Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

Blog Series: Windows 8.1 for Business

Blog Series: Windows 8.1 for Business

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Windows 8.1 Powers BusinessWelcome to March!  And not that I mean to alarm you, but welcome to the final month before support ends on Windows XP.  I know that many of you supporting IT and devices for your businesses have known this for a while, and are either already done or continuing to work on migrating to Windows 7 or Windows 8But which one, and why?

What’s interesting to me is that there is a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) surrounding Windows 8.1 and whether or not there is any real benefit to providing and supporting it as the default, best-choice for business devices.  And while I know that most of you have indeed done proper due-diligence in order to come to the conclusion that Windows 7 is a better choice for your businesses, it just may be that not all of your information was based on fact, or was missing some very important beneficial tidbits which, if you had known, might very well have changed the equation.

That’s the purpose of this March blog series: “Windows 8.1 for Business”We, the 9 Microsoft Technology (IT Pro) Evangelists in the US, plus a few special guest authors, want to take this month to help dispel some myths and provide some useful resources for you as you evaluate (and hopefully choose) Windows 8.1 as your business desktop/laptop/tablet/phablet platform of choice.

Below is our schedule, which will be continually kept up-to-date with links to completed articles as they become available.  Stop back often, because we sincerely want you to benefit from this information.  And if you have any questions or comments, please please please post them in the comments either here, or at the articles themselves.

UPDATE: Thank you for your patience!  Due to the importance of the topics we are going to cover, we’ve had to delay posting to this series.  We will continue soon (this week of March 17), and I’ll add items to  the schedule as soon as we’re sure of their availability.  Keep watching…

All the best!
Kevin Remde




March 3

Series Introduction (this article)

Kevin Remde / @KevinRemde

March 4

Oh Start menu, how do I miss thee…or do I?

Matt Hester / @MatthewHester

March 5

Beloved Desktop, Where Art Thou?

Jennelle Crothers / @jkc137

March 6

Windows 8 works great without a touch screen

Keith Mayer / @KeithMayer

March 7

Does Windows 8.1 require more hardware than Windows 7?

Kevin Remde / @KevinRemde

March 19 Getting started with Client Hyper-V Matt Hester / @MatthewHester
March 20 Is the “Cloud” a really big deal? Blain Barton / @Blainbar 
March 21 Remember Our Good Friend Group Policy Matt Hester / @MatthewHester
March 28 Build No-code Business Apps with Windows 8.1, Project Siena and Microsoft Azure

Keith Mayer / @KeithMayer

March 31 Build No-Code Business Apps with Windows 8.1, Project Siena and Microsoft Azure (Part 2) Keith Mayer / @KeithMayer
April 1 Build No-Code Business Apps with Windows 8.1, Project Siena and Microsoft Azure (Part 3) Keith Mayer / @KeithMayer
April 8 Top 5 Key Security Improvements Anthony Bartolo / @WirelessLife
April 10 XP EOS – Guidance for Small/Medium Businesses and Individual Consumers Pierre Roman / @PierreRoman
April 14 Series Wrap-up and Resources Kevin Remde / @KevinRemde
  • @Kevin, in this day and age, when you have to spend countless blog entries explaining how to use your OS, how to navigate the new UI, how to make it usable for business, etc, don't you think perhaps there was a failure on the software company's side in designing it? It is inconceivable that most users have to download a 3rd party tool just to make it usable for them (yes, I am aware of how to 'come close to" a start menu functionality) It's too easy now to find alternatives to Windows that don't require 3rd party downloads or not intuitive work-arounds. I don't doubt some find Windows 8 to be a great OS, but the market is speaking loud and clear that it isn't. Hence this blog article (and many others). People are finding that Windows 8 doesn't work the way they want it to, work-arounds or not. I've been a MS fan for a long time, but am shocked at how much of a misstep Windows 8 was. I'm shocked at how little 8.1 has done to fix the issues. To me, it shows how obscenely out of touch Microsoft has been about this. Let's hope some egos can be put aside so that Windows 9 is more attractive to business and consumers.

  • Kevin,

    Understandably, who wouldn't want to boast the products or service of the company they work for. It is even more so if you believe in them, use them and take pride in them.

    But Kevin, you display the same fallacies in speech and almost condescending writing that has been steadily flowing from Redmond the last few years. Such a perfect example, instead of changing the title to reflect a far more friendlier and inviting title, you insert in capital form "MAY", as a central figurehead of snarkiness after a good deal of textual replies pointing out the forceful nature of the previous titles wording. You couldn't resist. And neither has Redmond's previous leader, Steve Ballmer. Make no mistake, the market has decided in near unison that their notion of Windows 8/8.1 is "not", in fact, wrong.

    There is no harm in defending your product from factually incorrect statements or notions. It is exactly what a company should do, indeed. However, there are real issues, real concerns and very real problems over several products, not just Windows 8.x, that Microsoft has refused to address and simply prances out on stage telling us akin to Steve Job's infamously silly rebuttal; "We're holding it wrong".

    Are we really "holding it wrong" Kevin?

