With Windows 8 machines are coming out in the fall, many local companies are frantically researching solutions for Windows 8 migration in Boston. However, there is absolutely no need to stress about upgrading your laptops and desktops just yet. That’s not to say the new OS doesn’t have some nifty features and benefits: It boots up quickly, has a really nice user interface and is perfect for companies that need mobile devices on the sales or factory floor to integrate with regular desktops.
Unfortunately these bonuses are being overshadowed by more important business considerations.
Chances are you’re still in the process of migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7, chasing down that April 8, 2014 deadline where support for XP is gone forever. If you are, then you’re obviously not very motivated to start the whole process over again. For some companies this migration process was so painful that they never want to experience anything like it ever again, while for others it was a piece of cake.
Either way, for most of us the answer is to wait.
The fact remains that Windows 8 is only going to be ready in the fall which leaves about a year and a half before it’s mature enough for full corporate deployment. This means you would only be upgrading in early 2014 and this is right on top of the XP support expiration date.
That’s just not enough time.
Playing the waiting game allows you to let everybody else work out the kinks in the platform and to prove that it works in real world corporate environments before you adopt it into your own company.
Sadly most companies have absolutely no problems with Windows XP, and the only reason they’re updating is because of the support cancellation. However, for those that have made the transition to Windows 7, most have found that support was more intense in the transition phase but ongoing support is significantly lower than it ever was with Windows XP.
This alone says a lot about Window’s future direction for ease-of-use and compatibility.
Everyone in the corporate world just wants a simple, stable operating system that works without a ton of IT support, ongoing education or upgrades. For many that’s exactly what Windows 7 represents and since Windows 8 has no easily measurable improvements over Windows 7 (yet) there is no reason to make the switch.
Then Who Needs Windows 8?
There are specific cases where companies will want to change over sooner than later. If you need tablet computing as well as a Windows ecosystem, then Windows 8 is perfect for you. Since the Windows 8 interface is fully compatible with touch systems like tablets, it can run on hybrid tablet/PC devices instead of buying a separate PC laptop and an iPad for example. Talking about iPads, these devices are definitely becoming more common in corporate environments, but the problem is they don’t play well in Windows-based companies. If you find that more than half of the devices in your tech assets are tablets, then you should seriously consider the move to Windows 8 right away. Also, if you were one of those that made an early adopter move to Windows 7 and have had it running for a while now, then you too might want to consider the migration.
One smart way to make this process as painless as possible is to replace old or broken machines as well as supplying new employees with Windows 8. This way the transition happens slowly and smoothly without any big interruptions to the flow of business. Who knows, we might even find our employees start bringing in their Microsoft Surface tablets and Windows 8 netbooks into work soon, making the decision a whole lot easier. In this case IT will be forced to help ease these new devices into the ecosystem and make all of them play well together.
But of course the big consideration here is what kind of changes Windows 8 will force on other parts of your IT systems such as security, management, applications and infrastructure. As a first step, all hardware needs to be checked to make sure it can handle an eventual upgrade. Many companies found that when upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 it was actually cheaper to buy brand-new machines with Windows 7 pre-installed than it was to install Windows 7 on the old ones. This was mainly due to the machine’s age and increased frequency of repairs and replacements. Also, any software installed that is critical to business functions such as management and security applications need to be checked for Windows 8 compatibility. While Microsoft does say that any software that runs on Windows 7 will run fine on Windows 8, it does need to be checked on an individual basis. If possible, one should even think beyond Windows 8 and check that the software development company behind each title is planning for future developments for Windows 8 as well.
Many tech writers have slammed Windows 8 saying it’s a ridiculous upgrade because of its 2 distinct user interfaces: one designed for mobile touch devices and the other which is more similar to its predecessor, Windows 7. Many have said that corporations will outright boycott the platform because of the extra support and help desk costs, training time and upgrade costs. The start screen has been a huge target for criticism as well, along with the lack of a start button.
Windows 8 is by far the most tricky upgrade in the last 2 decades for Windows users. However, the learning curve is actually not as steep as people make it out to be. Sure, it might take a few weeks for everyone to get on board, learn how to shut down, find their files and print, but there are quite a few tips to make the transition easier. With previous Windows upgrades it was possible to roll out all the changes and train everyone afterwards. However, with Windows 8 you want to make sure all the training is done up front before the big rollout. Otherwise there will be a massive drop in productivity and the potential for problems increase. IT can make the transition easier for people in many ways such as by making a ‘shut down’ shortcut command on the desktop where it can easily be found. On the other hand, anyone who has ever used a mobile phone or tablet will pick up the mobile version of Windows 8 (formerly known as Metro) and know exactly what to do with it. It’s really quite simple, intuitive and user-friendly. Migrating to desktops will be somewhat more difficult.
To Wrap Up…
If you’re in the middle of your Windows 7 migration and don’t really have a need for mobile touch devices then wait as long as possible or skip Windows 8 completely and go for the next iteration of the software (Windows 9?). The next version of Windows should come out in around 2 years time, so the timing will be perfect for you.
The transition to Windows 8 will definitely have hiccups, but with some care and forethought these minor problems can be prevented from turning into huge catastrophes. While we’ve tried our best to outline the do’s and dont’s of the migration here, there is infinitely more pitfalls, strategies and tips than we could fit into just one article. By far the best approach is to seek the expertise of a team with a deep understanding and knowledge of the platform. At Roan Solutions we have finely-crafted our Windows 8 migration process for corporates, but more importantly, we can tell whether you should even bother considering it.
Email us at email@example.com or call us today at 1.877.774.4647 and we can instantly put your worries and stress at bay surrounding the whole issue.
We will perform a thorough and detailed analysis of your entire business’ IT system and create a clear and simple report which lays out your options with all the pros and cons. Only then, if everyone agrees to go forward with the migration, will we structure a tailor-made plan for an easy switch. Of course, as with all of our services, we will deliver unlimited support after-the-fact.
This really is the smartest and most cost-effective solution. We will save you thousands of hours of combined downtime and extraneous hardware costs with a solid plan that will serve you both in the short and long term.
So if you’re looking for information or help with a Windows 8 migration in Boston, get in touch and we’ll help you out.
Call us today at 1.877.774.4647 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org now.