Friday, August 31, 2012

Windows 8, server 2012 - Why bother?

For the first time in over a decade a new release of Microsoft software is coming out and I'm not an early adopter. In fact I probably won't even get it until I have to.

When Windows XP came out my company was the largest deployment of XP outside of Microsoft. In fact I still have the Windows XP shirt, signed by the team hanging in my office. We deployed Windows Vista before it was released and were one of the first to benefit from Windows 7. We followed the same trend with Office 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Why the change? A few reasons actually. First my account team changed. I'm a big believer that the account team makes or breaks a relationship. In this case breaks. We used to always know what was going on at Microsoft but our new team, who I've met but frankly would probably need to search my gmail to find their names again, just isn't that engaged. I had to about beg to learn about the Microsoft cloud and when we did they explained that the cloud versions would always be behind the installed version.

I used to know what cool features were coming and how they would help my company. Now all I know about windows 8 is that it has a new user interface that works with tablets.  Frankly my concerns with Windows 7 weren't about the interface. They were about the speed of the machine, how long it took to boot up and why it started fast and got so darn slow. Maybe there are some amazing new features in windows 8 but who knows.

I'm not sure what the new version of  office brings to the table, other than I can now use a cloud version, which looks just like the on premise version, and apparently the licensing doesn't rip you off as much.

So we switched to google. I understand their vision of 100% web, client independence and though their software isn't quite as polished as the MS versions, I think in a short time it will be. They also do a much better job of collaboration than MS does, as far as I can tell anyway not having seen the latest MS versions.

Now to be fair, we have a new Google representative as well, and frankly I haven't met them yet either. Hopefully they will be as engaged as our last AE was. She did a great job of explaining the Google vision and convincing us to go Google.

It's not all about the account team. I think Microsoft lost focus of what customers wanted and I think Google understands where the industry is going and is better positioned to get us there. Time will tell...

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