Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Do we really need Windows 8 so soon?

I've read that Microsoft is working speedily on Windows 8. I have to ask, why? With many users and businesses just now migrating to Windows 7 and many users and businesses still not migrating to Windows 7, it's hard to imagine why Microsoft would be working so feverishly on Windows 8 unless it's going to be a dramatic difference from Windows 7. Honestly, I don't see how 7 could be improved that much. Mark Kaelin recently wrote on this subject. 

Here is an excerpt:

"I am sensing a significant amount of upgrade fatigue, especially in small businesses. To overcome that reluctance to yet another upgrade to the Windows operating system, Microsoft will have to do something noteworthy with Windows 8 — something I have yet to see in any of the leaked photo galleries." 

I agree with Kaelin. Home users, yes, grow weary from operating system upgrades, however, businesses suffer from operating system upgrades. Most businesses are Windows based with their technology. When Microsoft releases a new operating system, the older Windows operating systems are tossed to the side when it comes to compatibility with new software, which hurts businesses. It's true that Microsoft will support the older OSes for a period of time with security updates, but businesses also need to know that their operating systems will be compatible with new software. 

When a business migrates all of its workstations, servers, etc. to a new operating system, there is significant cost. With Microsoft planning on releasing Windows 8 hot on Windows 7's heels, one wonders if, as Kalin said, Microsoft is playing with fire. In order for me to personally upgrade my system to 8, I'll have to be blown away by its features. I'm satisfied with 7. Businesses are satisfied with 7 too. With the economy in the state that it's in, it's hard to imagine any business going through another upgrade just to stay current.

What, 8, will you offer us? 

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Is there a market for Windows 8 or is Microsoft playing with fire?

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