The modern user interface dominated by text and tiles that users press on tablet touchscreens is good for tablets and phones, but its utility as a desktop interface has businesses in a quandary. "The result is an OS that looks appropriate on new form factors of PC hardware, including tablets, hybrids and convertibles, but has people wondering about its appropriateness for traditional desktop and notebook machines that comprise the majority of the existing PC market," according to the Gartner report.
Some businesses might try to get around this problem by letting employees bring their own tablets and phones to work for business use, but the overall effect is to complicate IT equipment decisions. "This makes it more difficult for IT organizations to buy and support PCs the way they have for the past 20 years, and may lead to workplaces where bring your own device (BYOD) is common," according to the report.
If Windows 8 devices enter the workplace via BYOD, IT departments may be more receptive to them than they might be to other devices that have less developed security, the report says. "Microsoft has added many security features that organizations will like, including Secure Boot and improved BitLocker support," Gartner says, "and organizations should investigate whether these security improvements are sufficient to motivate a move to Windows 8."
Businesses need to consider how long it will take for other vendors' security products to support Windows 8, a factor in drawing up a timeline for adopting the new operating system. "Support will certainly come," the Gartner report says, "but may not be there until after your security and tool vendors supply updates, and could require months to be tested and implemented."
Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.
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