Will Windows 8 work in the government enterprise?

The countdown to Windows 8 and its desktop-and-tablet functionality is on. And as betas of the new Microsoft OS undergo testing, the speculation has begun as to whether it will work well in the enterprise.

Developers and IT pros who want to test it for their organizations can now get a look at the real deal, as Microsoft is offering a free 90-day evaluation of Windows 8 Enterprise that also allows developers to install Visual Studio 2012 and the other tools they need to build apps for the final version.

The trial offer, which coincides with the release of Windows 8 to Microsoft Developers Network and TechNet subscribers, are being offered for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions in a variety of languages.

GCN’s John Breeden II also has started testing a version of the new OS, and our concern is how well it would work in a government enterprise. So we’d like to hear from government employees and IT pros on what you’re looking for from Windows 8.

Is your agency looking to upgrade? If you’re using Windows, what version? If it’s XP, support for which runs out in 2014, would you be looking to go to 8, or perhaps looking to decide between 7 and 8?

Are you looking forward to the new tablet-style interface, as agencies continue to add mobile devices? Or do you think that might put off desktop and laptop users? (In the preview version, you could change the settings to present a more familiar interface.)

Is security your top concern in adopting a new OS? If so, security researchers speaking at Black Hat were impressed.

Also, agencies have been building lots of mobile apps, though most of them have been for Android and iOS devices. Do you expect to be building agency apps for Windows 8?

In short, use the comments section below to tell us what you want to know about Windows 8 and we’ll aim to address those concerns in our review.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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Reader Comments

Sat, Aug 18, 2012 Col. Panek Rome, NY

The sooner you go to open source, the better. I've been running various Linux distros for over 2 years now, and haven't looked back.

Fri, Aug 17, 2012

My agency still blended between 7 and XP. Windows 8 is a huge disappointment, but by the time we get to even contemplate its deployment the next generation of windows will be on the works. I have the feeling that windows 8 is just going to be something we skip like with did with Vista. Hopefully Microsoft comebacks to its senses and enables the option to do away with the tiles, and get the start menu back.

Thu, Aug 16, 2012

The Army needs to "Golden Master" it first. I am not holding my breath!

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 Chris J. Greenbelt MD

Unless MS makes a way to setup the Win 7 GUI as a default deployment option, we would not deploy this OS. The new Tiles UI needs to go the way of Windows ME.

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 tm Iowa, USA

Our agency doesn't 'look' to upgrade anything unless forced. We are now forced to have windows 7 which has not worked for over 1/2 of the standard or in-house applications. 32bit or 64bit? Still huge fragmentation and "XP" mode really isn't. The backwards compatibility issues are still huge with 7 and will get a lot worse for 8. The security for 7 might be better, but most installations or permissions are different for an application depending on whether it was launched from the task bar or a desktop icon. How in the world can you have 2 different ACL models on the same machine for the same user? We never installed Vista... and no one will admit how bad 7 really is. I agree with Kevin. LAMP or MAMP stack should be seriously considered in the government enterprise. Or give me a real OS X server any day.

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