Windows 8 Has Plenty for IT to Like

Early reviews of the Windows 8 Consumers Preview have for the most part been fairly congratulatory, praising Microsoft for taking bold leaps toward a new kind of interface—inspired in great part by mobile computing trends—while preserving a “classic” version for people who can’t stand change. (See Microsoft video previews here.)

But is Windows 8 going to be good for IT? eWeek has found at least ten reasons to like it from an enterprise point of view. Among the most important:

The integration across all platforms is great
“Windows 8 will deliver the same experience across a wide array of devices. So, if consumers or enterprise users are engaging with the platform on a tablet, they’ll have the same experience when they boot up their new Ultrabook. It’s a smart idea, and something that we haven’t quite seen elsewhere in the mobile space.”

Security, security, security
“Microsoft is undoubtedly concerned about security. And with Windows 8, the company has spared no expense for getting it right. In fact, some reports claim that when Windows 8 launches, users will only need the built-in security features to keep their computers safe.”

App integration seems stellar
“At Mobile World Congress, Microsoft showed how the different applications available in its Windows Store are designed to work together without talking to each other. Such a design improves overall security, but also delivers a full-featured experience that should ultimately increase productivity across the software.”

It’s all about the cloud
“Windows 8 will come with full support for the company’s cloud-based solution SkyDrive. In fact, Windows 8’s cloud solutions will help users sync content across multiple Windows 8 devices, manage profiles and more. At the end of the day, it’s all about the cloud in today’s operating system market, and Microsoft knows that very well.”

Windows 8 could mean a lot of changes for business computing, especially on the hardware side, where companies like Dell and HP eagerly await the change to build new systems and sell them into an environment of expected pent-up hardware demand.

Social media may get a boost, too. Remember that Microsoft owns a small piece of Facebook, and new workgroup functionality within Facebook could be in the pipeline.

Perhaps the biggest concern for IT may be that when Windows 8 finds a happy home on a new generation of compatible tablets and ultrabooks, business users will demand to bring their personal devices to work and use them for business purposes, something iPad users are clamoring to do as well. Then it will be up to IT to deal with license and security issues, just as they do today with tablets and smartphones. There’s always a new challenge.