1. runamuck83's Avatar
    I've worked in IT for over 15 years. I've worked for mid-size businesses as well as large enterprises and have dealt with all sorts of environments.

    For many years Windows was the be-all-end-all of all the various company infrastructures I worked for. From the server, to the client Windows was the foundation of our systems.

    Employees who worked from home, or took work home all had Windows. When someone wanted to buy a laptop they'd ask what Windows-based units were the best. I guess you could call it the "glory days"

    However, in the last 5 years, like everyone I've watched a surprising shift. While the need for Windows on our business machines has not changed due to software requirements, more and more people are asking to work on their own devices (We've all heard about BYOD). Additionally, I've watched the rise of iOS/Android versions of our business critical applications - while yet to see a "Modern"(Windows 8 touch) version of the same thing...

    Majority of these BYOD'ers are not bringing Windows devices. They're bringing either a Macbook, an iPad or Android tablet. (I personally have yet to have anyone bring or ask for a Surface - even though it's my primary machine and I've been pushing to deploy them).

    I love my Windows 8 devices (Nokia 1520, Surface Pro 3) and I extol their virtues whenever and wherever I can to support the "cause".

    But, I wonder... is it safe to stake a career on Windows given the direction the world is moving?

    IT is a tough field if only for the fact that if you don't stay current, you'll be left behind. I don't want to realize 5-10 years from now I missed the boat..

    Just food for discussion...
    10-23-2014 07:57 AM
  2. Pete's Avatar
    I absolutely agree with my learned friend above. Windows and its infrastructure is key to many businesses. The IT processes are very stable and well documented and supported, it doesn't make much sense to "go it alone" in terms of devices unless you're a small business with a good IT guy.

    BYOD can work, but as mentioned above, it's only supported as a convenience more than mission critical. Windows Phone is a great example of this as IT administrators are able to configure the security on the device and limit functionality as required.

    If there is a shift, then it's going toward SaaS (Software as a Service), allowing the use of Web Apps and cloud computing/storage. This will lend a certain agnosticity (made-up word, I know) to the devices used, but businesses will still continue to use Windows as their main hardware and infrastructure.

    So my advice is to stick with Windows, but learn about Azure, that's where the future really is...
  3. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Well there's many ways to go about this discussion. You can spell the doom of Windows and the overtaking of Apple or you can look at realities and start from there.

    First part is that Microsoft are still king of enterprise bar none. Linux was supposed to overtake MS, didn't happen. PC is supposed to disappear, not likely any time soon. Etc.

    The BYOD thing is new but whether we're talking about actual work devices or just complementary devices is two different things. For tablets, Apple is still king and Android has some the cheapest around even though there's some good Windows tablets, with all the bad press they got for W8 it's not surprising no one comes forward with one.

    That is MS's biggest issue. Press. However, they seem to be somewhat bulletproof to some extent. I've been using Windows almost since inception. Everyone hated Xp, now you can't get people off the damn thing. Windows Vista was a complete disaster but they regained their mojo with W7. W8 has got bad press for all the wrong reasons and I mostly blame MS for not advertising right rather than what was wrong with it. I hope and really hope that W10 will redeem MS in the eyes of those who cried over little things. Personally I hated the Start menu but I seem to be a minority.

    Will MS come out smelling like roses after the release of W10? Well that all depends if they do it right. Will Windows disappear from the work place any time soon? Highly doubt it.

    You simply cannot buy cheaper work machines than Windows. In large enterprise you will not have BYOD except as complementary devices. Not many companies will buy large quantities of Apple machines, just not cost effective.

    To put an end to the disruptions IT professionals should halt the BYOD thing. I can't see that being an easy system to run and once a company gets larger I'm sure it's more difficult to manage.

    I don't see MS leaving enterprise anytime soon. Either as the backbone or the standard work machine. It's up to MS however to push their new products and to make business realise how good and effective they are. One of the big problems you have though is that IT professionals, except for a rare few, are very conservative and lots of companies have too much custom software which becomes a worry if you upgrade. This is 99% of the issues around upgrades for Windows machines. Compatibility.
    10-23-2014 09:46 AM
  4. Pete's Avatar
    I absolutely agree with my learned friend above. Windows and its infrastructure is key to many businesses. The IT processes are very stable and well documented and supported, it doesn't make much sense to "go it alone" in terms of devices unless you're a small business with a good IT guy.

