June 16, 2012, 7:47 AM — During the Windows 8 keynote at Microsoft TechEd 2012 in Orlando, Corporate VP of Windows Web Services Antoine Leblond took attendees through a breakneck tour of Microsoft's new OS.
From Metro UI navigation (both via touch-screen and mouse/trackpad) to application development and virtualization tips to a showcase of Windows 8 hardware, the keynote took another step in delivering Windows 8 to the masses as Microsoft redefines the look and feel of its flagship OS.
Before his keynote, Leblond sat down with CIO.com's assistant managing editor Shane O'Neill for an exclusive interview about Windows 8's embrace of developers, its promise as an enterprise OS and how tablets will never replace laptops (but Windows 8 will run on both!).
There was a pent-up need for Windows 7 for wholesale upgrades in the enterprise that isn't there with Windows 8. So what do you think are some of the enterprise scenarios with Windows 8?
What's going to generate interest in Windows 8 inside enterprises are the scenarios around mobility and everything that goes with that. When you use the touch-based Metro UI for a while and then it's gone, you miss it. So I think we're going to get a lot interest from consumers with the new Metro UI experience and that will filter to the enterprise.
In the enterprise, mixed environments have always been part of the natural upgrade cycles. And this time is no different. So I expect to see Windows 8 mixing with Windows 7, on tablets and PCs.
How important are Windows 8 tablets to the overall success of the OS. As we enter the BYOD era, what place will Windows tablets have in the enterprise?
Tablets are great for some things but they are not wholesale replacements for laptops. One is not going to replace the other. But because of tablets, we'll end up with more choice. Being able to choose a device that meets the requirements for the way you work or live. Tables are great for mobility and for carrying on the road. But when it comes to banging out a lot of emails or writing a report, a tablet is not the best choice.