back to article Microsoft to biz: Just so you get off XP, we don't mind if you go Win 7

Despite the shiny, consumer-friendly crayon box of Surface and the Glee-style TV ads, Microsoft wants us to know that Windows 8 has a serious side, and is perfect for the enterprise. But it seems that a lot of its business-class features might be inaccessible to the very people it is attempting to target. At an event in London …


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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Why does a business operating system need Facebook, Music, Messaging, XBox, Shopping, Gallery, Video and Game links? Win 8 is the most childish interface I have ever seen and I would be embarrassed to have it on my screen during a business meeting.

    1. Test Man

      They won't - their builds will have these things stripped out and their own Modern UI-based apps installed instead. Just like every other version of Windows that businesses adopts - it's customisable for deploying.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why does a business operating system need Facebook, Music, Messaging, XBox, Shopping, Gallery, Video and Game links?"

      Judging by some of the places I have worked in the past, I am of the opinion that your list forms the prerequisites for just about every tech support team.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Win 8 is the most childish interface I have ever seen..."

      Whilst it may not be to your liking, or indeed perhaps mine, it will appeal to the plebeian horde i.e. those who, for example, do not know the difference between Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer (and there are a lot of them out there).

      Personally, I have found it easy to use once a few new rules have been established in my mind. Do I like it? No, not particularly. Does that mean it's crap? Well, yes to me perhaps, but for the Windows consumer massive, it seems destined to go down quite well judging by early feedback I have heard personally.

      As for the childish interface, well, that's just personal taste. But with time, as more touch based devices are used we will be moving away from fiddly little links and menus. Unfortunately, I believe that Windows 8 is a preview of the way things will be in years to come.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Yeah right...

    "Those enterprise features? Well, there's Windows To Go, which lets you boot your desktop from a USB"

    As if any sane enterprise sysadmin team would allow remote USB sticks to be plugged into their network and actually boot a computer with something unknown; something which could have been infected with god knows what.

    Are you serious Microsoft?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah right...

      Sounds like it would be a useful administrator tool to me.

      Lock boot to the hard disk, if an support bod needs to boot from USB, they'll have the BIOS/uEFI password.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: Yeah right...

        Never mind that. Why wouldn't you allow consumers to boot from USB? It's been in Linux for years and is useful. Even my Linux-phobic friends keep a USB stick with Linux on hand for emergencies.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Why wouldn't you allow consumers to boot from USB?"

          Which is fine if you know the provenance of the USB stick otherwise ....!!

          1. Rambler88

            Re: "Why wouldn't you allow consumers to boot from USB?"

            They'd never do it anyway--it would let the users who know better than the support team how to fix certain workstation problems do it without getting caught. (They're the only ones who have a clue what booting from a USB means.) No going back to those days!

        2. mego

          Re: Yeah right...

          "Even my Linux-phobic friends keep a USB stick with Linux on hand for emergencies"

          So, in conclusion, businesses must be as carefree as your mates with their home computers? Whoa. I wonder if I can get the CTO right now, if I mention that your mates use USB boot on their home machines I'm bound to get this passed through!

          Thanks mate!!!

          1. Richard Wharram

            Re: Yeah right...

            OK. You really missed the point badly.

            MS is ALLOWING boot from USB for ENTERPRISES.

            MS is NOT ALLOWING it for CONSUMERS.

            My argument is that CONSUMERS want this. Businesses may or may not, doesn't affect my argument.

            Thanks mate!!!

  3. hplasm Silver badge

    Windows To Go

    What a nice headline that would make...

  4. pixl97

    Metro in business? Why?

    I use windows 8 on my computer, I've not even replaced the start screen thinggy with a old style menu... but I pretty much disable all the metro file associations and stay the hell away from metro apps. I don't see how any business multitasking environment could use them on the desktop. I mean most people I see working in businesses don't have one application open. They have from 'a few' to 'OMFG, how do you find the one your are looking for' open at any given time. So far trying to run more then one metro app in multiple screens has ended in odd behavior for me.

    I want to see one of these big businesses move someone above call center level to metro apps and see how that works out for them before I force that on anyone I know. Metro apps are going to be 'fun' to debug on the desktop, simply because they work differently and the IT world mostly doesn't have experience with the issues that are going to crop up.

    1. janimal

      Re: Metro in business? Why?

