Windows 8 on Tablets: Why MDM Must Support Microsoft's OS

Windows 8 on Tablets: Why MDM Must Support Microsoft's OS

In spite of all the promotion and fanfare from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) over its new Windows 8 operating system,  the first OS Microsoft has designed with touch screens and tablets in mind, sales so far have failed to impress. Does that mean that you don't have to address this OS in your mobile device management strategy? For now, perhaps. But that may change. Here's why.

Forrester Research last week reported lukewarm interest in Windows 8 among IT hardware decision makers. Windows 8 is seeing about half of the interest that Windows 7 did at the same point in its release cycle, the research firm said, with only 24 percent of businesses expecting to move to Windows 8 but with no specific plans for that move.  That compares to 49 percent for Windows 7 in 2009.

Need more? Forrester said that only 5 percent have specific plans to migrate to Windows 8 in the next 12 months versus 10 percent for Windows 7 in 2009.

Is that really so surprising?  So many of us stayed on Windows XP and skipped Vista all together, even as our system speeds slowed to a crawl. There was plenty of anticipation for Windows 7. Now that we have a good, stable OS again, it's understandable that IT is in no hurry to rock the boat.

Enter Microsoft's secret weapon. It looks a lot like Apple's secret weapon of year's past. And it's the end user bringing unsanctioned technology onto the business network.

Forrester says that a survey of end user employees shows that 20 percent already say that they would prefer Windows 8 on their next touchscreen tablet. That compares to 26 percent who wanted iOS. That's a big shift for an OS that wasn't even on the tablet horizon before now.

Of course, if Microsoft releases its Office productivity suite on iOS, that could change everything. But until Microsoft does that, IT can expect another new device to complicate its mobile device management strategy. And that translates to another device for your MDM platform to support.

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