Locking the stable door after the horse has bolted

 

Later this month, the beta release of Windows Threshold will arrive. No doubt protestors of ‘Not moving to Windows 8’ will be celebrating the demise of 8 in much the same way they probably thought they’d quashed Vista. But, it’s a hollow victory, delaying the inevitable has achieved nothing in the long run with the exception of holding back companies and individuals computing ability, keeping them stuck in the same old rut. Shortly, users will be two steps behind the current o/s standards.

Tripped over at the first hurdle.

Totally avoiding the upgrade leads to problems, in that not being aware of basic o/s functionality. I uupreviously described the great UAC dilemma, where users who avoided Vista, and that upgraded from XP direct to 7 suddenly found they couldn’t run certain software, or install additional software as they’re weren’t administrators of their own machine. The introduction of core level security threw IT and users alike.

The ‘problem’ overlooked by company IT in a lot of cases lead to third party suppliers having to explain the UAC concept, and even having to work around the issue as the roll out of the o/s upgrade was now in situ. Effectively passing on the problem of their oversight.

Vista for all its problems was effectively Windows 7 mark I, if users had changed or looked into this then the problem would never have occurred.

Oh no it’s not!

Alienation and for want of a better phrase pure ignorance has been the blight of Windows 8. In previous articles I’ve sung it’s praises, purely because the o\s can provide a whole new aspect on computing, different devices shared files etc. That was never easily replicated in previous versions. The biggest protests over 8 by users are:

Its touchscreen version

No, no a million times no. 8 was designed to incorporate touch properly, it’s still a valid desktop operating system for those chained to the desktop. There are features in 8 that will be there in Threshold too which make computing easy, the search facility to name but one.

8.1 and the forthcoming Threshold release expanded on ease. There’s a chap on linked in who constantly moans about this, who sadly is a chief technical IT person for what appears to be a large company. Personally I find tis a tad scary that someone a such a high position, can have such ignorance. Properly assessing the benefits that Windows 8 brings other then wording about the distribution, would make most IT sections life a whole lot easier.

 

There’s no start button or desktop

And the problem is ? I work as a support analyst, part of the role is to get on user desktop occasionally to address problems running the software my current company provides.

IT Security, and safe working practices in line with data protection, company rules and even legislative practice such as Gcsx/PSN effectively lock down the use of the start button, some to prevent any accidental damage caused by the user. So how can you miss what you don’t actually use?

Threshold promises the full return of the start button (not that there’s anything wrong with the 8.1 version), and an inclusion of the tile system on the same menu. So IT can be elated now and have something else to moan about, as they will have to start locking down the feature.

As for desktops again through painful experience, users litter the desktop with shortcuts so they can do their work. Threshold will still utilise 8 basic structure, so shortcuts can be pinned to the task bar, or made simply by a right click menu choice once the application is found by a simple search. There is no difference between 7 and 8 in the ability to keep this untidy working practice.

The tile or metro screen is ideally suited to replace shortcuts, and obviously eases the use of apps (yes you’ll still have those in threshold), so again another suspicion of something ‘new’ will no doubt have restricted applying the ease of use of a computer to users.

Cost and process.

At the end of October 2014, Windows 7 will disappear from retail totally, for those late on the up take XP to threshold will be quite a leap, for people who moved to 7 will find the move easier but, still another move to process and handle across an organisation.

People who swapped to 7 made a false economy, shortly the o/s will need replacing again, this will mean paying out for new software, or even new machinery. Protesting against change has introduced a new project and further costs, in addition to that the actual hardware will have got older and fallen behind.

8 move to Threshold promises to be a upgrade via the store, a simple easily maintainable way. For sites with multiple users, there’s the usual multiple roll out help .

 

The shape of things to come.

Like it or not, computing has changed for business and individuals alike. The requirement of flexible working, starting your work on one device and having it available on another isn’t a gimmick, its now essential to all.

Windows 8 made a bold step to shape this future, and a lot of folk thought they were having control taken away from them and didn’t like the change. Well here’s the news, by not keeping up a dinosaur culture, has arose. IT sections are struggling to control servers and desktops, as the software with its faults starts to trip up regularly due to all the updates, patches and fixes having to be done to the OS.

Threshold promises to be the base of all windows releases from now on, there will be no Windows 10, simply enhancements to the base, in much the same way as 8.1 was to version 8. This is already a norm and some IT are ready, the question is, is your IT and staff ready.