      I think the idea MS are aiming for is that you use a seperate win 8 machine running metro for each app.

      Say one lappy with vis studio open, another with spec docs open for reference, another with your UML graphing app open, another for your e-mail. You might need a bigger desk though.

      1. dogged

        Re: Metro in business? Why?

        I realize from the coat icon that you're kidding but that has to be the most retarded comment I've ever seen, even if you include Barry Shitpeas and BIG DUMB GUY.

        Win8 has a desktop and can do all of Win7's desktop things.

  5. Joe Drunk

    Ballmer and company clearly have no idea about how enterprise IT works. No matter what trick or carrot you dangle convincing these enterprises that their OS/PC refresh should align themselves with Microsoft's OS release cycles just isn't going to happen. Like many large MS shops we just upgraded to Win 7 this past summer from XP and there's still some kinks with some departments' apps that have surfaced.

    Updating an OS and updating an application are two fundamentally different beasts, something that needs to be apparently explained in simple language to Mr. Baller and co. (possibly via a Powerpoint presentation).

    Beer icon because it's Friday and I thank God for that and for the fact that I no longer do production support.

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    Ruggedised Panasonic laptops

    I believe that most enterprises and SMEs are NOT using "Ruggedised Panasonic laptops" within the workplace.

    These Panasonic Laptops ( I presume that they are the C2 Versions) have something the most people at work don't have TOUCH SCREENS.

    W8 was built for use with Touch Interfaces and people that like Social Networking.

    It's a bit like showing off what the latest Military Amphibious Vehicule can do at a 4*4 conference. It looks great but no one is going to rush out and buy one, 1st they are not readilly available, they are costly and serve no real purpose on a daily basis..

  7. Perror

    Good smokin' huh?

    Dunno what the author was smoking when writing page 2, but on Windows 8 there is no sideloading of Windows 7 applications required (just install them as you always have) so I don't see where any licensing minefields can arise other than those that already existed previously, and you certainly do not need Win8 Enterprise to be able to join a domain (Pro does that just fine). Also, RT can't join domains.

    Are you sure you have actually USED what you're talking about? It doesn't read like you have...

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Good smokin' huh?

      I have to admit I was quite taken aback to read that Win8 Pro can't join a domain... I've not needed to do that with a Win8 machine anywhere yet (nobody in their right mind would try doing serious work in Metro - note from the article that even in the showcase pilot schemes it was mainly useless people like Managers who got it) so hadn't tried it myself.

      The more time I spend with Windows 8 the more firmly I am convinced that Metro is the very worst user interface ever seen on a PC... I think the only positive thing I can say about Win 8 is that the file copy dialogues are better!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good smokin' huh?

        Windows 8 PRO can join a domain just fine - I have 2 PCs at home upgraded and 1 clean-installed that happily remained or joined my W2K8R2 domain.

  8. Spoddyhalfwit

    At first I thought Windows 8 was a massive failure for the enterprise market. But now I see what Microsoft is doing.

    Businesses know XP support will end soon. Now they see Windows 8 on the horizon, and they are scared.

    So what do they do - upgrade to Windows 7 before its withdrawn. And an upgrade to Windows 7 is pricier than to Windows 8. Kerching!

  9. CHRoNoSS


    just saw a win 7 pc less then a few days old

    25 virii

    twenty 5

    this person has never had virii in ten years a xp use....

    this is awful sign.....

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: virii

      You got neged, not because of any problem with the content of your post, but because you wrote "twenty 5."

      Look, it's "25" or "twenty-five," pick one. Do not mix them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: virii

        Did you understand what he said? Did you have any confusion over what he was referring to? No? Then so what?

        Pedantry in spelling or arithmetic is still pendatry.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: virii

          1) It's written "pedantry"

          2) Pedantry is useful, especially when used on people who need it

          3) Additional downvote for "virii". It's even more pretentious/wannabe than "cyber" and it's wrong to boot.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: virii

      Downvoted because the post contains exclusively gibberish.

  10. jb99

    classic shell

    Install windows 8, install "classic shell". Carry on as if you were using windows 7.

    Except you can press shift-windows to get to the square blocky screen should you feel the need. I hardly every do.

