Images crafted to specific groups of employees could also be crafted by IT that, for instance, strip all tiles from the Start screen except for the one that leads to the desktop.
"You should also find the people in any given area who are going to be influencers," said Puckett. "There's always someone in every department that everyone knows that they know more [about Windows and computers] than anyone else. Put them in the pilot group for migration and give them a good experience."
Puckett also argued that for the short-term pain of learning Windows 8, users will accumulate long-term gains.
"Like Google and Apple, Microsoft's vision is one interface across multiple devices," Puckett said, talking of desktops, notebooks, tablets and with the upcoming introduction of Windows Phone 8, even smartphones. "Down the road, that cuts down the learning curve."
In Windows' history, said Puckett, moving to Windows 8 doesn't even take top prize as the most disruptive: He gave that dubious award to the Windows 3.1-to-Windows 95 shift that started in mid-1995.
"It's going to be what you make of it," Puckett said. "Targeting groups and prep are going to be key."
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