Editor's Note: Ready for a Future of Device Independence?
Windows 8 Consumer Preview is a major milestone that serves as a wake-up call for those organizations still running on Windows XP.
By Mitch Irsfeld
Microsoft has released another preview of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, so aside from an opportunity to get a hands-on look at a pivotal Microsoft work-in-progress, what does the Windows 8 Consumer Preview release mean to IT professionals? The answer, as with most things IT, is that it depends.
One of the key dependencies is which operating system you are moving from. If your organization is still on Windows XP, consider this your wakeup call. The end of support for Windows XP is April 8, 2014, and you know how long operating system deployments can take, so plan your migration to Windows 7 now.
If your enterprise is still running Windows XP on the assumption that your legacy applications won’t run in Windows 7, the virtual Windows XP mode within Windows 7 can remedy that concern. The March edition of TechNet Magazine includes a step-by-step guide to Load and Configure Windows XP Mode [link needed] which helps you install and set up a virtual hard disk with Windows XP SP3. This enables drive sharing and allows files to be shared and applications to pass data between both the Windows 7 and Windows XP operating systems.
As with previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 builds on its predecessor, delivering many of the typical improvements in security, faster startup and longer battery life. But Windows 8 runs on multiple chipsets and devices and features new interface options for which IT professionals should become familiar. Today, you can download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and test drive Microsoft’s vision for a unified operating environment across all your users’ computing devices. If you are a TechNet Subscriber, you can get the Consumer Preview bits here.
To assist in your trial, check out these new resources:
TechNet has also launched the new Springboard Series for Windows 8 with access to x86 and x64 ISO images for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and top resources for IT pros. And TechNet’s new Explore Windows 8 page offers technical overviews and answers to frequently asked questions about key features for IT pros such as BItLocker, Client Hyper-V, Direct Access, the Windows Store, and Windows to Go.
Thanks for reading,