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back to article 'We asked firms if they were looking at Windows 8, most laughed'

This was the week when Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 8 got what can only be described as a bashing from the folks over at Gartner. Reviewer and research director Gunnar Berger didn't seem to think that the OS was all that good. In fact, when it's not on a touch device, he reckons the software is: In a word: Bad …

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I love how Gartner is ignored routinely by the IT community until suddenly some people hear what they want to hear and start quoting it repeatedly. Misquoting it mind you. It's not "Gartner", it's one employee's blog post and it was one of four or five in a series examining Windows 8. And he was really positive about it.

"My overall opinion on Windows 8 is actually really good. That’s why I’m surprised at the amount of press – they love taking that one sentence and pulling it out of context. That’s driving me nuts. Overall, it’s actually a compelling product, combining a tablet OS and a desktop OS... I think that’s a very smart move."

As to "0xB16B00B5"... instead of removing it, could they not just have added "0xB16C0C" and called it equality?

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Anonymous Coward

Gartner

In my experience it's quite the opposite. I've read tech sites for a number of years and they always rave about Gartners predictions as if the firm is never ever wrong - specifically zdnet they always talk up Gartner predictions.

Then surprise surprise a few days after Gartner said Windows 8 was bad on the desktop Zdnet run a story saying 'who really listens to Gartner?' 'Why should anyone care about their predictions?'

Ironically the advertising on the page of the article was for..... Microsoft. Don't bite the hand that feeds is the message I got..... Regardless of how bad Windows 8 is it will do well simply because there are too many tech sites who rely on their revenue and there are too many astroturfers well placed on those tech sites to big up these products

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 8 = Great tablet OS, Windows 8 != Great desktop OS. It's that simple.

I don't want a phone/tablet interface on a desktop machine. This sort of dumbed down interface was tried with Gnome Unity and lots of people didn't like it.

That said, some bloke from Gartner just trying it out and going "I don't like it" is a bit of a rubbish test, lacking in analysis and results. It's almost like Andy from Little Britain.

Lou: "So what UI do you want Andy?"

Andy: "Metro".

Lou: "But you don't like Metro, you said it wasn't suitable for desktop machines."

Andy: "I want Metro".

Andy: "I don't like it".

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Paris Hilton

@h4rm0ny

Err.... not enough bits, how about "0xB16C00C5"

Should be the pendant grammar icon but I'm going to use Paris (if you pardon the pun), "0xB10070B5" but not "0xB16B00B5" Does anyone else see '7' as a "J"

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Coat

You may be proud of your B16C0C, but it's actually too short......

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Boffin

Most laughed

It looks more like a limp sliver of 0xDEADBEEF.

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Anonymous Coward

"As to "0xB16B00B5"... instead of removing it"

They haven't removed it. It's one of those "magic numbers" that once used can't be changed.

The actual solution in the code is to use a non-hex encoding.

Developer was fired, apparently.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 8 Is Crap

It's an absolute dogs dinner of a desktop environment and I feel for any poor soul who gets lumbered with it. I just cannot see this being used in a business environment and I'm sure windows 7 professional is still going to be demanded by customers and supplied by MS for some time yet.

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Re: Windows 8 Is Crap

Looks like the current chain of alternating bad/good releases will continue then, ME / XP / Vista / 7 / 8

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Re: Windows 8 Is Crap

Sure as eggs is eggs. Sure as every odd numbered Star Trek movie is crap.

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FAIL

Re: Windows 8 Is Crap

Not forgetting odd-numbered World Wars.

Or motorways, come to think of it

Or even TESTICLES

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Re: Windows 8 Is Crap

Alternating good/bad, yes. However, there has been a progressive decrease in usability since XP if you ask me. Windows 7 does the job; but it's fucking useless unless you use something like Classic Shell to restore an XP-style "All my programs are easily accessible again" menu interface.

If it takes extra clicks to get there then you're doing it wrong.

As someone who works on computers, I frequently need to get a lot of letters into it quickly; therefore a proper keyboard is essential as there simply is no way that a touchscreen interface can compare.

Likewise for graphics...the inevitable fingerprints on the (no doubt) glossy screen just makes things harder.

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Re: Windows 8 Is Crap

If you haven't managed to work out that Windows 7 really is faster in doing your usual day-to-day stuff compared to XP then I'm happy to let you continue to struggle. Pressing a single key and typing the first couple of letters of the application, control panel applet or even document is a damn sight quicker than doing it in XP by browsing alone. Honestly, move on and get over it.

