re: Microsoft Courts Businesses With Windows 8.1 Reveal
Terabyte Net, based on your recent comments, I suspect there's no convincing you that many users were less than thrilled with Win8's GUI. It doesn't seem to matter how many reports attempt to quantify the learning curve's effects, or what analysts think, or how many OEM executives speak disparagingly of the OS-- you seem certain that Win8's troubles stem from media bias.
I appreciate that you bring a balance to IW's comments, and that you've helped other readers answer some of their Win8 questions. But blaming journalists to the exclusion of all other factors doesn't strike you as a little myopic?
Anyway, yes, "real work" is done predominately on PCs, not tablets. While I did not belabor this point in this particular article, you seem to ignore that I - and others at InformationWeek - have repeatedly emphasized that PCs will be essential for the foreseeable future. In fact, the article that I linked to in the "eat into Redmond's de facto monopoly" bit makes this exact point: PCs aren't dead.
That said, not all employees spend all day writing code, running CAD programs, or doing any of the other things for which new form factors aren't particularly suited. Given that not all people need a PC for work - at least not all of the time - it's natural that the PC's share of the personal computing market will fall. This doesn't mean the PC is irrelevant; rather, it means that customers have more choices with which to fulfill a given task. For some, PCs will be the choice that makes sense most often, and for others, it will be something else. Most people, I suspect, will spread their computing across a variety of devices, a trend that's already in effect.
Also, about the "iToys" stuff--it's more than email and Web browsing. ABI said in January that around 1 in 5 tablets are sold to enterprises, and given how market dynamics have evolved since then, I wouldn't be surprised if that proportion has increased a little. Some of this involves employees who want to use the same UI at work that they use at home-- but in many cases, it's about putting computing technology where it couldn't go before, such as factory floors, or out in the field. We live in an information-driven economy, and as connected devices and pervasive sensing become more ubiquitous, mobile devices will play an important role in delivering the right information to the right person at the right time. That's a big part of what is - by the measure of numerous sources - a multi-trillion dollar opportunity. And that's not even mentioning the marketing and point-of-sales applications, or the schools that are using tablets not only as laptop replacements but as tools with which to document (textually, aurally, photographically, in terms of GPS) field research.
I'll grant you that schools like tablets partially because they're cheaper than laptops and thus enable 1:1 deployments-- but just as it's simplistic to say that PCs are dead, it's likewise simplistic to write off tablets as consumer novelties.
Does this mean that most of the people who are using PCs at work today will soon be switching to tablets? Of course not. Some of them will. Others will add tablets as complements to a PC. Others still will stick exclusively with PCs. But to dismiss tablets as "toys" says less about their use than about how you define "work."
As for Windows 8 deployments-- this article actually makes the point, on the second page, that businesses typically wait a while before adopting a new OS. You're right about Vista; Windows 7's adoption was inflated by disappointed Vista users, and Windows 8 has no such feather in its cap. That point probably could have been included in this article-- but again, as a frequent reader, you might have noticed that I've pointed out the Vista issue before. And even so, it's not like Windows 8's adoption is only a little behind Windows 7's.
As for Windows 8.x having its day, I've repeatedly argued that Win8's market share is primed to take off. I've framed this argument around tablets, price points, Intel chips, and BYOD (though so has Microsoft) so perhaps that's the reason you disagree. But yes, at some point, Windows 7 users will upgrade to something else, and for many of them, it will be to whatever version of Windows make sense at the time, whether that's Win8.x, Win9, or something else. But that inevitability isn't an endorsement of the GUI, and it doesn't seem that some businesses wouldn't have been hesitant about the Live Tiles if they'd actually been in position to upgrade.