I guess Microsoft is good at this, and will sell bunches of them (eventually!).
Much of the hype around Windows 8 has focused on consumers so far, but Microsoft took the opportunity of its Windows 8.1 Preview launch to show off some of the ways it's been improving the OS for enterprise customers, too. In a late session at the Build developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Microsoft senior program …
I guess Microsoft is good at this, and will sell bunches of them (eventually!).
Can't be any more accurate...
trouble is, most people when they buy a PC have this turd pre-installed and they are not given an alternative. Microsoft play the games with manufacturers to keep their virtual monopoly intact. They play games that stop makers from offering alternative operating systems available. It's not like there are not versions of Linux that are fairly easy to use and decent and I am sure that with the support of makers they could make Linux as easy to use and to install software as it is with Android or iOS or even Windows (though windows has always been hit and miss anyway LOL).
"trouble is, most people when they buy a PC have this turd pre-installed and they are not given an alternative. Microsoft play the games with manufacturers to keep their virtual monopoly intact."
Agreed, but that sense of security is crumbling. People start to realize that they can also wait it out (Windows 7 vs. Windows 8) or better yet: ignore the thing all together and get something different such as a tablet.
Microsoft still seems to be relying on this particular sales model, but the times have changed drastically.
Keep saying it an someone might believe you.
"MSDN and TechNet subscribers can download the preview version now, but you certainly won't be able to deploy the final version for free."
And why wouldn't people subscribed to either TechNet or MSDN be able to deploy the final version for free? We can already do that with version 2012, why would R2 be any different?
Because that is exactly how these environments work. I quote: "Microsoft TechNet Subscriptions help IT Professionals confidently evaluate Microsoft software and plan deployments.", which basically means so much as being able to deploy software and operating systems in specific environments for evaluation and testing purposes. What software you ask? Well: "Microsoft full-version and beta software, with no feature limits". It's this reason why I can easily pick up a full version of Server 2012 right now if I want to. And this has now been extended with the 2012R2 preview and essentials preview versions.
MSDN works basically in the same way, although the focus isn't on the software itself but the purpose to develop software for it: "Software, services and support – you get the complete package for all your development and testing needs." and what do you know? If you check out the MSDN subscriber download page you'll get a good overview of some of the stuff available to MSDN subscribers.
The main difference is the approach. Where TechNet provides a wide variety of software for testing and evaluation, MSDN focusses on development platforms and software for development purposes (you don't only get to download Visual Studio for example, you'll get licenses to grab an accompanying Windows version as well).
SO I don't know where the author got his wisdom from but it doesn't make much sense to me.
'Deploy' as stated in the article obviously means 'in a commercial environment, for business purposes'. Something you're most definitely not allowed to do with an MSDN sub.
Seems pretty clear to me.
When you're a software house, you have a lot of developement and test machines for "business purposes", because that's your business :) And there MSDN is a way to develop and test on several Windows version on several machines without having to buy commercial licenses which are more expensive - you just need an MSDN subscription for each person using them.
Last I checked Microsoft won't even sell Windows 8 to its enterprise customers.
Obviously then it must be pretty bad. Either that or I'm missing something here...
A month ago I was looking into the possibility of finally moving the remainder of our users from Windows XP over to Windows 7. A hundred licenses or thereabouts. Traditionally however our company has never actually purchased Windows (not directly at least). We simply tag on an OEM license with every system purchase as our corporate discount with our hardware vendor makes it extremely affordable versus volume licensing.
Typically then the only time we upgrade Windows on a system is when the hardware itself is upgraded. Our interest in upgrading to Windows 7 however is mostly due to Windows XP's upcoming End-of-Support.
Part of our problem is that bulk of our hardware upgrades were performed out of necessity about half a year before Windows 7 was released and as such the vast majority of our systems have Windows Vista OEM licenses on them. These are systems which won't be changed anytime soon either as desktops tend to last pretty long and we are projecting to keep these systems in commission for at least another three years.
Well, most of them at least. Our hardware upgrade exercise typically involves stretching the purchase through the course of multiple years in order to not wreck our budgets. Buying Windows 7 OEM licenses then wouldn't make much sense as OEM licenses cannot be transferred thus if we did buy Windows 7 OEM licenses we would eventually have to purchase them again every time a system is changed.
This was when I caved in and decided to give volume licensing at least a consideration.
I shouldn't have bothered.