And your other points really just point out that you are not in the market for a tablet machine. Fair enough, but hardly makes WIndows 8 crap before it's even released though does it.

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Re: Windows 8 Is Crap

Different people work different ways. I organise programs by category and I can get to anything on the machine in less than two seconds without necessarily being able to remember what the program is called, if I haven't used it in a while. This is achieved with Classic Shell and it's a system that has worked well for me since...well...W95.

The Vista/W7 interface -as is- just isn't as good. There's a lot to like about W7 but the out-of-the-box user interface is just not as good because it takes extra clicks to get there. Add that up over the life of the machine and that's a lot of time wasted.

W8 seems to be going further into "design over function" territory, is all I'm saying. I'm sure it's lovely for tablets and consuming content; but for working and generating content it doesn't seem to be as effective.

That wasn't me on the downvote, by the way.

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Thumb Down

Of course firms aren't looking at Windows 8. They're only really looking at Windows 7 now. No reputable firm is going to look at an OS before launch, or even just after launch, as these things (reviewing) take time. Windows 8 will be taken up in significant amounts when Windows 9 is unveiled, assuming Windows 9 is unveiled in around 2-3 years.

It's been this way for decades, save for XP, as that was around without a new version superseding it for a lot longer than the usual 3 years.

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Pint

I said lunch, not launch!

I misread that as "No reputable firm is going to look at an OS before lunch, or even just after lunch" and thought "well I would look at an OS just after lunch either... gotta ease into things, besides, I'm sure they gave me things during lunch.

Lunch is always better witha pint!

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Windows

Serious question here....

Everyone keeps on about how crap Windows 8 is and it seems to be the Metro interface thats blamed 99% of the time.

I have been running the latest version for a couple of weeks and so far the only time I see it are on startup, press windows key and then on desktop, and the odd occasion I have wanted to access say the control panel.

All the rest of the time I have a desktop that is fully populated with icons to launch programs and open documents.

I have rooted a Google Nexus and burned a new Rom to it, also rooted and added CM9 to an HP touchpad, on top of that been able to do everything I always did without seeing Metro.

So that being the case, is there anything other than Metro being an ugly oversized toysRus interface that people are so negative about.

Yes I hate Metro with a vengance but never see it and the speed of start and shutdown etc is a nice bonus over Windows 7.

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Stop

Re: Serious question here....

All the rest of the time I have a desktop that is fully populated with icons to launch programs and open documents.

That's hardly a windoze 8 feature, all my XP desktops are fully populated with icons to launch programs and open documents

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Meh

Re: Serious question here....

I think it's the fact that the Desktop is the option and Metro the default along with making it completely unfamiliar where things are compared to previous versions of Windows. It took me a few minutes to find out how to shut it down even after I knew it was on the right side menu slide out thing. The things like start up time may tempt me and possibly others to suffer through it but it's very much like one step forward and two back.

Something I saw coming pretty fast after the stupid decision to force Metro on every user has been produced by Stardock. I'm not sure how I feel about it since they're not going to be doing this out of the goodness of their heart but I've yet to see what they get out of it as it's a free download.

http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/

Gonna list versions and features here for anyone interested. The main one that appeals to me is having it load the Desktop by default followed closely by adding a "Run..." to the right-click menu.

Features

- Adds a “Start” menu to the Windows 8 taskbar

- Enables quick access and searching of your installed applications

- Adds Run... option via right-click menu

- Adds Shutdown... option via right-click menu

- Choose a custom Start button image

New in v0.87, July 2012

- Automatically load your Windows desktop on login (vs the start screen)

New in v0.86, March 2012

- Adds control over the "Start" menu size on the Explorer desktop

- Adds option for the "WinKey" to show fullscreen "Metro" desktop

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Serious question here....

TBH I think it is just the Metro thing that is putting people off. The rest of Windows 8 is rather good (for Windows). They've made some big improvements under the hood.

However, the Metro thing is a deal breaker. I hate it. Windows 7/Vista are bad enough with the darkening of the screen for some message boxes. I hate things taking over my screen. I hate context switching. I hate the way it works with a mouse. I hate invisible hot spots on user interfaces. I even dislike the show desktop hotspot on Windows 7 and I can see that. I want things to work when I actively click on it. This is my opinion on my home usage of Windows 8. I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt on a tablet though.

