Windows 7 or Windows 8?
If a customer is waiting for Windows 8 before deciding which operating system to deploy, Nicholson said the best guidance partners can give these customers is to begin deploying, planning and testing applications right away, in order to prevent timeline constraints relative to the end-of-support date.
“It is crucial for customers to have a robust deployment strategy in place for Windows 7 and then they can look at evaluating Windows 8 scenarios for their businesses,” Nicholson said.
Windows 8 represents a visual leap for Microsoft. The operating system features a redesigned “start menu” called Metro that uses tiles instead of icons to display information to the user. The interface is nearly identical in design to Microsoft’s Windows Phone interface. When it launches, Windows 8 will compete as an alternative to Android and iOS mobile operating systems on tablets.
“Windows 8 is an exciting product – customers like the capabilities it will offer their organization including the touch interface, cloud integration and application development,” Nicholson said. “However, most companies also realize that moving to a new desktop platform is complex matter and getting to Windows 7 will set them up to more easily take advantage of Windows 8 once it is released.”
But once Windows 8 is released, Nicholson said that customers without any deployment strategy should plan to move forward by focusing on Windows 8.
Nicholson said that many conversations with Canadian customers begin with a simple question: “What is your desktop strategy?” For partners, this question can lead to related topics including how to enable BYOD, harnessing social media, proper security and management, and cloud.