Microsoft employees have been living and working with Windows 8 and IE 10 on their computers since mid-July says the firm on a new MSDN blog post. That’s nearly a third of all Microsoft’s employees “eating dogfood” as 30,000 of the 94,000 employees at Microsoft take part in the pre-release internal evaluation and testing program.
The lessons learnt and internal support utilised by Microsoft during this internal testing process can be used as an example to other enterprises looking at migrating to the operating system. Since mid-July Microsoft has been internally testing Windows 8 Release Preview and IE10 Release Preview in its own organisation. The deployment was supported by a number of means; self-help, help desk and via a moderated online community of users called “//pointers”.
Through the introductory program Microsoft has collected valuable data about common pitfalls and errors. Also to aid in the transition employees in the dogfooding program were provided “readiness training that contained the key differences between Windows 8/Internet Explorer 10 and previous versions, and they were provided information about the new features and a troubleshooting guide with tips and tricks on how to resolve common issues” says the blog post written by Patrick O’Rourke, director within the strategy, planning and communications team in Microsoft IT. The “//pointers” online community was shown to be very popular and valuable; many people who solved their own software issues via the forum came back and helped others along, showing a community spirit.
An English Pointer spots some dogfooding.
Security is very important to computer users and especially so to corporate clients who may deal a lot with sensitive personal and financial information as part of their business activity. Mr O’Rourke emphasised the security features built into Windows 8 and how much more of a secure OS it is compared to previous versions of Windows. Windows 8 security was praised at Black Hat 2012 and also PC Magazine called the new OS “secure at the deepest level” in an article on Friday.
Keep taking the tablets
All the extensive user testing and security accolades do bode well for the stability and corporate adoption of Windows 8. However latest figures show that Windows 7 is now on 50 per cent of enterprise computers, they won’t be updating very soon and a lot of them have just been separated from their venerable XP machines. Perhaps Microsoft can get Windows 8 into enterprises faster through the mass adoption of tablets into workplaces than waiting for Windows 7 end of life. We await the Windows 8 tablet rush coming during the next few months to see just how well these new devices work and catch on.