Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Windows 8 in the Enterprise: Why IT pros say no

  1. #11

    I work for a large company - ballpark of 15-20 THOUSAND employees, and 90% or more of them in something other than IT.

    I imagine most IT people - even old geezers like me - would "pick up" Windows 8 if/when they had to. I've been around long enough to remember how many people absolutely hated XP when it debuted. It's funny how people hung on to their "beloved" XP when Vista and then Windows 7 arrived.

    99% of our PCs still run XP, and a rollout of Windows 7 is in the works. The plan is to push out Windows 7 on new PCs all in one sweep - and then five years from now those will all be replaced again. (Maybe by then we'll be ready for Windows 8? Tablets? Something else?)

    So let's use some nice round numbers and conservative estimates (meaning "err on the optimistic side") for a year-long migration project to bring everyone to Windows 8:

    For the sake of discussion let's assume we're only providing Windows 8 on new PCs - we are not upgrading or doing a wipe-and-reload (except maybe some PC folks doing it in limited test environments).

    Let's also make the DRASTIC assumption that EVERY SINGLE CORPORATE APPLICATION IS 100% COMPATIBLE WITH THE NEW OS. (This is a real reach, at least in our company.)

    You see, that last one's the clincher, folks. Erring on the conservative side again, let's say we are running 500 different coproate applications, from accounting systems to purchasing, payroll, engineering, and more.

    12,000 users have to learn a new OS and the Metro interface: we'll assume that a one-day hands-on class will bring them up to speed, but we'll back that up with a Windows 8 hotline and a team of experts who can help users who need a little more one-on-one tutoring to get up to speed. So there's 96,000 hours that people spend in a classroom and not doing their normal work.

    12,000 users spend one day each testing and verifying that their application works with Windows 8.

    Approximately 1,000 users receive a new PC each month - so over the course of 12 months the hardware and Windows 8 rollout occurs. Another drastic assumption: they all have the same base image, and they all work perfectly. Department applications have to be installed after the PC is delivered. Each department will have an expert who can install the software, and licensing will not be an issue. Installation and configuration will be straightfoward and quick - meaning this part of the project will be trivial in terms of cost and time. (Yeah, right ...)

    12,000 new PCs
    96,000 hours spent in training
    Let's say 20 full-time (40 hrs/week) project staff, excluding departmental "experts" who install specific applications for departmental users

    Are you beginning to see what an effort this is? I'm not including here the time it takes to staff the project , develop the initial project plan, refine it, obtain buy-in from senior management and executives, and to communicate the plan to everyone at an appropriate level.

    To think, then, that a major corporation will drop everything and rush to adopt Windows 8 - and even adopt it quickly - is unrealistic. Maybe in a year it might be something to consider, and maybe (optimistically, again) the go-head for a pilot project would be achieved quickly after that, but nothing with such a wide impact to the company is going to happen quickly or easily.

    That's not to presume a positive or negative reception of the new OS in the corporate world. I imagine most companies will take a "wait and see" approach and move ahead only after consdering the cost and effort required. Training, testing, and rollout of a major OS upgrade isn't going to be something taken lightly - or done quickly. I'm sure there are a lot of companies out there still using XP (I see a lot of it still, just in casual observations in places I go).

    Change takes time in a big organization - even if it's received with a "must have it" attitude, don't expect to suddenly see it spring up everywhere in the business world. Consumers buying a new PC won't likely have a choice, but businesses will, and they're not going to make a move without considering the impact on the company. No good business would be so foolish as to forego the assessment of need, from hardware and software to training. If Windows 8 is widely adopted, you still won't see a lot of it in the business world for several years at best.

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  2. #12

    Posts : 993
    Windows 8 pro Retail

    TerryE? I doubt ANY corporation will go the route of Windows 8. Plain and simple the metro interface isn't viable in a business environment. I can't imagine Microsoft NOT having a Professional version of Windows 8. Corporate America, strike that Corporate WORLD is where America makes it money, NOT by unit sales, but by license sales. ONLY problem is, Businesses take WAY to long in changing over from a O/S to the next, due to the cost of buying new equipment. Microsoft corrected that with this version of Windows.

    Now it is up to the corporate world to accept, and start beta testing THEIR own programs to do what they need to run them on a more current Operating System, that will run on computers dated for Windows XP. My opinion is to completely bypass Vista, & 7 and go straight to 8.
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  3. #13

    I concur about the interface but even assuming it could be bypassed or turned off in the Enterprise version, I don't think a company the size of ours is going to move very swiftly on it, for the reasons I cited earlier.

    If they're already on XP and just now thinking about an upgrade, I still think the most likely direction would be Windows 7. Windows 8 isn't available for another three months (though perhaps if RTM is sooner, volume license customers might have access to it). A year from now, when the results are in from some early adopters, that could be different.

