Windows 8As midnight strikes around the world, countries will see Windows 8 finally released to the public. In what is one of Microsoft’s most anticipated releases for many years, it’s arguably one of their biggest gambles too!

A gamble for Microsoft?

Why is it such a gamble for Microsoft? Well, Windows 8 sees a radical departure from the traditional Windows “desktop” environment. It’s geared very much towards touch-enabled devices, such as tablets. Whilst you can still access a “desktop” there is no traditional “Start” button in the bottom left corner. This will take some getting used to by many people!

We predict uptake of Windows 8 will be relatively slow with home users. Whilst it has the same hardware requirements that Windows 7 has, it’s been specially geared towards touch-enabled devices. That’s great if you own a tablet, or touch-enabled laptop, but it’ll be a couple of years or so before touch-enabled monitors for desktop computers become common place, and the benefits of Windows for regular home users can be fully realized.

Also, many businesses don’t see the benefit of upgrading their infrastructure to Windows 8. Many are still in the process of considering upgrading from XP to Windows 7!

Microsoft themselves are not even encouraging businesses to fully adopt and embrace Windows 8!

In a new post on the official Windows Business blog, Microsoft recommends that organizations that are currently in the middle of transitioning from Windows XP to Windows 7, should continue those efforts. They add:

Taking advantage of the high compatibility between Windows 8 and Windows 7, we recommend customers identify employees and user groups that can benefit most from Windows 8’s capabilities and deploy Windows 8 for those people, alongside Windows 7.

– Microsoft

For businesses that are still stuck on Windows XP, or are in the early stages of their Windows XP-to-7 transition, Microsoft says:

For some, moving their full company to Windows 8 will be the best choice, and for others it may be migrating first to Windows 7. Still, for many, it will be deploying Windows 8 side-by-side with Windows7 for key scenarios, such as Windows 8 tablets for mobile users.

– Microsoft

If a large business is now using Windows 7 full time, Microsoft says they should begin evaluating Windows 8 installations “… for a side-by-side adoption with Windows 7 for key business scenarios.

So whilst Windows 8 may fail to make much impact at first, whether in the business sector, or traditional home computer market, perhaps what’s most exciting about Windows 8 – for us at least – is the inclusion of the new Internet Explorer 10.

Internet Explorer 10

IE10 builds upon the success of IE9, and offers many significant improvements over its predecessor. There’s improvements both in terms of speed and performance. There’s also greater support for new and emerging web standards and technologies. (IE9 has been lagging behind somewhat from the current browser offerings from Mozilla, Google, Opera Software, and Apple)

On Windows 8, IE10 comes in two “flavors” – a desktop version, and as a “Windows Store” (formerly known as “Metro” or “Modern UI-style”) app:

Is Internet Explorer 10 available for earlier versions of Windows?

Internet Explorer 10 At present, sadly not! Microsoft have previously commented that IE10 will become available for Windows 7 users at some point, and have hinted at a “preview” version being available sometime next month.

If you’re using an earlier version of Windows (i.e. Vista or XP), you won’t be unable to run Internet Explorer 10 at all. In fact, if you’re still using Windows XP, you can’t even run IE9! The highest version of Internet Explorer available to you is version 8.

We don’t know why Microsoft made this decision, or why they’re dragging their heels on making IE10 available for Windows 7. It’s probably to encourage more people to update their operating system!

But to us it seems crazy, not least of all from a security perspective! New web-based threats are discovered all the time, which regularly maintained and updated web browsers can help combat.

By Microsoft preventing users from being able to use the latest version of their flagship Internet Explorer web browser, they’re certainly not helping in the fight against such threats!

So, in you’re on Windows 7 and are not planning to upgrade to Windows 8 just yet, you’ll have to wait a little longer to be able to get your hands on IE10.

And if you’re not even using Windows 7, forget it, you’ll never be able to run IE10! (You can still run other modern browsers i.e. Firefox, Chrome, etc on older operating systems like Windows XP)

That said, we really do like IE10! It’s by far the best browser offering Microsoft have released to date, and our browser-based scheduling app, MIDAS, runs really well in it!

If you’re looking for a room scheduling software solution that’s compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, Macs, Linux, Chromium, Ubuntu… in fact any system with a modern, compatible web browser – MIDAS is for you! So…

To mark the launch of Windows 8 on Friday 26th October, we’re offering 26% off new purchases of MIDAS until the end of the month! Simply enter Promo Code “Win8” when purchasing through our secure website.