Windows 8 hasn’t even been released yet, but with the big day approaching this Friday it’s a good time to think about your business migration strategy.
Many businesses have just recently moved to Windows 7 or are in the process of doing so. It’s typical that the business operating system migration cycle lags a little behind the consumer trend. But if you’re still relying on Windows XP and haven’t done a hardware refresh in several years, now might be the time to plan your upgrade. Support for Windows XP is ending April 2014.
Microsoft’s new operating system is the most significantly different change since Windows 95, and the changes are all about mobility. There’s interesting new form factors in PCs to consider to complement Windows 8’s touch interface, or perhaps your current systems could benefit from an upgrade to the new OS. TechTarget has put out a top 10 list of things to consider for a successful Windows 8 deployment, sponsored by Dell. You’ll have to register to see the full thing, but here’s a quick preview of what to think about.
Expect multiple form factors
We’re living in what’s been called a post-PC era, but more accurately we’re living in an era where PCs take on many different form factors. No longer is it merely a choice between a desktop and a laptop computer, now there are smartphones, tablets, hybrids, netbooks, and Ultrabooks to consider. That means a varied array of user devices with different approaching to app deployment and different support needs. Businesses should consider virtualization options and mobile device management solutions to prepare for a more dynamic end-point environment.
Be prepared for problems
Don’t just assume your OS migration will go smoothly – the old axiom of hoping for the best but preparing for the worst is appropriate. To avoid problems with your installs, go through an audit process on company PCs that identifies what is currently installed, and conduct compatibility tests with those critical applications. Don’t forget to test Web-based software too.
Hardware matters too
If you are running Windows XP on PCs that you bought more than three years ago, don’t expect to roll out a modern OS on them and see great performance. Take heed of the minimum requirements that come with Windows 8 and make sure your company’s computers are up to snuff. It’s best to work with 64-bit clients for the new OS, for example, whereas 32-bit clients made up the majority of computers until very recently.