IT Management Slideshow: 10 Things CIOs Need to Know About Windows 8

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 09-29-2011

10 Things CIOs Need to Know About Windows 8

Tablets Are A GoOver the last year, Microsoft has been panned by those who say the company hasn't done enough to bring Windows to tablets. Windows 8 is much different, thanks to its improved multi-touch features and ARM chip support. Expect to find Windows 8 on a host of tablets next year.

10 Things CIOs Need to Know About Windows 8

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Consumers Will Like ItMost industry analysts expect Windows 8 to be a wildly popular option for consumers around the globe. In fact, some say that the company could sell hundreds of millions of licenses before it moves on to Windows 9. Not bad.

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Employees Might Not Feel At HomeWindows 8 brings a host of design changes to the enterprise that might scare some employees. For example, the OS will rely heavily upon Microsoft's "tiles" idea. Microsoft is hedging its bets, though: Unhappy users will be able to revert back to the old interface.

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Security Improvements?Microsoft says that Windows 8 will deliver improved security over Windows 7. Of course, that doesn't mean your network will be totally secure -- far from it -- but you should be able to rest a bit easier with Windows 8 running in your office.

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It's Launching Next YearMicrosoft hasn't pegged an exact release date yet, but now is the time to start mapping out your plans for Windows 8.

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The Better-Than-Windows-7 Pitch?Of course, Microsoft has yet to make a clear case for why the enterprise should ditch Windows 7. As Microsoft releases more details in the coming months, your decision will be easier.

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Apps GaloreAfter Apple launched its Mac App Store for Mac OS X, it became clear that Microsoft would have to respond. Windows 8 will have its own apps marketplace, which will make adding apps much easier than in the past. On the downside, employees might be able to download apps themselves that aren't work-related.

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Pricing Might ImproveWith ARM processors supported in Windows 8, getting a new PC might be cheaper. ARM is gunning for Intel's component market share, which could mean a price war on the supplier side. In the process, PC vendors might pass on the savings to customers like you.

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PC Vendor Support PC vendors initially said they supported the ill-fated Windows Vista operating system. As critics took aim at Vista, vendors offered "downgrade rights" to customers, allowing them to run Windows XP instead. So far, PC vendors, including HP and Dell, have lined up behind Windows 8. But as Vista proved, who really knows what the future holds?

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The InterfaceAs history has shown, Microsoft doesn't like to drastically change up its Windows user interface all that often. Every major change makes it hard for users to adapt to the OS, which potentially puts Microsoft at risk. Expect the new user interface to be around for quite awhile.

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