all PCs worldwide.  This figure may not be earth shattering at the moment; especially compared to Windows 7’s 52 percent market share… but, with only 5 months since launch, Windows 8 is growing and has nearly passed iOS sitting at 3.92 percent.

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Chart:  Original Source

As I meet and discuss Windows 8 and the Microsoft ecosystem with my customers, I am sensing a positive shift in momentum.  Many customers are starting to test or deploy small pockets of Windows 8 in the enterprise as they are looking at the combination of a touch-optimized operating system that can be managed and supported by information technology organizations.

Windows “Blue” is on the horizon as noted by Microsoft’ Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications, Frank Shaw, in yesterday’s post and many of the OEMs are starting to manufacture great touch-enabled tablets, laptops, and touch screens for desktops.

If I can be bold, I believe things are starting to heat up for Windows 8.

I see this excitement not only within my corporate customers, but also with our educational systems as well.  I first shared the stories of two universities adopting Windows 8 (Seton Hall and Southern Illinois University) in a previous post last week.  Today, Microsoft released a wonderful article titled Educators Across the US Adopt Windows 8 to Help Make Students College-Ready and Career-Ready specifically showcasing adoption within K-12.  The article highlights ten K-12 school districts and higher-education institutions that have signed on to use Windows 8 for more than 540,000 students and faculty.

Margo Day, Vice President of U.S. Education stated it nicely (emphasis added):

“Windows 8 is helping schools modernize learning by supporting new education standards, online assessments and the move to digital learning by providing a powerful platform where content can be easily consumed and created, and a connection to the cloud where collaboration opportunities can be reimagined.”

Read the article for yourself… the following are my key takeaways (emphasis added):

We chose Windows 8 because we need much more than a consumption-only device for online assessments to help prepare students for success,” said Chuck Jones, chief of technology at Jackson-Madison County School System. “On another operating system, the IT and app management of 1,200 separate devices for teachers would have been too overwhelming.”

We want our students to use the same tools that professionals do on a daily basis,” said Dave Williamson, district chief information officer [Atlantic Public Schools]. “With this anytime, anywhere access to Windows 8 and Office 365 Education, we know that when they go to enter college or the job market they will be ahead of the curve with this knowledge of the latest technology available.”

Windows 8 provides the ‘no compromises’ experience everyone has been looking for. It doesn’t force us to choose between a device that you can only read from and that doesn’t connect to a keyboard, or a device geared toward creating documents, presentations and other projects. It’s the best of both worlds: Teachers and students will be able to leverage existing curriculum and resources already used in the classroom.” – Bill Westrick, Fargo Public Schools IT Director

“We are moving to Windows 8 to give our students the opportunity to work on real-world projects with technology they will eventually see in the workplace, experiences they won’t get on other specialty devices,” said Chief Information Officer Yvette Brown of Barry University. “I think Windows 8 will be easier for those who are not as tech-savvy because of the intuitive user interface with touch capabilities. I love the fact that I can actually get real work done on my Windows 8 tablet.”

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