Whenever Microsoft releases a new version of a given product they will always discontinue the volume licensing SKU for the superseded product. When Microsoft released Windows 8 then it was no longer possible to purchase Windows 7. Not through volume licensing at least. This in itself was never much of a problem as Microsoft continues to offer downgrade rights.
The problem here is that as of this moment there is ONLY ONE SKU for Windows 8 in volume licensing form (excluding special editions for government and academic use, at least).
Which is: Windows 8 Pro, Upgrade
And yup, you read that right. UPGRADE. There is absolutely no way to purchase Windows 8 outright in volume licensing form. It must be an upgrade from a previous edition. Plus you will also notice the glaring omission of Windows 8 Enterprise. Yup, that doesn't exist either. The only way to acquire Windows 8 Enterprise is to have your volume licenses on Software Assurance.
And Software Assurance means yearly payments. Stop paying? You're back to Windows Pro. Fun. And while we don't require Enterprise for Windows 8 we do require Enterprise for Windows 7 as BitLocker is a Windows 7 Enterprise feature and downgrade rights obviously dictate that you must own Windows 8 Enterprise in order downgrade to Windows 7 Enterprise. So this was the first major headache.
The second major headache was the upgrade requirement itself.
Microsoft's obvious response to me was; "Well, surely you're already running Windows, right?"
Right. I highlighted to Microsoft that my licenses were all OEM. No problem they enthusiastically claimed. Except that they forgot to mention that original OEM terms which prohibit the transfer of licenses continue to apply. That's right. Even if I upgrade my OEM license Windows XP to volume license Windows 8 I can't transfer the license to another system once I've decided that the hardware needs changing.
This of course was a problem. As previously highlighted, due to our hardware upgrade strategy we do intend on replacing a small number of systems at least two to three times a year.
The third headaches comes courtesy of Windows Activation 2.0 which was another one of the reasons for considering volume licensing: to acquire a KMS/MAK key so that we do not have to manually activate Windows every single time a system is cloned (and we re-clone our systems on every staff turnover in order to give every newcomer a fresh OS installation).
The fourth headache comes when we need to increase our hardware count. When I asked Microsoft what if I wanted to increase my workstation count by 10 they told me to simply put those systems on OEM license. What? Yeah, sure. If there's a Microsoft representative on-site 24/7 to activate the god damned product for me every single time I clone a box then sure. But that isn't going to happen, now is it.
So you can probably tell by now that I'm quite cross.
The only solution right now is to buy Windows 7 retail and manually deal with product activation. VAMT can make this a little less of a headache but it's still going to be quite an annoyance.
All that's left for me to say at this point is...
Microsoft: F**k you.
I don't want to second guess your conversation with Microsoft, but it sounds as though the person you were speaking to didn't have all the facts at hand. In my experience, most of your stated headaches go away if you sign up to an appropriate agreement. Try speaking to your MS representative again, and if you get the same responses ask for a licensing specialist to go over the options with you.
Ignore this message if you have fewer than 100 seats.
Charlie P: Here's the thing. Normally I'd fault my vendor because it really does sound pretty ridiculous that Microsoft would only have an "Upgrade" SKU for Windows 8 volume licensing... but all three of my preferred vendors (and one of them is supposedly a "Gold Volume Licensing Partner") tell me the same story.
That particular "Gold" vendor told me my only option was to make use of Microsoft's "Legalization Offering" which is used to convert all non-genuine Windows copies to genuine... but I was also strongly encouraged against using this option as a company is only given the opportunity to use it once.
I did inquire on less than 100 seats though but not too far off either.
If you have any other suggestions I'd be extremely grateful.
I thought you're not allowed to use disk imaging?
You are correct in that the only volume license SKU is for a Windows Upgrade - this has been the case since Windows Vista I believe. We still have to buy an OEM license with the hardware, but as you originally posted, this is not normally an extravagant cost. My sums still show the OEM+upgrade license being cheaper than a retail copy, and you get the option of adding software assurance to get the Enterprise functionality that you want (BitLocker), as well as custom imaging rights, one VL key common across systems, spread of payments across multiple years and delaying license purchases (depending on which agreement you choose).
I'd better stop now, as I'm not a great MS fan, but there are ways of getting a workable solution in place where you have to :)
Yeah, it's annoying.
What they/you missed is that you can transfer the upgrade license from your old PC to a new one (can't transfer a particular licence more often than every 90 days), so, as long as the new PC has an OEM licence on it, you hold X number of UG licences, which matches your number of people and shuffle them from one machine to the next.