With my IT manager head on: Considering the backlash we've had at work from users over upgrading to Office 2007/2010 from 2003 and the fact that we're having to provide training courses to appease them, I'm sure they're not going to be happy with Windows 8. Some of them even don't get on with Windows 7 and wish they were back on XP. It would cost us another arm and leg retraining people on Windows 8. A cost which can easily be avoided by avoiding Windows 8 altogether. All of our IT department universally (yes even the Windows fans among them) hate Windows 8 and thus it will not be being rolled out at work if we can at all help it.

What I want from Windows 9 is all the good performance and technology enhancements of Windows 8 with the standard Windows desktop GUI. Why not provide Metro as a windowed application running on the standard desktop rather than have the desktop running as an application within Metro ?

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Facepalm

@Ted

"All the rest of the time I have a desktop that is fully populated with icons to launch programs and open documents."

And that is /exactly/ the problem right there. I'm glad it works for you, but I don't /want/ my desktop to be filled up with crap aka dozens of icons. Its a hack and IMO a dumb one (no offense).

I use Word a lot, so I'd need Word in there as well as two of my main templates. So far, so good. But I often use certain documents for certain periods of time. Say I'm writing a report on server migration options as well as risk assessment; I want those reports to be easily accessible. But I'm doing more than that obviously; there are also Excel sheets to work with and sporadically a PowerPoint presentation.

So now I end up making documents (which reside in their own directories of course), only to manually open said file locations and then make symlinks on the desktop for each document which I think I may quickly need. When I'm done with certain reports I don't need those any longer, so then I should remove them again. That's a /lot/ of extra work for no valid reason (other than "Windows can't do it anymore").

Microsoft is violating the golden rule of: "If it isn't broke, don't fix it". What's even worse is that they're /lying/ about it by claiming that the particular tool was actually broken while everyone who gives this a moment of thought will immediately realize that this is poor comedy which doesn't involve the start menu at all. All Microsoft is after is providing an interface which is suited for touch interfaces as best as possible. "Screw the rest".

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Paris Hilton

Re: Serious question here....

"So that being the case, is there anything other than Metro being an ugly oversized toysRus interface that people are so negative about."

Yes, it's called the futility, inconvenience and unnecessary expense of the upgrade treadmill.

XP works + Metro is fucking ugly = no compelling reason to upgrade + very compelling reason not to.

It ain't rocket science.

Maybe Vole should consider releasing something that's, erm, you know - new (in the actual innovation sense, not in the Green Bike Shed® sense) ... and, dare I say it, better, before expecting people to donate their hard-earned readies to the Keep Ballmer in Burgers Foundation.

Me? I'll be giving the whole fiasco a major body-swerve, just as I have for the past decade. But it'll be fun to watch Ballmer sweat even more than usual.

Euch!

OK, maybe not that much fun.

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Re: @Ted

Was under the impression recently used files appear in Windows 8 as they do in Windows 7 / Vista / XP. Although if I was in your shoes I'd just pin the root directory(ies) to the start menu or taskbar.

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Re: Serious question here....

I have an office of 15 people (was 25 until recession / depression hit). We are at around 70/30 (XP/7)split. I won't be giving Redmond anymore money for upgrades that don't produce an out of the box, user friendly product. Win7 was bad enough and created time lost - labor costs that I had to eat.

If I didn't need to use certain proprietary software, I would move the entire office to a Linux distro. I'm so miffed about the MS upgrade treadmill that I stop using any vendor that requires IE to view their site. There are plenty of other vendors that I can do business with and I don't need IE.

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FAIL

Re: @Ted

"So now I end up making documents (which reside in their own directories of course), only to manually open said file locations and then make symlinks on the desktop for each document which I think I may quickly need. When I'm done with certain reports I don't need those any longer, so then I should remove them again. "

Pin Word to taskbar, use jumplist to access recently used documents (or even pin some of them there if you like), exactly the same functionality you had from the Start Menu.

I think some people just seem to like making their life more difficult.

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Go

Windows 8 is brilliant

No doubt the anti MS trolls will be out in force as usual with nothing new to say but after using Windows 8 for a good while now and also spending some time coding for it, it's a really pleasant system to use either on a tablet or on the desktop. Sure it's different and there's a small learning curve to get the most out of it but it's by far my favoured OS of the moment.

As for the article saying that most enterprises were struggling with Windows 7, thats entirely untrue. A shade over 1 Billion users of MS windows are licensed, of that total, well over 600 Million are on Windows 7 (Thats > 600 Million in less than 3 years).

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Black Helicopters

Plastic Green Grass?