    I'm a little puzzled by your post though: are you saying that while you doubt most corporations will go to Windows 8 (first paragraph), they SHOULD (as you seem to imply in your second paragraph)?

    I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the mad rush by businesses to get to Windows 8.
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  4. #14

    Posts : 993
    Windows 8 pro Retail

    No, what I was saying Terry is that what we have now (Consumer's version)companies won't go with. BUT depending on if a business/enterprise version comes out that they should. Sooner or later they are going to need to follow Microsoft's direction. Just basically now I can't see that happening with this iteration of metro. As well as stated that they need to get their own in-house software viable with metro. Even though this is the first O/S from Microsoft with the metro tile layout, it is a good time to get employees up to snuff learning it.
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  5. #15

    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    I think we ALL can agree, software mitigations are a PITA in general.
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  6. #16

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryE View Post
    I work for a large company - ballpark of 15-20 THOUSAND employees, and 90% or more of them in something other than IT.
    Thanks TerryE for taking time to write all that. Now this old novice is a lot less ignorant of enterprise for the steps and costs it takes for a change.
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  7. #17


    When/if the time comes that the enteprirse decides to adopt Windows 8, THEN they'll need to spend time educating users on it. In our case I don't see that happening for maybe five years, given that we're not even up to speed on Windows 7 at this point. In five years a lot can change, and training people sooner would be a waste of resources since people won't be using it in the workplace and will forget more than they learned by the time it does come around.

    Right now there are higher priorities in our situation. I cannot speak for other companies of any size, but having been through enough of these software/OS migrations I will reiterate that it's no small - or inexpensive - effort.
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  8. #18

    Posts : 993
    Windows 8 pro Retail

    I concur Terry. I just hate the lead time companies use to make sure all the bugs are out of newer software/O/Ses before they decide to move up. Why the HECK do they think they have IT/IS departments for? It's our jobs to keep on the systems, and make sure they are patched. To be honest with you, *I* hated ALL the time I had to put in on XP. Worse O/S in my opinion EVER to come out of Redmond. I think all the time I spent with patching security problems with the O/S itself, I spent less time with NT4, Win95, Win 98 and 2000 Pro put together. AND that also includes the time it took for the Y2K bug as well.

    EDIT: Doing beta testing now with Bull Guard software. This is totally really funny. I have one Win XP test machine. (We both know Microsoft brought it to the end of it's life, and did everything THEY will with it.) Ran the software's tune up function (Clean install before I loaded the Bull Guard onto it.) and it FOUND 339 problems with WinXP, and was only able to correct less than half of them. (136 fixed) Remembering now, this unit has EVERYTHING Microsoft made available for it, and STILL Bull Guard found that many problems with it. I actually fell off my chair laughing.
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  9. #19

    That's funny and sad at the same time, Mike.

    As for the lead time, yeah, that's normal, but better to take the time up front and be sure things work than have to develop workarounds or exceptions later on.

    I loved XP and in fact I had it on my work PC two days after it was released. Then the corporate folks found out I had it and told me to remove it because it was "non-standard." The same thing happened to some of us who had Vista but by then I was in a different department and I was allowed to keep my "non-standard" Vista machine. (It's now a "standard" Windows 7 machine.) So, not only are companies sometimes slow to adopt new software but also reluctant at times to even allow it.
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  10. #20

    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Hi there
    Enterprise W8 is definitely a HUGE NO NO.

    The only way W8 will EVER see the light of day in large organisations is if they go through what is rapidly becoming a hugely popular idea -- Bring your OWN PC and use it to run work applications via a work VPN / LAN etc.

    Note - people in these organisations don't HAVE to bring in their own equipment of course - some for all sorts of reasons will be quite happy to stay with work provided PC's -- but the number of work PC's the organisation needs to maintain can be HUGELY less than is typical now in big organisations.

    This has a lot of difficulties - such as security etc but places who have implemented this usually report that the users LOVE it and of course it saves them from 1) buying huge amounts of PC's and 2) worrying about software updates on client machines.

    I'm sure many people have suffered frustrations at using incredibly old outdated equipment and OS'es on a work machine when they have nice super slick fast equipment on their home gear.

    By empowering users to bring in their own hardware this sort of stuff is eliminated at a stroke - but it DOES require very careful management to realize this goal.

    If you can logon with whatever OS you have on your own PC to a corporate "OS Image" and can boot from "Virtual Drives" then the I.T dept only needs to maintain the "Virtual Image".

    O.K it's not so simple in practice but you should see where I'm going with this.

    Last edited by jimbo45; 24 Jul 2012 at 14:34.
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Windows 8 in the Enterprise: Why IT pros say no
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