And yes, you do need SA as well to get Enterprise, though when the SA expires (after three years) you don't have to downgrade from Ent to Pro; you had Enterprise rights at the time, and the license is perpetual so they can't take them away again.
The reason for it all is so that Microsoft can maintain their position that every new PC has to have an OEM Windows licence on; if corporates were to start buying bare-metal PCs and sticking a full licence bought from VL on, then you'd be able to buy one for yourself and put Linux on it.
Richard Gadsden: Thanks for your reply!
Actually, most hardware vendors (at least where I'm located) do sell PC's without Windows OEM licenses to enterprise customers. For non-enterprise customers it's a separate story altogether, though.
Also, with respect to being able to use Enterprise even after SA expires... according to Microsoft's Volume Licensing Brief; "Volume Licensing customers with Software Assurance may migrate from a lower edition to a higher edition software product while maintaining their Software Assurance coverage on a given product."
The phrase "while maintaining their Software Assurance coverage on a given product" has me worried. Am I misunderstanding something?
@Entrope: And that's one of the things they trying to get away from, because volume license versions of Windows have *always* been upgrades only but a great many customers didn't realise this and were buying bare metal PCs on the assumption their VL had them covered.
The "while maintaining their Software Assurance coverage" basically means that if you stop paying for Software Assurance, you can no longer upgrade new machines, even if they are replacements for machines that were upgraded - existing machines that were upgraded under SA are fine to remain so.
Microsoft hasn't really fixed anything that matters with 8.1 (e.g., return of the Start Menu), which means 8.1 is primarily a PR stunt involving mostly deckchair rearranging on a sinking ship. The whole mess is still focused on the ridiculous, counter-productive notion of touch on the PC via the hated, execrable and useless Metro UI and the pathetic and nearly pointless Apps Store. And the worse part for Microsoft is that at the same time as totally alienating their bread and butter enterprise and SMB customers, Microsoft doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of becoming a meaningful player in mobile computing with the garbage software they're trying to foist on the consumer public.
Oh, and as an IT consultant who works with 100s of users in dozens of businesses, I don't have a single client that would even remotely consider buying a single Windows 8 system. In fact, there is almost a visceral hatred of Windows 8 by my many of my clients.
Fed cheerfully by you, no doubt.
And you ran it in a VM for roughly 4 minutes for "evaluation" before you made your superinformed decision, right?
Well as you're an "IT consultant" I can imagine you're happy holding people back, since that gives you every opportunity to screw them for consultancy money advising them how to make life difficult increasingly over the next 'n' years supporting old junk.
Meanwhile since we actually show our customers the benefits, we're rolling out Windows 8 to our customers at every opportunity - and this "start menu" nonsense is a complete red herring, and there's no reason to not gain the benefits of Windows 8 for the sake of that - and actually if you show people how to use Windows 8 (y'know training, something most companies I guess don't bother with... more fool them) they adopt it just fine.
The improvements in 8.1 will only go to re-inforcing my positive view of Windows 8. Would I go back to Windows 7? God no, that'd be a horrible retrospective step. Do I miss the start menu? Not really, I haven't been "clicking" though that menu since Vista, and 8 let's me carry on just hitting windows, then typing the name ("word") and voila, off I go...
Agreed, I wonder just how many people have based their opinion of Windows 8 by just such a method.
Additionally, I know of a few large(ish) companies who are exploring the use of Windows 8 (and ultimately 8.1) now.
I think a lot of people fail to realize that it takes a very long time for the enterprise to make a decision regarding desktop OS support. For any devs writing Win 8 apps, there is no choice, they simply must run Windows 8 in order to write Windows Runtime apps. But for everyday corporate users the process takes a hell of a lot longer.
"Meanwhile since we actually show our customers the benefits,"
"and this "start menu" nonsense is a complete red herring"
Is it? Oh ok , well I guess 15 years of UI design must be bullshit then and you're correct - having an early 80s style tiled interface must be the way forward in 2013.
"and 8 let's me carry on just hitting windows, then typing the name ("word") "
Yes, that sounds soooo much simpler than just using a menu.
I smell an MS shill.
I dunno. If fifteen years of UI design is meaningful, then why was there ever a Start Button in the first place? Surely the Program Manager interface was perfection?
Or previously, the DOS prompt?
And again, you're doing that thing where you forget that the desktop is still there and is actually better than the Win7 desktop in many ways and worse in er.... none.
Older is not necessarily good and new is not necessarily better. In my experience Windows 8 needs a fortnight of your time. You spend a week swearing, a week shrugging and then a currently undefined amount of time vowing to never go back.
