blog Now that Windows 8 has launched in Australia, what do we know about enterprise trial deployments of the technology? Surprisingly, quite a lot. A lot of people might believe that Windows 8 is the new Windows Vista, but when you look around on the actual ground, it appears as though major Australian organisations are at least dabbling with Microsoft’s new operating system opus.
Firstly, ZDNet reports that Commonwealth Bank of Australia is trialling Windows 8 on some machines, MYOB is deploying it and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is planning a wider rollout. But the Credit Union Australia is more skeptical, ZDNet reports. According to iTNews, ING Direct, the Red Cross, corporate advisory firm McGrathNichol and technology integrator Data#3 are planning to adopt Windows 8 on the desktop. The Financial Review lists Harbour City Ferries and Westpac as eventual Windows 8 adopters, although the bank is reportedly still mainly using Windows XP (no real surprise there).
The interest from major organisations in Windows 8 in Australia is in stark contrast to the situation when Windows Vista launched back in 2007. At the time, only a very small number of organisations expressed any interest in Vista at all (notably, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service), with the vast majority of Australian organisations ignoring the operating system and waiting for the improved Windows 7 release.
Personally, I suspect that the interest from Australian organisations in Windows 8 stems from the ongoing revolution in end user computing caused by the strong uptake in the consumer market of Apple’s iPad tablet. Right now, many chief information officers are struggling to integrate the iPad into their Windows-dominated corporate IT environments, and Windows 8 offers a potential migration path; it seems feasible that laptop and even perhaps desktop PC fleets can become more synergistic with tablet environments through Windows 8.
We’ve already seen some combination tablet/laptop devices launched by OEM vendors with this in mind, and the ongoing uptake of Windows Phone 7-based devices in Australian enterprise fleets goes someway towards backing this trend. Despite very public doubts by analyst firms such as Gartner, when it comes to the enterprise, Microsoft’s Exchange/Office/Sharepoint/Lync/Windows Server/etc ecosystem is just so all-pervasive. We’d suggest many Australian CIOs will see smartphones and tablets as just another logical extension of the Microsoft platform and deploy Microsoft devices accordingly — and despite Windows 8’s highly confusing user interface paradigm.
Know of any other Australian Windows 8 trials? Drop us a line through our anonymous tips form and we’ll add them to our list.
Image credit: Microsoft