Your comment history is, erm, consistent to an amazing degree.

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Linux

Re: Windows 8 is brilliant

Having a tablet interface be the default for a desktop is just moronic. It doesn't matter if Microsoft is doing it, or if Canonical is doing it, or if Apple is doing it.

The "non-geek" crowd simply doesn't take perverse pleasure in finding where Microsoft hid stuff this time.

HID consistency has a 4th dimension to it.

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Re: Windows 8 is brilliant

I'm an admitted geek (although I prefer the term 'nerd') and I don't like finding where Microsoft hid stuff this time either.

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Re: Windows 8 is brilliant

Downvoted for astroturfing.

If you weren't paid for what you do you'd have commented on at least one thing unrelated to Microsoft.

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Re: Windows 8 is brilliant

I've also been using Win8 for a while and can't comprehend the torrent of hate and ridicule being heaped on it here on the Reg. To me it's a nice change, a fresh look, I really like the live tiles. It livens things up and It took me 5 minutes to figure it all out. The high-tech early-adopter types that post here apparently have outgrown their youthful interest in the 'new' and would now like things to remain changeless until they're are lowered into their massive stone tombs. How sad, really.

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Pirate

Re: Windows 8 is brilliant

Time to change meds!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows 8 is brilliant

Yes, Genuine Windows 8® is fantastically brilliant in super-cool kinda way. I pre-ordered 200 copies just as a big thank you to Mr. Ballmer, who is the greatest CEO ever, even though I don't even own a PC! I love giving all my money to Microsoft, because its such a kind and gentle corporation that saves puppies from fire-breathing dragons. I'm planning my Windows 8 Party® already, with lots of cake and cookies and soda, and there'll be fun games with prizes, such as free laptops with Genuine Windows 8®, for those who pretend to be impartial commentards on Web forums, who promote Genuine Windows 8® by saying lots of nice things about it.

~Syed Kazmi, Microsoft India.

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Coat

0xB16B00B5

I don't see why it's such a big deal, I personally go for the more petite figure.

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Re: 0xB16B00B5

The yanks freak out over boobs. See the stupid fuss over the "oh my god, if you slow down the replay and zoom in you can sort of see a boob for a second" super bowl thing.

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Happy

Windows 8 - for the Devs

Must.... Bash... Microsoft, people on this site need to wake up.

As a developer, I'm really looking forward to working with WinRT. It opens the doors to so many developers its great! Javascript, C++, C#, VB can all directly access the WinRT API - Using XAML as the front end. Whilst WinRT has its limitations, Microsoft have realised this and so you can still use your Win32 applications. Apple/Google/anything Unix don't offer anything as exciting as this.

Microsoft don't need to push Windows 8 to the business sector (nothing wrong with trying) but they have Windows 7 for that. They are using a pincer movement, using two operating systems to target a customer. When Apple did this with the iPad 2 + 3 (targeting different price brackets), they were applauded for it.

As for the two different versions of Windows 8, again, It's a great pincer movement, but its going to confuse the hell out of the average Jo - So I'm not sure how that is going to pan out.

We all know that Windows 8 isn't going to be one of the Great OS's, but it certainly isn't going to be a Vista. It's the building block to the new era of touch + sound interaction.

[Insert bash comments below]

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FAIL

@divx

"Microsoft don't need to push Windows 8 to the business sector (nothing wrong with trying) but they have Windows 7 for that."

Sure, but there's a potential flaw in your reasoning there: history shows that as soon as a new Windows version is released Microsoft will stop selling the previous version.

SO if companies need new PCs, then what ?

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Re: @divx

As a business with more than 5 PC's I'd assume you buy via a volume licence agreement. In which case you would use Windows 7 rather than Windows 8. Lookup downgrade rights.

Most OEM's will also provide downgrade rights if you order a Windows licence via a PC that's tied to the hardware at no extra cost other than the media. (E.g. Dell and HP do this).

That's how.

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Re: @divx

Build your own. We do (admittedly we are very small, but we do need high spec. machines). It is simple, it can save you money and/or give you a better spec. for the same budget.

And the best savings (and performance) are achieved by loading a Linux OS when you are done.

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Anonymous Coward

Misleading Headline

"'We asked firms if they were looking at Windows 8, most laughed'"

I would say was intended to imply it's due to the quality of Windows 8, re-inforcing the rather tiresome Metro backlash. However it then goes on to say:

"The fact is most enterprises are still trying to get to Windows 7 and few enterprises are ready for Windows 8."

