Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Microsoft Unveils Windows 8

Today, Microsoft revealed more details about its new PC and tablet operating system code-named "Windows 8". The OS is actually running on a system that the developers are also calling "Metro" so these two names Win8 and Metro are synonymous. The video gives a good look at some of the aesthetic features of using touch in a Microsoft environment.





Other features to consider are the ability of the OS to load in 10-seconds. This means you power up your PC, laptop, netbook or tablet and the OS is running in under 10-seconds. For those of us using Windows XP or 7, this is a time saver!

What does this mean for KISD?
Well, we never left the Windows XP environment for several reasons and I can list those here:

1. Cost - an upgrade to a new OS has a financial cost. Licenses for education markets are tremendously cheaper than other markets. But there is still a cost and we could actually afford to move to a new OS when we are ready for it.

2. Time - upgrading a PC to a new version of Microsoft isn't something that can be done quickly. EVERY computer would have to be hand-installed. This means every bookmark, file save, and setting would be wiped out on each computer. So time is a consideration. Training staff to save their files and backups to an alternate location would take time. Then the install and then the restoration of the settings would take more time. Time is a huge reason we aren't ready for an upgrade.

3. Stability - before we upgrade, we have to make sure every piece of software in the district will work on a new OS. In some of our labs, there is software being used that was purchased in the 1990s that is STILL used today. We know for a fact that some of these programs would not have worked if we had gone to Windows 7 so we couldn't make the jump then. But as more applications move to "the cloud" and the web, then the less we are reliant on the operating system to be able to run them. At that point, we enter the "browser war" to find out if Internet Explorer is the best option or if we use multiple browsers for different tasks.

4. Upgrade - Operating Systems used to come out less frequently. Windows 98 was out for a full 5-years until Windows XP came around. Now, operating systems turn out less than every 2 years. This goes back to each of the other reasons why we don't upgrade on each release: cost, time and stability. We don't want to buy a brand new OS until we know it is the solution we need and are willing to invest in the time and cost to complete it.

All this being said, we are keeping our eyes open to learn about the new Operating System because we want to provide a secure infrastructure for our district. The more reliant we are on older systems, the more at-risk we put our entire network system.

We have an AEC Committee this year that will be looking into the idea of upgrading the OS on computers and helping us figure out how stable this type of move could be.

2 comments:

  1. I agree Joel; to many factors preventing us from migrating over to a new OS, (Software been the greatest), solution: STANDARDIZE, not an easy task but much need it, once we can get this part of the migration taking care of, the hardware issue won't be as bad, hardware is the 2nd but we need to consider the option of removing those old units from network and worry about the primary units, Labs & teacher units, mini labs are great but they can be phase out to cut COST, especially with the school budget been cut for the next 2 years, Teacher Training: will have to be offer during summer and during school year, this needs to be plan out in phases, considering the fact that units get put up 2 weeks after school is out.

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