"Meanwhile since we actually show our customers the benefits, we're rolling out Windows 8 to our customers at every opportunity - ..."
Good for you Sir, I'm all in favour of free training.
Just list a couple of those benefits please. My students will start to buy Windows 8 machines next year I suppose. College uses Windows 7 all through and we haven't got any money for anything. Impeadance mismatch due. Need to start making case for College to reflect likely home systems in a couple of years...
"Data can be marked as belonging to a company, encrypted, and then selectively wiped remotely, leaving the user's own data intact."
Leaving the company? Spice up your gardening leave by watching the corporate data evaporate off your lappy leaving only the lolcat galleries.....
Actually, since the issue of separation of users personal stuff from corporate stuff has been mentioned about BYOD in the past, this seems like a good idea. Are there implementations of this on other platforms?
Blackberry do a good job of doing this, but as nobody's using them, it doesn't matter (my Playbook is now an excellent picture frame).
Any device that uses ActiveSync to collect email can have security settings forced upon them - password requirements etc. You can also wipe the email from the device using the same. This is on Android & Apple devices too.
Not sure if it extends to files though. someone who know what they're talking about will be along shortly!
Now why didn't someone like Blackberry/RIM think to offer something like this?
ActiveSync can extend to wiping the entire device, to remove corporate data after an employee leaves. Obviously that's a very heavyweight response though as the user loses all their personal data too. It's a really big issue for BYOD scenarios and so far Windows 8.1 is the only platform with a solution.
At TechEd Europe this week, one of the keynotes (Day 2 I think) opened with a video that started...
Windows 8.1 .....
... Is more you.
Like a sales assistant in a clothes shop when you try on a second suit after you really didn't like the first one they showed you. "Oh yes, sir. That's much more 'you'." I laughed like a drain.
I don't think they intended it to be taken that way. They're not British, after all.
OK, so I now have a mental image of Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse selling Win8 that just "suits you sir...".
Bugger, now I'm gonna have that catchphrase in my brain all bloody day.
<--- Mine's the jacket with matching trousers and waistcoat.
Or: 'See that desktop? That's you, that is!'
The thing is, there really isn't a viable (yet) alternative. I've been playing with Mint 15 for a while and tbh it is not comparable for mass-usage. And until Apple release their OS as a licenced installable product (on other hardware), then Windows is the only option for non-geeks.
Yes, Steam is there (very cut-down) and everything kind of works, but Flash is uber slow (er) and it just isn't as user-friendly imo.
And while many don't like TIFKAM, I actually do. It's cleared up my desktop and I find the search functionality much more user-friendly.
Horses for courses though.
I paid £25 for Win8 pro - I also liked it (after getting used to bypassing metro) - however since PRISM it's gone. Replaced by Ubuntu. I find my productivity has gone up - web work. Libre office and Base are good - I can use base to directly work on my MySQL tables on the web, GIMP is ok and all the transcoding etc seems to work better on Linux.
"...however since PRISM it's gone..."
Is this some kind of boycott of US products?
Do you think for one moment that GCHQ cannot profile the whole of your online activity across all devices should they decide they need to?
PS: Using Ubuntu Gnome Edition 13.04 with Gnome 3.8 installed just to see what the new RHEL will work like...
I only paid £15 for it.
.....but I don't use the Modern UI or any of the apps. I can't say that i've ever been start menu dependent, anyway. Overall performance and battery life on MY hardware (3 year old i7 EliteBook lappy, high CPU usage music production) is better than W7 Pro. If they can better integrate TIFKAM into the OS and make search less clunky, then it's maybe worth my time to upgrade to 8.1.
I'm due to retire & replace my iPad 1 this summer, and I'd consider a x86 W8 tablet.
That's pretty much my experience right there, although I suspect I probably think more highly of the search features than yourself :)
I have a number of techie friends - consultants, IT Admins, etc - and whenever I mention Windows 8 I immediately get the usual "blurgh", wouldn't touch it with a barge pole response. If I asked how long they'd actually used it for, I suspect the answer would be never or "in a vm for 2 minutes".
I honestly thought I'd struggle without the start menu, but I find the only thing I miss is the recent documents functionality that the Start Menu had. When you're primarily a keyboard user, start screen + search is far superior.
I'm the same. I have Win 8 Pro on my laptop at home and desktop at work. Being not much of a mouse user I'm finding that hitting Start and typing the first one or two characters of the program I need works really well. Search results remember your more popular choices. Get the same on Server 2012 as well.
