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How to solve 4 impending Windows 8 problems

John Brandon | June 12, 2013
Enterprises have been slow to adopt Windows 8--and when they have, they've encountered migration, usability, security and hardware issues. Luckily, these challenges aren't impossible to overcome.

"Microsoft development tools provide the capability to create new mobile APPX applications," he says. Those apps, he adds, run across all touch-enabled Windows 8 Pro and RT devices and from Windows 8 phones to laptops.

"Engaging an expert partner to assist in an app modernization initiative for Windows 8 can be a good investment," Chew says, because it tends to have "necessary processes and resources in place." Unisys, for example, has an app factory where it recodes applications and develops new mobile apps for clients who use Windows 8.

Windows 8 Problem No. 3: Migration to Touch-Enabled Devices

Solution: Develop a strategy and analyze the costs.

We've entered the wild, unpredictable world of touch computing. Many new laptops are now touch-enabled, and Windows 8 works well with Windows Phone 8 smartphones and tablets that use a similar UI.

That's mostly a good thing-yet as Constantin Delivanis, co-founder and CEO of data-as-a-service company BDNA says, migrating from earlier versions of Windows to Windows 7 was not as profound. Companies should develop a touch-computing strategy as part of migration plans, and examine the total cost of doing so.

When enterprises migrated to Windows 7, Delivanis says, it was primarily for technological reasons such as the rapidly approaching Windows XP end date or the future role of desktop environments in the organization. "However, migrating to Windows 8 is more of a business strategy, as implications of a Windows 8 migration will impact the entire platform from desktops to mobile devices."

Delivanis says executives should also look closely at migration costs associated with touch computing, as Windows 8 touch apps are still untested in the market. The economic decision comes down to doing a Windows rollout now in prep for the April 2014 end date for Windows XP or moving to Windows 7 and postponing your touch computing strategy.

Windows 8 Problem No. 4: Lax Security in a BYOD World

Solution: Develop new work-personal policies.

Windows 8 provides an opportunity to develop new BYOD security policies. It's a problem plaguing IT shops at every turn, but Windows 8 encourages even more personal use. There are more social media connections with apps, including the ability to post to Twitter and Facebook. The Metro UI encourages users to create and post photos and other content.

Policies for how employees use Windows 8 for personal user and work productivity can help. "You can be as restrictive or progressive as your situation and levels of acceptable risk warrant," Chew says.

An expansive policy lets workers use corporate devices during "leisure time" is better than blocking access outside normal working hours, he suggests. "[Employees] will take the opportunity to deal with incoming work-related items in real time, increasing the productivity for which you're migrating to Windows 8 in the first place."

 

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