CyberTech Rambler

July 23, 2012

Windows 8 not suitable for business?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 6:36 pm

Gartner analyst Gunnar Berger feels that Windows 8 is not really designed for the Enterprise but for the tablet device. One key concern is it emphasize touch too much that makes it difficult to use on a non-touch device, such as the majority of the desktop today. This would be bad on a non-touch screen on a desktop, and worse for Enterprise as one extremely useful trick is for admin to remotely view the screen of a computer to figure out how to help the user.

I share that concerns. However, I do not think the issue is going to be a deal breaker. It is a brave move, one betting on all desktop will eventually have touch screen. If everyone has a touch screen than this problem will go away. One can get desktop with touch screen today (although mostly restricted to high end model). From an enterprise  context replacing administrators’ computer with a touch screen model does not cost much and is doable. My question is, will touch screen take hold on Desktop?

Steve Jobs, when introducing the “Magic Track Pad”, says that users what what “gesture” is on iPhones and iPad but find touching the desktop screen less useful on desktop screen. While I say take this with a pinch of salt (because, if he were still alive, he will reverse himself when launching a Mac computer/desktop with touch screen), I agree with him. Firstly, desktop windows tend to be at an awkward angle to perform the multi-touch gesture, i.e. vertical,  Secondly, it is quite a distance away from the person, making it more difficult to reach.  Finally, they tend to be larger than what one normally feel  comfortable to use: I  believe anyone finding that they have to move their elbow to reach the corners of the screen as too large.

Could I be wrong? To paraphase Berger, “I am not a Garnter Analyst so I do not have data to back me up”. Who knows?

For example, in my opinion Apple’s 30″ iMac are simply too large, and I am not alone. I have a 27″ one, and people with 30″ actually prefer mine then theirs. However, make that 30″ screen a touch screen, ditch the physical keyboard and mouse, put it horizontally or almost horizontally  in front of me like a draftman’s table, will this work? Almost definitely!

Is it worth the bet? Definitely. If touch-enabled, Windows Metro Desktop tiles can be very useful. Especially for system administrator. it is not unusual for system administrator to have lots of windows monitoring the health of their system neatly arranged on their desktop to give a view of their system at a glance. That translate nicely to tiles. If, as expected, touching a tile bring up the controls for the aspect in question, that will be the nirvana of the administrator. Sure, you can do it on existing Windows tablets or Windows Desktop, Linux or Mac, but it will be more difficult to implement or in the case of Windows tablets, too small a screen to do anything useful.



  1. Windows 8 represents Microsoft’s attempt to return to the consumer market.

    Not that they are planning to abandon the enterprise market. Far from it.

    For some years now, Microsoft decided to embrace a joint Enterprise/Consumer strategy. Windows 8 is just their most recent sign of their new strategy.

    Comment by Ian Easson — July 24, 2012 @ 6:45 am | Reply

  2. Even with a huge vertical touch screen, how would you use photoshop, illustrator and your browser at the same time flawlessly in metro. No way you can do that. You would work on a project for ages in shiny tile country.

    And would you type a 10 page essay on a vertical touch screen? Didn’t think so.

    When I turn on my desktop It’s work time, and Metro just slows me down. This interface is for children and people who don’t actually work much on their desktop.

    Calling windows 8 professional or corporate is a lie at best. With metro microsoft offers me a toy when i need a shovel to get the job done. Fail of the decade.

    Comment by Tibor — January 22, 2013 @ 7:21 am | Reply

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