OK, so Microsoft recently released a consumer preview to its new operating system – Windows 8. While this doesn’t depict what we’re expecting to see in the Enterprise Edition, we’re sure that the business version of the OS will have at least most of the features and capabilities that the Enterprise Edition has. Assuming that all this is correct, it would mean that you probably wouldn’t have to use Enterprise for a small business environment. Usually, most businesses can get along just fine with Windows 7 Professional today.
This brings forth an important question: Is it really worth it to go the extra mile and make an investment in Windows 8? My answer is “not for most small businesses.” It really all depends on the sector you’re working in. If you’re a major industry hulk, you might have to take advantage of the IT management features in Enterprise. If you provide accounting services to major firms, then you shouldn’t have to worry about managing an IT department.
Here’s a couple of benefits of Windows 8 that have been seen in the consumer preview when I took apart the OS myself:
- Smooth streamlined interface – Think of it as having a tablet-y operating system installed on your personal computer. It’s psychologically enticing and more relaxing than the point-and-click style of Windows 7. If you’re using W8 on a tablet, expect to be greeted by your applications right when you start your computer.
- Superb application API – Windows has always received an “A+” in its application programming interface (API), which is used to develop all the programs that you use on your computer. Its “app” API isn’t any different, offering a humongous amount of versatility in app creation, allowing apps to interact in a level that you won’t often find in other environments.
- Impeccable boot time – Because of the new boot loader integrated in Windows 8, you can expect your computer to boot at least 30 percent faster than it would have on Windows 7. The installation was also incredibly fast, lasting around 10 minutes and installing all drivers and software within that tiny time frame.
- Full-screen apps – Many companies provide their customers with interfaces on displays they can manage, giving them a significant amount of power. Now, you can host your app on those panels powered by Windows 8 in an elegant style and without any messy taskbar, toolbars, or sidebars.
- It runs well on low-power hardware – Previously, you needed to lug around hardware to make Windows 7 work well in your business. Windows 8 offers you the advantage of low power usage to save you money and space.
- Windows 8 Enterprise – The “Ultimate” version of Windows 8 shall now be dubbed “Enterprise” for its environment tailored specifically to businesses with an IT department. This edition of Win8 will contain features specific to firms, such as IT management utilities, elevated security, high-end virtualization capabilities, and a hunk of other features that Microsoft has too little time to tell us about just now. It sounds promising, but only time can tell exactly what is in store for us!
We’re still a long way from knowing how many of these features could change in the official release of Windows 8. At least we now know that Windows 8 will come in four editions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 RT, and Windows 8 Enterprise. Windows RT will run specifically on ARM-based machines and tablets that have much lower power requirements than the traditional desktop computer.
Let’s hope that this news about Windows 8 has made you consider upgrading. According to what we’ve seen in the Consumer Preview, its elegant redesign of the desktop and smooth menus might brighten anyone’s day.