    Nadella, Penn, Elop; They hide behind a promised curtain of analytical data, they keep saying, which shows them they are steering the ship into the right direction. I ask you:

    -Is this same data or information that was used to determine Windows 8 would be a "winner"
    -Or the data that said Xbox One's invasive and restricted (facts, Kevin) DRM was the right choice
    -And what about the data that said canceling TechNet was the way to go

    This is departing off topic slightly, but it is the same defense we keep hearing over and over when we ask for redress. "Microsoft's research has shown"...this phrase is now horribly over used and has shown, by example, they Microsoft has continued a disturbing stubbornness at ignoring the needs of the market. Such as:

    -The failed Kin products
    -The downfall of TechNet
    -Failed promise of rapid release for WP7

    To segway back to my main point Kevin, You and Microsoft need to stop being childishly defensive about your current state, admit and acknowledge your mistakes and failures, and begin to listen to your consumers and audience rather then alienate them by insulting their intelligence or down right ignoring their cries. The power of the market is showing its force, and the steady course would be to heed its warnings.

    This isn't a grey concept. It's simple black and white concepts.

    Microsoft, at least in the consume market, faces near total obscurity in the rise of their competitors.

    You both would do well to re-aquaint yourself with humility while enjoying a few more helpings of humble pie.

  • Brandon - As you see, I publish all relevant comments; even those I disagree with, and even those that would insult me personally. But I do take offense at your accusation that I somehow lack humility. You don't know me well enough personally to make that claim.

    Also, you seem to give me much more credit personally for Microsoft's product direction and decisions than I deserve. Quite frankly, it's not my job to apologize if the company decides to take a product in one direction or another that SOME may dislike. My job is to understand our direction and our products and solutions, and hopefully to explain them (and yes, sometimes defend them) as best I can, and in ways that IT Pros can put to good use. Yes, I work for the company. Yes, I'm a fan of what we do here. I'm not ashamed of that.

    Your passion about this topic is admirable. Your opinions are, well.. they're your opinions. It's okay for us to disagree. Let's keep the comments constructive, and not turn them into personal attacks and insults.

  • Kevin,

    Please do not take any of my wording as a personal attack. I'm sure outside of Microsoft you're a fine and decent citizen. So if it came through as such, I do sincerely apologize.

    I realize now that neither your standpoint nor Microsoft's will change anytime soon in the face of overwhelming evidence, consumer unrest and market avoidance. Microsoft's policy over Windows 8 and most of its controversial products seems to be that if you beat a dead horse vigorously enough its constant twitching and juttering will at least give a semblance of activity. Microsoft is selling itself on the future promise that they will eventually get it right by throwing everything on the wall to see what sticks and we should all just be patient while it attempts to find itself during its sabbatical of inner self exploration.

    Sorry, we need a leader that listens, not a dictator that abandons.

    Back to my point, yes it is your job to be apologetic. You work for the company, you engage people, you are a face that will enhance or hinder public perception and opinion. This is business 101 stuff.

    My other points stand as is with no acknowledgement or refute. There isn't really "FUD" going around about Windows 8. It's been shown that near all complaints are real, not imagined like Redmond keeps screaming at us with their fingers in their ears.

    And at no time should you be ashamed of your career or the fact you are a fan. I am too. Huge fan. But what can we do when the product has been shown to be overwhelmingly disliked, largely shunned and the comments and complaints we log are nearly unanimously ignored? Apparently, the solution it is to hold workshops with snarky titles to tell us why we are wrong. And this is what I take offense to (your title isn't the first I've seen come out of Microsoft).

    You do and should show the benefits of your product, absolutely. But at the same time, no one at your company should ignore or shun the very people who use your products when they have shown you, in great numbers, they are displeased.

    I know I've repeated myself often, but it is apparent that no one is really listening. I really do wish you and your colleagues luck in telling us how we are just wrong. But remember, "you can't fool all the people all the time".

    Enjoy your weekend!

  • Kevin,

    I truly appreciate your willingness to publish ALL our comments.

    You're getting some very strong opinions here, because like you, many of us have our careers tied to Microsoft products, and we also have to be able to pitch the benefits of it relative to other vendor's technology stacks. And that's harder now than it has been in awhile.

    But with a new CEO and departure of some top management most closely identified with recent end user miss-steps THERE'S GOING TO BE CHANGE

    By all means continue to target the consumer/touch market, but also please continue to restore the love to desktop/developers. Put back our favorite Windows features with priority, so we all can return to the Microsoft love fest we like to be part of.

    Thanks and regards,

    Des Nolan

  • Two missed blogs? Did you guys realize that the very existence of this blog and all of these workarounds validates the majority of complaints people have had with this latest version of Windows, and decided to give up?

  • Hi Kevin - March 10, 11, 12 seem to have disappeared from your blog 'agenda'. Have these proposed entries been cancelled? thanks.

  • As my original post says, the schedule is a fluid thing, and subject to change. Be patient, and stay tuned. More to come soon!

  • Very fluid since you've now missed a weeks worth...I say you're having trouble finding a way to spin this thing as a positive, while not validating everyone's criticisms.

  • @Kevin: Take your time and keep up the good work!

  • Now you won't even post anymore comments. Fail

  • Sorry to disappoint you, Ed. :) I get e-mails I depend upon for telling me I have new unpublished comments, but the links to publish them weren't working. It's fixed now. And while delayed, the series continues.

  • Actually, I was more disappointed that the series of articles proposed were not going to continue. I'm enjoying the show Microsoft is putting on, trying to convince us we are wrong for not accepting the "Modern" interface in a mouse and keyboard environment. Please, continue with the series.

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