Windows 8 Mobile Device Management: Yes, MSPs Must Offer It

When Microsoft launches Windows 8 on Oct. 26, I don't think it will trigger immediate business PC upgrades. But there is a mobile device management (MDM) angle here worth considering for your 2013 customer conversations, especially for managed services providers (MSPs) who are helping customers with the BYOD (bring your own device) trend.

Most major corporate IT media brands are suggesting Windows 8 is a non-event for business.  But perhaps the business media is missing a far more important point: A few million consumers will wind up buying Windows 8 on tablets, notebooks, ultrabooks and desktop PCs. Even if Windows 8 is NOT a big seller, we're still talking about millions of consumers who will run the new operating system on devices purchased this holiday season.

Don't forget: Microsoft's Windows 8 advertising and marketing campaign -- across online, television and print -- will generate roughly 1.6 billion impressions over the next six months, according to Peter Han, VP, U.S. OEM division, Microsoft. (See FastChat Video, below.)

Ya Can't Ignore It

In preparation for the Windows 8 deployment wave -- however big or small -- MSPs must expand their BYOD and MDM strategies to include the new operating system for 2013.

Still skeptical? Pre-orders for Microsoft Surface tablets, running Windows 8, are sold in some regions. Of course Microsoft could be "limiting" initial Surface orders to create artificial buzz. But I sense that some consumers really want to give the new tablet family a chance.

At the same time, most PC makers will be launching their own families of Windows 8 tablets, laptops and PCs. Even in a worst-case scenario, Windows 8 will be a multi-million device market -- too large for MSPs to ignore.
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