    1. Zmodem

      Re: classic shell

      or just use windows 7 and do the so :

      1 > making your pc yours, and giving install user full control of the desktop and use as normal without 100s of popups saying you cannot edit/copy/etc here or this file

      right click on "Windows" install folder and choose properties

      click on the security tab on the properties popup

      click on the advanced button of the security tab, on the new advanced security settings popup click on the owner tab..

      click on the edit button and select Administrators group and check the "replace owner on subcontainers and objects" checkbox and then click the apply button. when taking ownership has finished, click on the permissions tab

      click the "change permisssions" button. select the Administrators group and click on the edit button and give full control to the Administrators group.. click the "ok" button to close the popup, check the "replace all child object permissions..." checkbox and then press "apply" on the advanced security settings for the folder

      then do the same on the "Program files" folder..

      make sure your account is an Administrator by going to :: control panel -> user accounts and family safety -> user accounts :: and clicking on "change account type", or click on start menu and run lusrmgr.msc to manage existing or custom user and system groups

      and then restart windows 7

      2 > not getting bored before you start

      goto control panel -> user accounts and family safety -> user accounts

      click on the "change user account control settings" and disable all message notifications

      3 > making windows work

      download and install the following applications, if needed : //change logon background and other basic UI stuff //after installing, right click on a file or folder and goto dmex configuration and disable showing the strawberry in menu

      tweak all the core system stuff using x-setup, most of the plugins still work, you can just fix or make new plugs in notepad

      4 > disable some worthless MS junk and speed up the system abit

      goto : control panel -> programs -> programs and features ->.. turn windows features on or off

      disable internet explorer 9

      disable mediafeatures/windows media center

      click on the start menu and type services.msc and disable the following services

      security center


      windows defender

      windows firewall

      windows mediaplayer network sharing

      windows update

      5 > disabling crap visual effects

      goto control panel -> system and security -> system

      click on the "advanced system settings" on the left, and then "performance" button in the new popup, if you choose a custom setting, your windows theme will be disabled, and visual effects will be set back to default when you set another theme. to fix :

      click on start menu and run regedit and navigate to :


      click on each sub key and, double click on DefaultValue and enter 0, this get inherited by :

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VisualEffects\*\DefaultApplied true/false

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: classic shell

        Wow, this thread has really got the lower level life forms out in force, hasn't it?

        I can't understand why someone would spend the time to press the keys on their keyboard in order to produce volumes of complete nonsense.

        This individual appears to be trying to give procedures for changing security settings and such - I would strongly advise against trying to decipher and follow any of the steps detailed (if I understand correctly that's what they are supposed to be).

        In general, it is not likely that sage advice would be forthcoming from those incapable of stringing a sentence together.

  11. CHRoNoSS

    xp vs 7

    had 1st try at 7 other day and i hate it utterly

    and i was gonna buy a new 2500 dollar pc to do high end graphics and stuff.

    NOT doing it now and not bothering...

    so not ony do some heavy costing software makers get no cash but its directly attributed to the bullshit interface of 7 ergo the vista upgrade.

    and people tell me 8 is worse ? HOW CAN IT BE WORSE?

    time for linux i guess and blender and such....ill just have to make do with what i can and at least this way i can go a grand or two off the pc ....

    1. Zmodem

      Re: xp vs 7

      windows 7 is just a clean gnome opensuse except security groups work and has all the apps and hardware of windows

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: xp vs 7

        "windows 7 is just a clean gnome opensuse except security groups work and has all the apps and hardware of windows"

        So you mean you have 20 crapware applications barely missing the feature you need and it won't run "exotic" hardware like SATA controllers, unless you patch the operating system during the installation?

        (OK, to be fair, last time I used SuSE it was like that, too. :))

        1. Zmodem

          Re: xp vs 7

          windows 7s desktop usage, design etc is a 99% copy of gnome on opensuse

  12. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Hugs his XP machine.....

    Ever since Vista, MS has badly missed the boat on what an OS should do. Win 7 is not too bad, but NOBODY wants to go through an upgrade cycle simply because your OS changed. And corporate customers do not want all the tiles and fluff of the metro UI.

    That being said, you can load your classic interface and Win 8 will work like Win 7.

    Where did El Reg stash that "Ballmer is the devil" icon? I want it back!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hugs his XP machine.....

      Assuming I do that (run Win8 only in desktop mode and I somehow disable/remove the tiles rubbish.

      Is win8 faster or slower, better or worse than Win7.

