Microsoft Details $14.99 Win 8 Pro Upgrade for Win 7 PC Buyers
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"[But] most other enterprises are likely to hold off until they reach a critical mass of touch-enabled devices as part of their incremental device replacement policies," Hilwa said.
Firsthand Evaluation Required
With respect to the enterprise market as a whole, Microsoft also rolled out a free 90-day trial of Windows 8 Professional last week. According to IDC Vice President Al Gillen, the ultimate goal for organizations here is to get exposure to the newest Windows client operating system version.
"Windows 8 Enterprise is a SKU that only Software Assurance subscribers have access to, so there are two distinct efforts rolled up here," Gillen told us. "One is to get customers to play with the release-to-manufacturing bits for Windows 8, the second is to expose non-SA customers to the benefits included in Windows 8 Enterprise, since this download is not exclusive to SA customers."
Gillen believes IT departments that use Windows client OS solutions should evaluate Windows 8 first-hand, so they have an understanding for how this product will -- or will not -- integrate into their environment, support their existing application portfolio, and so on.
"This is a normal process that medium and large organizations go through when a new version of the Windows client portfolio is released," Gillen said.