    BYOD can work, but as mentioned above, it's only supported as a convenience more than mission critical. Windows Phone is a great example of this as IT administrators are able to configure the security on the device and limit functionality as required.

    If there is a shift, then it's going toward SaaS (Software as a Service), allowing the use of Web Apps and cloud computing/storage. This will lend a certain agnosticity (made-up word, I know) to the devices used, but businesses will still continue to use Windows as their main hardware and infrastructure.

    So my advice is to stick with Windows, but learn about Azure, that's where the future really is...
    10-23-2014 10:03 AM
  5. runamuck83's Avatar
    Hopefully this didn't come across as "spelling doom for Windows". Was not my intention. I 100% agree on the points made above. Microsoft owns the Enterprise, the back-end, etc. I think maybe what I was trying to make light of is that businesses these days seem to be following their users as opposed to users following their business.

    In the past, a user bought a Windows PC because that's what they got at work and that's all they knew. Now, users are coming in and they're demanding to use their own devices or at least pressuring enterprises to adopt technology they prefer. (iPads, iPhones, Android, yadda yadda).

    While the back-end may always be Windows supporting these devices - wouldn't it make sense to gain experience supporting these other device scenarios as opposed to an IT group believing "Nothing will ever replace Windows at work".

    SaaS is def. the way of the future - but will the majority of users utilizing SaaS services be running Windows, 10-15 years from now? I don't know... The future is not clear.
    10-23-2014 10:29 AM
  6. Pete's Avatar
    I've personally not seen any business that allows users to user their own devices as a primary computing device at work. It causes undue problems when it comes to supporting hardware, software, network, compliance, heath and safety and so on... Having said that, I habitually use my own keyboard/mouse at work (just prefer my Logitech stuff over cheap clacky keyboards).

    In my IT career, I've only had to adjust my main computing system twice. Moving from CP/M to DOS, and moving from DOS to Windows 95. I don't anticipate there being a change in working for the rest of my career. In keeping with Microsoft as the backbone, I don't think you'll be working your way into obsolescence.
    N_LaRUE and Laura Knotek like this.
    10-23-2014 10:40 AM
  7. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    I work for a very large company. Aside from allowing Android and Apple devices on the WiFi system all computers are on Windows. If you want to use your own device on IT services you have to subject it to the security that the IT group wants, which is basically allowing them to wipe it clean if they so choose.

    Maybe if more companies took that approach less people would think differently.

    Saying that, the future is hard to predict. To some the cloud is the way things are going and I expect it to get better but security is the main issue with that. Lots of businesses are cautious about having their data 'out there'.

    The push for cloud has been huge but there hasn't been a big take up with traditional large enterprises. Saying that, I think it that will change.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-23-2014 10:40 AM
  8. OwenDL's Avatar
    While people may be using iProducts and Android for their personal lives, like phones, tablets, etc, I think Windows will always be the king of the hill when it comes to providing companies with an OS that their workers can learn and use easily. I mean, Microsoft already has the software like Word, Excel, Powerpoint and so on, it only makes sense to keep using the OS those office tools would work best with.

    Unless Apple makes a HUGE push to start designing a product for mass release for businesses, I don't see anyone overtaking Windows. And it being Apple, cheap isn't something they do very well...

    To add to that, Microsoft is still in the game, very much so. Windows 10 in promising, and, if it comes out well enough, I would imagine just the move to upgrade business computers to Windows 10 from 7 would be much more appealing then installing completely new computers just because workers want one device to connect to another.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-23-2014 12:03 PM
  9. aikidaves's Avatar
    I've been working with computers in one form or another since 1978, and I've made a few observations. I think the biggest one is that versatility matters. I'm not saying you need to know everything - no one can - but it's a good idea to have several related things you're really good at, some others you can get by at when necessary, and a good general grasp of what's going on in the industry that's relevant to your company and your job, both for the present and the future.

