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Windows 8 earns a second chance in enterprise after changes

Gregg Keizer | June 3, 2013
Windows 8.1's boot-to-desktop, Start button restoration removes businesses' biggest objection, argues analyst

David Johnson, of Forrester Research, for instance, recently said Windows 8 is a "non-starter" because IT managers see little value in switching from the proven Windows 7.

Windows 8.1 and the second-generation tablets that it will spawn should also improve Microsoft's mobile chances in the enterprise, Moorhead maintained, citing devices from Hewlett-Packard and Dell powered by Intel's Clover Trail architecture. "A more mature OS, and lot better tablet platforms could gain some tremendous share of the tablet market [for Microsoft]," Moorhead said.

As a pair of analysts from Directions on Microsoft did yesterday, Moorhead said Microsoft should be praised for reacting to user complaints by making changes in Windows 8.1, and applauded for moving quickly — for the giant developer, at least — to ready the update.

He also echoed the Directions analysts — Miller and Michael Cherry — in his hope that Microsoft would aggressively recruit developers for Windows 8 Modern apps at the BUILD conference a month from now.

"Microsoft really needs to make its case to developers at BUILD," said Moorhead, who has been a long-time critic of the Modern app ecosystem and the quality of the apps that have so far reached the Windows Store. "There's no better venue than BUILD to make their case, especially to tier-2 developers, like the Comcasts, the Time Warners, the apps that are important to people."

Moorhead even saw Microsoft's strategy in its bit-here-bit-there revelations about Windows 8.1 and its contents. "I think this communication [the disclosure Thursday of some of the update's changes and new features] was timed to take a major objection off the table before BUILD," said Moorhead. "It goes a long way to give some assurances to app developers, and will make them willing to take action and willing to change their thinking about Windows 8."

BUILD will run June 26-28 in San Francisco, and if Microsoft follows past practice, the conference will kick off with a live-webcast keynote Wednesday, June 26.


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