SupportWorld, Jan/Feb 2013

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Preparing for and Alleviating End-User Challenges The changes Windows 8 brings to the traditional Windows operating environment are significant enough to guarantee questions from end users. The first and most obvious stumbling block will be the Modern interface; IT should be ready to answer numerous "Where did X go?" queries. Adjusting to working in Office on a touchscreen device may also prove challenging for some end users. Here are examples of the types of questions IT can expect: • How can I customize the Start screen and Tiles? • How do I bring up the Charms bar and what does it include? basic online storage, it's accessible from anywhere, and it enables folder synching and backing up settings across machines. • How do I shut down Windows 8? Are there other faster ways to shut down? Together, these improvements signal Microsoft's attempt to accommodate two dominant workplace trends: consumerization and the cloud. It's a new world of work, in which the professional and personal lives of employees overlap in new and different ways—and one in which technology can be either an enabler or an obstacle. • How do I use the Desktop application to access the classic Windows desktop? • Where can I find the settings that control whether apps can access my location or personal data? • How do I work with Microsoft Office applications on a Windows 8 touchscreen device? By unifying the workplace and mobile computing environments, Windows 8 enables workers to use smaller, lighter devices (such as the Samsung Slate or the Microsoft Surface Pro) as full desktop replacements, a capability not available on other tablets and one that has the potential to drastically change how people work. • How can I save my files in a location where I can access them from any of my devices? A service desk prepared to answer these and related questions will be an important resource for the organization and its users. On the flip side, some critics maintain that Windows 8 may cause unnecessary disruption in the workplace. They cite the learning curve and company-wide hardware refreshes as two examples. While it's true that the new interface may prove to be challenging for some, considering the ubiquity of tablets and smartphones in the workplace, it may not be all that disruptive. Besides, users always have the option to use the traditional "classic" desktop interface instead of the Windows 8 interface. A Key Challenge for Enterprise IT: Supporting Consumerization and BYOD Today's workers use multiple devices, and they want to be able to access the same information from every device they use. IT, on the other hand, needs to be able to manage all of those devices and keep company data secure. Windows 8 has many consumerization- and BYOD-oriented features. For users, Windows 8 delivers a common interface across a range of devices and gives users the ability to access data on any of those devices. It also offers greater choice. Much like iOS and Android, Microsoft's new OS includes consumeroriented features, but it also offers tried-and-true Microsoft business apps like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote. | A Professional Journal for the Technical Service and Support Community 39

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