      Tiles are an irrelevance for me, but it would be nice to know if I need to buy a new machine to run Win8 without tiles.

      1. Tim Bates

        Re: Hugs his XP machine.....

        "Is win8 faster or slower, better or worse than Win7."

        Power related things are fast - boot up, shutdown, etc. Most other stuff seems on par with Windows 7, if not better. Apparently some games are a tiny bit slower, but that could be immature graphics drivers (give them another 3 months, I'd say).

        That said, I still want to poke my eyes out with a stick after 20 minutes on Windows 8. The OS might be fast, but the interface has a nasty habit of slowing my down a lot. With time most people will get used to it and become quicker at using it. But it's an Operating System, not a bloody arcade game. It should do what I want, not require me to learn what it wants.

  13. mego

    We've run Win8 through our test user environment

    Not gonna happen. Windows Vista was more liked than this mess; and that was including the users who threatened to barf all over their computers before calling tech support to remove said vomit-inducing software.

    Nope, Windows8 - and it's offspring Office 2013 - are not going to be invited to our network anytime soon.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Tim99 Silver badge

    Upgrade, not for me

    I am so pleased that I have retired, and do not have to get involved in this anymore.

    I went from PDPs and Novas, *NIX, and through DOS, Windows 286 - 7 to retirement. As a rough rule, it seems that every other version of Windows has been something to avoid - Windows 3.1, and the original 95 and 98, NT 3.1, the original XP and Vista come to mind as "unfortunate". Windows 3.11, SPs of 95, 98SE, NT 3.5/4.0, and later versions of 2000 and XP were pretty fair; and 7 seems to be reasonable.

    After some Pro Bono evaluation of Windows 8 for a couple of organizations, my recommendation is: If you are going to stay with Windows, wait until the second or third iteration of Windows 8 - Or hope that any rushed-out Windows 9 version has more input from the GUI team. Pretty much anything that you have that runs on the traditional desktop will be sub-par. I suspect that Windows 8 will be very successful in driving the change to apps and HTML5 on tablets (but unfortunately for Microsoft, not necessarily Windows tablets).

    Much of the *NIX that I had learned 30 years before still works, even on Terminal on the shiny Apple OS X stuff. Fiddling around keeping Windows working was great when I was getting paid principal consultant rates, but I REALLY do not want to do it now in retirement just for myself and my wife. So we got rid of all of the Windows stuff, except for a couple of (hardly used) virtual machines on our other kit.

    1. sueme2

      Re: Upgrade, not for me

      If you think win 8 is bad, just wait for windows 13, that is what you really want.

  16. Christian Berger Silver badge

    I wonder how many companies are now looking into wine

    I mean companies don't actually need all that fancy new stuff. What they would rather have is a stable system, a system which would just work with a single image on all computers, an image they wouldn't need to update _ever_, or at least one they could get updates for even in the next 10 years.

    Windows is legacy, the Win32 platform won't be around for long any more. Windows RT already dumped it. Nobody knows if Windows 9 will even have it, as consumers certainly don't need it in the eyes of Microsoft.

    So what will businesses do? There's not much more they can do other ran running a Windows XP/2000 visualized system on top of some Linux, or to look into wine.

  17. RAMChYLD

    Ability to run Windows 7 apps?

    You mean to say that Windows 8 Home won't run Windows 7 or XP software?

    Well, that definitely scratches it off my list for sure.

  18. dipique

    Two things:

    1) Re-clarification, Windows 8 runs Windows 7 apps. Darn near all of them. It ALSO runs Windows 8 "Metro" style apps. Windows 8 runs alllll the apps (except for Windows XP apps).

    2) One thing a lot of people don't bring up: Windows 8 is really, REALLY cheap. Windows 7 Pro is what, $200? Windows 8 Pro is $40. Tell me that doesn't mean anything to enterprise and government.


  19. sartorato

    Why not to hear the customers

    As a software developer I have some concerns about Windows 8 adoption.

    With this in mind, we can´t make investments to develop software for this.

    It´s frustrating.

    IMHO Microsoft needs to hear their customers. Nobody is talking good about GUI.

    I don´t think the enterprise adoption will be great in 2013.

    Perhaps too much changes in a wrong time, with powerfull competitors on their door.

    Man I wish I was retired (like Tim99). ;)

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