The top 10 features that Windows 8 should offer businesses

On this blog, I continue to be an advocate of not just cool tech features for consumers but for functionality that will add value to the enterprise as well.

Office and Windows are Microsoft’s bread and butter. Corporate licensing makes up a lot of revenue for Microsoft when they deploy their client and server operating systems.

I wrote a book about deploying Windows 7 in the enterprise where I identified a lot of value that Windows 7 brought to the enterprise with Windows 7

I believe that companies will require the following features from Windows 8.

1) Ease of Deployment

It has to be easy to deploy. Windows 7 has a lot of back end tools and methodologies for deploying systems to hundreds and thousands of users but that stuff aint simple. Understandably, it’s complicated when you are trying to figure out how to roll out systems to thousands of users and Microsoft continue to refine the process and the tools. They need to simplify the deployment process for Windows 8.

2) Less Versions/ Easier Licensing

When Windows 7 came out, there were so many different versions it would have made your head spin. It’s really not that difficult. I believe they need to go back to their older and simple licensing models. Home, professional, academic and enterprise. Simplification should help make the licensing process a lot less complicated for businesses as well.

3) Tighter security

Once again, Windows 7 did a great job but biometrics should be standard now and the use of the Kinect (or Kinect2) for facial authenticaion seems to be a no brainer to me.

4) Tablet integration.

With the popularity of tablets, Microsoft need to figure out a way to make the tablet a seamless extension of the desktop. I should be able to send files back and forth to and from my Ipad/android tablet with native functionality in Windows 8. It would be a shame if we have to depend on Itunes and 3rd party apps for that simple functionality.

5) Ease of Maintainance

Same as number 1. A lot of tools are out there for Windows 7 maintenance that do the job both from Microsoft and third party vendors. They need to keep simplifying maintenance for PC’s at the enterprise level. Network admins need to be able to add/remove or modify software across thousands of PC’s more easily.

6) Profile Portability

If I work in the Chicago office, I should be able to fly without my laptop and use a PC in the California office with my profile accessible to me. My complete profile. the files I saved that morning half finished. etc etc Roaming profile functionality has existed in Windows for a while but it’s not smooth, sexy or easy to install and maintain.

7) Simplified User Interface

See my previous (depressing) article about the UI that’s 11 years old. Surely we can do a little better when it comes to simplifying the life of the users and their desktops?

8 ) Better (more coherent) marketing

I have yet to see a comprehensive marketing program to enterprises that articulates the business value of Windows 7. To be clear, I have seen a lot of marketing but the stuff I have seen doesnt really get to the point. There needs to be focused marketing about the ROI that the next version of Windows will provide. How about some TV spots talking about Branchcache etc?

9) Native cloud integration

I need to be able to save files to the cloud easily. I know about skydrive functionality in office but most users dont. It should be easy to save files to the cloud and should be encouraged a lot more. More people would use it if they knew.

10) Better than Windows 7

Windows 7 is awesome. It works and we love it. Windows 8 should be a step forward and not backwards. It cannot crash more than Windows 7, cant be harder to understand and require more hand holding.

Those are my top 10 features that Windows 8 needs to have.

Did I miss anything?

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