So in actual fact it's just due to your typical business IT timescale then, same as for every previous version of Windows. I'm pretty sure you could have asked a similar question in the run up to any previous version of Windows and got a similar response due the simple fact businesses are generally rolling out software a lot later than consumers.

Really, nothing very exciting at all, but makes for a attention-grabbing headline for all the Metro whiners, and gives them an excuse to once again unleash their futile diatribes about how awful it is and how it spells the end for Microsoft, blah, blah.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Misleading Headline

I agreed with you up to the last paragraph. At which point you demonstrate that you're another of the types who having a discussion/argument with is so futile one might as well be trying to prove a negative.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Misleading Headline

Yeah right. I have a pretty balanced view of Windows 8; it's basically just a slightly improved Windows 7 with a new UI. It's pretty obvious Metro isn't ideal for desktops, regardless of what Microsoft claims, and I think they're probably aware of that but are going ahead with it on all form factors regardless, in order to leverage their way into tablets.

If your response to a slightly annoying UI in an otherwise improved OS, that you don't even have to use the majority of the time is to piss and moan all over the place about how it spells the end for Microsoft and how Windows 8 is the new Me/Vista, how everyone will hate it, etc. etc. then you're the one there's no point having a discussion with (not that you are necessarily one of those people, but there's plenty of people like that on here and other tech sites).

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Boffin

The Greeks demonstrated a method for proving a negative -

that, for example, the square root of 2 is not a rational number, quite some time ago (whether or not the proof in Eukleides' «Elements» is an interpolation). Just because the intellectually challenged, like Donald Henry Rumsfeld and his ilk, don't get it doesn't mean that it is beyond the grasp of the average Reg Reader....

Henri

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 8 - quoi ?

Working for an organisation still issuing XP laptops (upgrade to Windows 7 has been carefully trialled, and being phased in over the next 6 months) I can tell you it's going to be 3 or 4 years before we have the stomach to go through another upgrade cycle. Our desktops are still XP. Although the server team are a little ahead of the game on 2008, with upgrades to 2010 being evaluated.

I think we have reached the point where you can no longer have the same product stream for domestic and commercial use. I know it seems like a retrograde step, but they move to different drum beats.

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Re: Windows 8 - quoi ?

we are the same. XP + svr 2003. svr 2003 -> 2008R2 and recently exchange 2003 to 2010 with a move from office 2003 to 2010 (no plans to upgrade SQL 2005). W7 has been trialled as some laptops dont have XP drivers. I'd say less than 10% W7 machines.

We use a universal XP installer (driver packs + KMS + FOG server for domain join, its a click and go solution) and we have a universal W7 installer too (driver pack + KMS + FOG so again a click and go for a seamless installation and domain join) that being said we do have a lot of P4 machines still - old GX520 dells with 1Gb RAM that do *work* in W7 but work better in XP.

W8? Nope. Perhaps on a few evaluation tablets to see how they work on the domain.

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Stop

Re: Windows 8 - quoi ?

You really should upgrade SQL to at least 2K8R2 if not go to 2012. There is so much improved between the way 2k5 and 2k8 that it doesn't make sense not to.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm

"'We asked firms if they were looking at Windows 8, most laughed'"

No surprise there then!

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Flame

What next, RetrOS?

Okay, the windows monolith is flaking. Each iteration takes longer for large firms to adapt to, as they try to control functions which add power but could be misused. Our sissies have recently recaptured the task manager - how dare users shoot down applications that are infinite-looping!

So we need a different split: a draconian low-functionality system for corporate IT security, and a modern lean OS for private users -whether screen diagonal is 4in or 115in. Could be Windows 9 and 8 respectively.

Luckily, by next time, you'll be able to run any corporate RetrOS on VMware in a corner of a mobile phone.

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Meh

Will be testing W8 at somepoint in the next few months.

We have been using W7 since late 2011, users and myself are happy with that as a stable OS.

I am more interested how the W8 on a tablet and the integration with our existing software - presently using Apple Fondle Slabs (and happy with quality but a little expensive).

After all when you go round Tesco, all you hear are the WM5 sounds on handheld scanners.

I think this is where the main sales will be made and integration with existing windows business software all on the same or similar platform, this is effectively a business table addition and update for the old windows mobile platform – of which we still have a number of these devices still in service.

The added advantage of a Windows Fondle Slab is that though they are portable they are not as desirable as iPads – so less of a theft risk.

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