Getting the button back will be really useful for Windows 2012 R2 - no start button was a huge pain when you're logged in via RDP (which is the way to log into servers, really).
"Getting the button back will be really useful for Windows 2012 R2 - no start button was a huge pain when you're logged in via RDP (which is the way to log into servers, really)."
Don't hold your breath. The "returned" start button just takes you to the tiled Metro screen, which has perhaps a dozen apps visible, rather than the hierarchial Start menu, which had no trouble showing several times that number. If you use your PC for more than just email, web and media consumption, Win8 blows.
@Ken Hagan: In 8.1 you can have the Start Screen default to the new all apps view instead if you want. Which shows much more than the Start Menu ever could.
Many 'normal' consumers have heard that Windows 8 is a lemon. Mostly hearing that from their techie friends who should be impressed by the industrial strength features of 8.1 but hate Microsoft and 8 so much that they won't change their position any time soon. And probably feel that they ought to go with Linux cos it's more hairy-chested (not just beardy).
If Microsoft don't give users what they think they want, they'll find it elsewhere. Witness the vast uptake of Apple and Android products in the past few years.
I may avoid iPod and iPad and iPhone for Apple's cynically exploitative walled-garden approach, but Microsoft seem to be going that way too with the threat of restricted boot PCs -- and applications rental schemes.
If the only Windows versions people actually want (XP and Win7) are ones MS are determined to dump, they are putting themselves and users in a precarious place. My guess is most will jump, or already have.
8.1 looks more a release to add features planned for 8.0 but not ready in time, than a revision of 8.0 mistakes. Some of those features are interesting, but until the 8 UI deosn't return really usable again for users doing more than browsing the Internet, it won't be appealing anyway.
Simply because lets face it - corps buying licenses have to buy the latest offering. Whether they then downgrade that licensing doesn't matter - it's a <new version> license sale.
To compound that the people still buying laptops and desktops for the home - whilst it may be a declining market, it's not yet a dead one - on the whole will stick with whatever OS is on there already.
And let's not forget that your average home user, whilst they may be influenced somewhat by techie friends and family members are _not_ in and of themselves very technical. The fact that your average PC World generally don't sell a computer with anything other than Windows on it means that most will not even know there are alternatives.
Indeed I can't think of anyone outside of my immediate circle of colleagues - and very few within - that even build their own systems anymore thanks to the likes of Dell commoditising the PC over the years.
The average Joe & Jane have mostly been told by their friends that W8 is awful. Being none technical they have invested years getting used to doing things one way, only to find the rug pulled out from under them with W8.
So when they go into Pc World, they play with the W8 Laptops they can afford, (none touch), then amble over to the tablets & find that they do all that they want, without hassle. The salesman seeing this closes the sale rather than watching them walk out the door with nothing. Result, the average consumer now realises there is a real choice to the over spec'd Wintel offerings forced on in the recent past. Prehaps this is what Steve Jobs decided to exploit & labeled the post PC era.
@Green Nigel 42
"...then amble over to the tablets & find that they do all that they want, without hassle."
What are the options for officey type work on a cheap tablet?
Is it Google Apps? Or are there local office apps that can word process and save in MS formats? Just thinking of the students.
If Libreoffice makes it onto Android mind you, I could do 90% of what I need on a cheapo tablet with an external keyboard.
@Green Nigel 42 - I reckon you got it in one. Your description fits one of my groups of friends who have nothing to do with computers other than use them for running their business etc. The tablet is good enough and unless they are running something special like accounts or MRPetc tc they don't need a standard PC (Win, Apple or Linux) . I stood in John Lewises for 20 mins and learnt W8 well enough to feel fine with it and then buy a slab. Get one of these people to look at it for more than a cursory glance and they are fine. But underneath they could care its Win8, And, or App.
As long as they can connect to their network and share docs and edit docs of all types from a central repository they are totally agnostic. And yes that is the post PC era - no blob of data on the desk top in a single geographical location
> If Libreoffice makes it onto Android mind you, I could do 90% of what I need on a cheapo tablet with an external keyboard.
I quite like SoftMaker Office for Android/Windows/Linux.
"This encryption is enabled by default, is invisible to the user, and there are no management settings for it. "
That reads as if a home PC will automatically have the user data encrypted. Is that what happens? It's not unusual for a user to need their data recovering from a system they have completely messed up and can't login.
Eadon is on holiday.
Did we miss him? Nah, thought not.
Ok, you can downvote me now.