    What I do best is program ERP applications in the RPG language on the IBM i system. Yes, some people have been saying that's a dead platform for nearly as long as it's existed, equating it with programming CICS COBOL on mainframes, but I've made a career of it and get paid pretty good money for it. (For the record, most of those CICS COBOL programmers are still getting paid pretty well, too.) My advantage over a lot of my peers is that I can also work with most of the SQL databases out there, Oracle in particular, I can get the job done on Windows when I have to, and I can make these different things talk to each other when the need arises. If I had to, I could shift to focusing on one of those other systems and keep working. That's what versatility buys you in IT.

    My advice is to focus on what's fun for you that pays, but keep your eyes open and maintain as much versatility as you can, because the one thing that doesn't change in IT is that everything keeps changing. Good luck!
    Cleavitt76 and Laura Knotek like this.
    10-23-2014 03:31 PM
  10. jmshub's Avatar
    It depends a lot on the needs and requirements of your business, but I think Windows will continue to be a large part of enterprise computing. And Microsoft has a lot more going for it in enterprise than just Windows on a laptop or whatever. Active Directory is truly the gold standard of enterprise computer management.

    I'm in my mid 30s in the technology field. I'm in a highly regulated industry (financial), so we will use domain joined, group policy controlled Windows PCs longer than some other fields may. But I will continue to focus on Windows client and server management but also keep an eye on MDM to control users' BYOD tablets and phones.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-23-2014 03:41 PM
  11. Waylon Payne's Avatar
    Windows will always be there, to many other technologies that require it. SQL Server, System Centre, Exchange, SharePoint etc. I think there will be more adoption when windows 10, is released







    I currently work off a mac and I can say that its more of a pain than a pleasure. Office for mac is rubbish, so I have to run a vm just to use office 2013. I also have endless issues when moving between my clients and switching Ethernet \ WiFi connections. My windows vm will connect fine but not the host macbook pro.







    Will be switching back to windows next month when I start a new job and I really don't mind.







    If you really want to future proof your job right now, jump on the cloud bandwagon as that poses a lot more risk at present.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-24-2014 12:49 AM
  12. jnjroach's Avatar
    I've worked in IT for over 15 years. I've worked for mid-size businesses as well as large enterprises and have dealt with all sorts of environments.

    For many years Windows was the be-all-end-all of all the various company infrastructures I worked for. From the server, to the client Windows was the foundation of our systems.

    Employees who worked from home, or took work home all had Windows. When someone wanted to buy a laptop they'd ask what Windows-based units were the best. I guess you could call it the "glory days"

    However, in the last 5 years, like everyone I've watched a surprising shift. While the need for Windows on our business machines has not changed due to software requirements, more and more people are asking to work on their own devices (We've all heard about BYOD). Additionally, I've watched the rise of iOS/Android versions of our business critical applications - while yet to see a "Modern"(Windows 8 touch) version of the same thing...

    Majority of these BYOD'ers are not bringing Windows devices. They're bringing either a Macbook, an iPad or Android tablet. (I personally have yet to have anyone bring or ask for a Surface - even though it's my primary machine and I've been pushing to deploy them).

    I love my Windows 8 devices (Nokia 1520, Surface Pro 3) and I extol their virtues whenever and wherever I can to support the "cause".

    But, I wonder... is it safe to stake a career on Windows given the direction the world is moving?

    IT is a tough field if only for the fact that if you don't stay current, you'll be left behind. I don't want to realize 5-10 years from now I missed the boat..

    Just food for discussion...
    If you are on the Desktop side (or support) of IT, I would make sure you understand and can implement Mobile Device Management (MDM), AirTame, Intune, MaaS360, etc. . If you are planning to stay in mostly MS shops, learn Config Manager with Intune integration. Also, start learning about the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (Azure AD, Azure Remote App and Intune) ad this becomes a lynchpin for Windows 10 deployments.

    I would also start learning more about implementing and supporting Virtual Desktop Environments (VDI), same players as the Server Virtualization, Microsoft, Citrix and VMware as all of the BYOD devices are in reality endpoints. Any Microsoft oriented IT person needs to learn cross-platform support as the backend is moving in that direction and so is Layer 7 Applications.
    10-24-2014 09:38 AM

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