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GCN : October 2012
12 GCN OCTOBER 2012 • GCN.COM Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system will alter everything about computers across all form factors. Make no mistake, this isn't an incremen- tal upgrade. Windows 8 is a sea change, in the way Windows 3.0 moved the world away from DOS. Having spent the past couple months diving into every aspect of the new operating system, I can say that there will certainly be a bit of a learning curve, but probably less than most users ex- pect. Once that hill is overcome, Windows 8 will offer so many advantages in terms of security and usability that will be dif- ficult to imagine how the world worked without it. Federal workers especially should embrace these changes, because a stable and secure OS running across desktops, note- books and tablets has been a missing component of most agencies' build-out plans, lead- ing to a hodgepodge of inter- faces. Most agencies are run- ning Windows XP, while eyeing a transition to Windows 7 as the clock winds down on XP support in 2014. So getting every desk- top and laptop onto the same page, and then extending that page to tablets would be a big help. Windows 8 is part of Micro- soft's vision of a global operating system that is both platform and geographically independent. It looks exactly the same on a note- book, desktop, tablet or mobile device anywhere in the world. I learned how to use it on a desk- top computer without a touch screen, and that made using the OS on a tablet like the Samsung Galaxy second nature without further training. Its consistency across all form factors and several significant security upgrades should appeal to IT managers. And you don't need to fear the new interface WHY WINDOWS 8 IS GOOD FOR GOVERNMENT BY JOHN BREEDEN II The mobile-style interface is consistent across all formats, but desktop users will get used to it quickly.