Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy

David Wagner, Managing Editor | 12/13/2012 | 9 comments

David Wagner
Surveys have shown most enterprises are waiting on migrating to Windows 8 largely due to recent migrations to Windows 7, but consumers aren’t going to wait for enterprises. Your BYOD policy needs to be ready.

Windows 8 mobile devices like the Surface tablet and Dell’s XPS 10 tablets, not to mention Windows 8 phones, are selling by the millions. Expectations are that Windows 8 phones will only reach 4 percent market share by the end of the year (not bad actually, for such a brief time on the market) but IDC predicts Windows 8 could pass iOS in only three years.

There are reasons Windows 8 is predicted to be so successful. Windows 8 should be attractive to enterprises largely because it can, hopefully, help with your BYOD madness. Windows 8 devices work seamlessly with a range of Microsoft products already in use in the enterprise or at home, including Exchange, Office, and Outlook. (Outlook has some notable exceptions.) A flood of Windows 8 devices into your enterprise won’t be nearly as disruptive as the first wave of mobile devices was, but you’re still going to have some issues...

Device management: Windows 8 doesn’t get rid of the device management problem. It doesn’t necessarily make it worse, because most device management vendors are already developing tools for Windows 8. But at the very least, expect that there will be a new influx of devices into your environment, both because of the holidays and because of continued growth in the tablet market.

Legacy apps: How much a problem this is depends on how proactive you’ve been with your mobile apps. Proactive companies that have created business-critical mobile apps for iOS or Android are going to have to develop Windows 8 apps in the near future, especially if those apps were developed natively as opposed to using HTML5. The look and feel of Windows 8 is different enough that even apps in HTML5 might have to be reworked to accommodate a different user experience.

The other half of this problem comes with apps designed for Windows 7 desktops. Windows 8 will run those apps, but the interface (not to mention a heavy touch-screen use environment) will mean that even desktop apps might need be redesigned for home-use laptops and ultrabook/tablet hybrids. Only 1 percent of home PCs are Windows 8 machines, but you can expect that number to rise.

Four operating systems: An interesting sidenote to this is that, while BlackBerry is in real trouble, it still has enterprise champions. Like any good company, it is making an attempt to regain its lost market share. Windows 8 makes that more difficult, but technically, for now, BlackBerry is still the No. 3 mobile OS. It isn’t inconceivable that Windows 8 will simply complicate an already complicated BYOD landscape by creating four viable operating systems that the enterprise has to plan for. A rough four-way split is probably great for consumers who are looking for innovation and competitive prices, but it is not so much fun for the enterprise.

So, the good news for CIOs and their departments is that Windows 8 is easier to integrate into BYOD plans than many other systems because of the prevalence of Microsoft products in the enterprise. But you’ve still got work to do when all these devices enter your building. At least this time, you and Microsoft have laid a little of the ground work.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
batye   Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy   1/1/2013 11:09:11 PM
Re: User's choice
it all depend on the few factors... like good clear policy about BYOD and security measures... and e.t. as you only need one compromised device to affect whole Co. infrastructure... and  day to day operations...
MDMConsult   Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy   1/1/2013 1:22:06 AM
Re: User's choice
BYOD definitely contributes to a stronger telecommuting influence in the workplace today. Factors such as overcoming trust from organizations to its employers and sacrifices employees are willing to make will continue to grow as BYOD is adopted.
Syerita Turner   Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy   12/19/2012 7:10:33 PM
Re: High support cost per device
Interesting. I found that fact that Blackberry OS is number 3 but what will happen in the upcoming months when Blackberry devices will be non-existent because of their bankruptcy. I think that Windows 8 devices are making their way to the companies as the OS for mobile corporate productivity as a way to compete with the Apple market. 

The company I work for has just upgraded to the iPhone 5 as a way to get rid of Blackberry devices. This rise in more android or OS devices into companies will drive the amount of companies using BB down which I believe is driving them into bankruptcy.
Henrisha   Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy   12/19/2012 2:27:14 AM
Re: High support cost per device
There will always be the expected 'difficulties' encountered at the beginning. I agree that the troubles associated with having to integrate Windows 8 to the BYOD strategy is well worth it. They will come if you build it, especially if you build it well. 
Umair Ahmed   Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy   12/17/2012 6:21:12 PM
Re: High support cost per device
@ David: Thanks for the describing the different aspect. I agree, 'if you built, they will come' concept seems more appealing. Considering the benefits of windows devices in BYOD environment; integrating Windows 8 worth the effort.
David Wagner   Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy   12/17/2012 5:17:41 PM
Re: High support cost per device
Cost per device to support is one metric. Another way of looking at it is the "If you build it, they will come" concept. If enterprises *want* windows 8 devices in their BYOD program, making them an easier option for their workers is a way of steering the decision.
David Wagner   Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy   12/17/2012 5:16:12 PM
Re: User's choice
@Umair- Totally true. But the ease of using them in the enterprise is precisely why many people think they WILL be the consumer choice.  We'll see.
Umair Ahmed   Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy   12/17/2012 9:25:51 AM
High support cost per device
The problems of redesigning and reworking of enterprise legacy apps with windows 8 devices sounds problematic and frustrating task for the enterprise, at least at the stage when the market share of Windows mobile devices is less than 4% (assuming the same percentage in enterprise). With regard to supporting four operating systems, there would be a cost of supporting each. I wonder if some enterprises have set minimum number or percentage of certain devices / OS as limit to start providing the support for.

At the initial stage of Windows mobile devices in the enterprise, the cost of support per windows device seems much higher as compared to other devices due to the lower numbers.
Umair Ahmed   Integrating Windows 8 Into Your BYOD Strategy   12/17/2012 8:52:49 AM
User's choice
No doubt about the usefulness of Windows devices for enterprise and relative ease of integration. But one very important factor in the BYOD environment is user's choice, and this is the area where windows devices at this moment fall short of Android and iOS because of the penetration, affection and mainly the cost (for android).


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