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Microsoft To Unveil Windows 9, Tailor-made To Suite Enterprise Consumers Needs

by Milicent Atieno

Microsoft To Unveil Windows 9, Tailor-made To Suite Enterprise Consumers Needs

Ever since the release of Windows 8 on October 2012, Microsoft has spend the better part of the last two years doing damage control in as far as Windows 8 is concerned. Come Tuesday, Sept. 30th 2014, Microsoft is expected to unveil the preview of its next Windows, during an event focused on enterprise consumers.

It’s no doubt that Microsoft had a very successful run with the Windows 7. But it failed to replicate this with the Windows 8 as many users find the OS having a botched user interface and are far from being happy with it.

The corporate consumers (businesses) found upgrading to the new Windows 8 even more harder compared to home consumers. Many CIOs still clung to the Windows 7, and many of those who upgraded were not pleased with the Window 8 and its later revisions. Many found its UI, which is optimized for touch-screen tablets, confusing and revolted against using it, as it affected their productivity.

Experts say, that it is for these reasons that the next Microsoft OS, which is unofficially referred to as Windows Threshold and Windows 9, is designed with the corporate (business) consumers in mind.

An IDC analyst, AI Gillen, was quoted saying, “With Windows 8, Microsoft was aiming at having a product with a good touch-first experience for consumers, and Microsoft didn’t think about what would happen with enterprises.”

Statistics by IDC shows that, at the end of the year 2013, there were about 715 million copies of Windows installed in business computers around the world. Half of this, (361.2 million) were Windows 7, followed by Windows XP at 224 million, then Windows Vista at 40 million and lastly Windows 8 standing a little over 16 million copies.

Windows 8 was obviously not for enterprise use. It didn’t give information workers an experience that let them be efficient at work. So Microsoft has to make sure that Windows 9 is good for that very important enterprise segment,” said Gillen.

However, Windows 8 performed better in the consumer market, with more than 117.2 million copies being installed worldwide by the end of 2013. But still, it was not enough to outdo Windows 7 which had 322 million copies, this is according to IDC.

Expert analysis says there are key areas that Microsoft must address in order to get CIOs, and IT managers to take up its latest OS like they did with Window 7 if not better. These areas are as follows:

When Windows 8 was first launched into the market, many Windows users were shocked by the over-the-top touch interface, referred to as Modern. The inclusion of the traditional desktop meant to run legacy Window 7 applications but did not have the key familiar features such as ‘Menu’ and ‘Start button’. Many users did not adapt fast or easily to the toggling in between the traditional desktop and the Modern interface.

Experts believe that this problem was brought about by Microsoft decision to make Windows 8 a single OS for both touch screen computers and the conventional mouse and keyboard computer. Users with mouse and keyboards, found it especially hart to adapt the Windows 8, as it was optimized for touch screen computers. A move that is quite different from its rivals, such as Apple which has the MacOS for its desktop and laptops computers. Even Google has the ChromeOS for its Chromebook laptops and desktops and the Android OS for its tablets and smartphones.

Later Microsoft released the Window 8.1 update, but it still falls short in addressing all the problems reported on Windows 8. Experts say that Microsoft needs either completely to drop the idea of a single OS for both touch devices and the conventional PCs or split it into two OSs each tailor-made to the type of PC. Or it has to work double time to ensure smooth harmonization to the two different types of devices.

But, putting in mind that Microsoft officials are very much interested in a ‘hybrid’ device that doubles up as a laptop and a tablet. Like their very own Surface Pro 3, chances of the upcoming Windows 9 having a single OS approach are very high. Should this still be the case, then it would be better if Microsoft designs it to detect automatically if a user is on a tablet, laptop or desktop PC or even on a very big wall-mounted monitor. Microsoft has also got to move away from the traditionally difficult process of upgrading from old Windows to a new Windows.

Related: Windows 9 Rumored Features.

It should also back down on the very fast Windows upgrades and releases, which many enterprise IT departments dislike.

Michael Silver, a Gartner analysts says, “Upgrading or keeping Windows current should be like keeping a phone current. It should be smartphone simple… There are a lot of organization that don’t want to be on a fast track for Windows upgrades.”

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