For all of the testing and development we have done in-house, none of that is as valuable as the experience we are getting on the field. This experience has helped us to answer important questions asked by our clients both existing and potential. Application and hardware compatibility, privacy, implementation strategies, and upgrade paths, as well as where to get it are all important, and now with field experience in a networked environment in the financial sector, we have been able to explore various capabilities and needs not discussed in popular articles of today concerning Windows 8.
Where to Get It
For a limited time, Windows 8 is available as an upgrade to Windows 7 for as little as $39.99 at:
After the special discount, which ends January 31, 2013, the full price will apply, and we will sell Windows 8 Professional for $200 at that point.
Either freshly installed applications compatible with Windows 7 64 bit edition compatibility or from the Windows 8 store will work fine on Windows 8.
The Windows 8 environment is best left alone to an upgrade with Windows Upgrade from Windows 7 if you cannot find a reliable Windows 7 64 bit driver for your hardware. If you want to get the best experience, you have to export files, setting, to a disk or flash drive for manual configuration with a fresh installation of Windows 8. Drivers will have to be re-installed in some cases but will be automatically detected in others. In a business environment you will want to use a windows technician with experience installing Windows 8 in a business environment to execute the installation
Windows 8 for most business users are best off installing using the Cloud to save settings and documents, enabling employees to move with a true roaming login from computer to computer, all through the use of a Windows Live ID. The Windows Live ID can also be passed to other services, some of which exist and others of which are still to come. From a compliance standpoint, some firms will not allow data to be stored in the public cloud. If this is the case, a local account must be used for each user. The ability to log in and see the same settings and files on multiple computers will be lost with a local account. Companies may wish to consider upgrading their privacy policies in this particular case because Microsoft has high standards, and both internal and independent studies have found the Microsoft Cloud to be ISO 9000 Compliant, HIPAA Compliant, and Sarbanes Oxley Compliant. However some companies have special compliance needs when it comes to the secure storage and ability for the secure destruction of files so that they are not even shared with Microsoft, including sensitive legal and health information. The Web and I has their own custom solutions including such new products as Windows 2012 Server and SharePoint. We have access to special military grade hard drives that can self-destruct data and even the drives themselves upon command. A 1TB redundant SharePoint Server is available for $10,000. This SharePoint installation is internal and can be shared only internally if you so desire. Destruction can be executed with a manual pushing of the buttons or through a remote cellular device that operates a series of solenoids are available at an additional cost. A UPS and external firewall is highly recommended as well as a secure wireless network with 256 bit encryption. The most secure organizations will wish to stay away from wireless altogether as well as the Windows Live ID accounts. HIPAA and Sarbanes Oxley compliance require both technical and functional contacts and a secured area for your server where it is not physically accessible to others and the use of encrypted only USB keys. Very secure organizations including the CIA are using technology to monitor the use of USB Keys / Flash Drives to alert security staff to their use. We can also produce machines with no exposed USB for the most secure installations.
The easiest way is to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 using the Windows Upgrade feature, maintaining your files and settings. The other options include just maintaining your files, or saving nothing. Saving nothing is the best path for installation, as it installs the most natural features for Windows 8 with the best features, and then carefully re-applying files and settings after the fact will produce the best results. It is important to make sure that all options are applied and that hardware and software are working. After this, apply all other employee or special use logins as needed.