Movers Will Love Windows 8, Others May Be Shaking
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Bigger businesses might as well call Microsoft's(MSFT) latest operating system, Windows 8, "Windows Ain't." It ain't the Windows they know, and it ain't a Windows they'll love.
Steve Ballmer and Co. yearn to be the be-all and end-all software solution, but the truth is, the rank-and-file consumer is no longer Microsoft's future. Why? Redmond faces unstoppable competition for the core consumer software market from, of course, the Web -- specifically Google(GOOG) . The Mountain View, Calif.-based Web giant is the ultimate Microsoft killer. It gives away fabulous consumer software: Google Chrome. Apps. Maps. All are mostly free. Microsoft tries to argue that security and features are subpar with these tools. But in this now-and-forever grim economy, there is no competing with free.
|Windows 8 allows for seamless integration of all things mobile, but the typical office worker will find it jarring.|
Not even for Microsoft.
That leaves the enterprise -- not the Star Trek sort of Enterprise, but the hardcore, big- and medium-sized business computer customer that will never -- ever -- put critical data on a management system the company doesn't absolutely, utterly control.
Web-based services are just too risky for bigger firms.
Last week big-business users got a critical clue about Microsoft's enterprise intentions: It released a reasonably solid preview version of Windows 8. To handicap this software's chances in the enterprise, I upgraded a test Acer laptop.
(Full disclosure: My firm creates content for an unrelated division of Microsoft.)
Here's my takeaway: