Dell recommends Windows 8.

Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration

Curtis Franklin Jr., Executive Editor | 11/6/2012 | 22 comments

Curtis Franklin Jr.
Enterprises are concerned with the Win 8 big picture, but success may hinge on the little things. The very little things.

Last week at the Gartner IT Symposium, I watched a booth worker run a Windows 8 machine off into the weeds in thorough fashion. The booth had a number of touch-screen desktop systems set up running various applications and the staff was happily showing off how the new interface works. That included lots of touching, swiping, and moving things around on screen.

The demos were lovely, but they had an unfortunate side effect: finger prints on the large, lovely monitors of the systems. When those monitors met the mildly compulsive urges of one booth worker, things got interesting.

You see, bright shiny monitors with fingerprints all over the screens just weren't "right" for this individual. In an attempt to bring the world back to order, a cloth came out and the fingerprints were attacked. There was just one problem: The cloth was able to trigger the location tracking features of the touchscreen and just like that, applications, demos, carefully-constructed splash screens, and active tiles were all swept off into the depths of the new Windows interface.

Users familiar with the new interface were able to bring back the planned displays, but the incident (which was repeated while I watched) pointed out something that the IT department needs to take into account: screen cleaning cloths. A lot of them. And instructions on how to use them without destroying work-in-progress or disrupting carefully crafted application screens.

It's a small thing, but users moving to a touch-screen computer on their desk are going to need support if they're going to remain productive -- and help desks are going to have to be able to offer one- or two-step processes for getting back to a home screen from whatever accidental weeds the user has chosen to visit with a poorly-timed cleaning spree.

Another small fingerprint-related item to think about is the stylus or pointing device. I guarantee that some people will be so anti-fingerprint that they'll want to use a stylus to use on the touchscreen of their new computer. Unless you like the idea of permenantly etched lines on the screen from ballpoint pens, hat pins, hunting arrow broadpoints, and whatever other insane items users are apt to pick up and try, you'll research good stylus choices, make company-standard styli available to users, and impress on those users (in the mandatory Windows 8 training session) of the dire consequences that will follow from using anything except the official stylus (or a finger) on the screen.

There are plenty of big issues to think about, but if you want to get user buy-in and see productive results from your migration, you'll pay attention to the little things, too. Think of it as a branding opportunity: Give the migration project a great name, get screen-cleaning kits with the logo, and present everyone with a snazzy stylus when they get the new computer. It may sound cheesy, but the little things will add up to big wins when you move to Windows 8.

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PositivelyKeith   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   12/26/2012 6:47:42 PM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
@Toby I may have known about the Winston Churchill fact and forgotten about it - or I may simply not have known and simply feel it sounds familiar!!

I agree it may have a bearing on his writings.  His speeches were certainly very motivating, passionate, and on the mark.
Toby   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   12/25/2012 11:22:54 AM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
@Keith: I know for a fact that almost everything Winston Churchill 'wrote' was actually dictation to  secretary although he did revise later. His writings have a wonderful style that may be the result of this technique. It is likely he was not alone when it comes to famous men of letters.
PositivelyKeith   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   12/25/2012 8:09:02 AM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
@Toby interestingly, when you hear writers interviewed they almost invariably use the written word only. Either handwritten transcripts that someone else types up for them or using a laptop or PC.

Apart from the occasional writer with some disability I don't think I have ever heard of anyone dictating.

Strange really because many years ago it was common to have secretaries that transposed dictation tapes - those little mini ones smaller than a box of matches!
Toby   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   12/24/2012 9:44:51 AM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
@Keith: Agreed. It is a little like two different people are involved. Perhaps more books written as dictation would make for better reading?
PositivelyKeith   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   12/21/2012 4:23:28 AM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
@Toby I agree about the written / spoken word issue!! 

The great thing about spoken word is you don't have to worry about spelling!! I've done a number of video interviews lately and it is interesting to hear what you have to say! Apart from the odd retake when you are speaking it is a constant flow and you cannot go back and amend a word or sentence because it did not come across right.

The written word allows your brain to keep up with what you are writing, and then you have the opportunity to reread over and again to make sure it says what you want it to!
Toby   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   12/19/2012 8:08:10 AM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
@keith: Laptop sits on the passenger seat and, once a few settings are made that stop interuptions (like switching off the audio buffer as this can overflow) you are free to talk away. As for the background noise, given the headset is good quality and the mic is right by your lips, the software has no problem with the words. It is pretty darn interesting however to read what spoken words rather than written words. You find your whole style of comunication is very different. Takes a while to get used to it.
PositivelyKeith   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   12/14/2012 1:26:24 AM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
@ Toby that's impressive as headsets often pick up a lot of background noise.

When mobile like that what are you recording on?  Do you have a laptop or tablet on the passenger seat?

I don't do so much driving as I used to but have to say that in the past week or two have encountered several traffic jams that have taken between 1 and 4 hours!!  So I could have done with being a little more productive!
Toby   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   12/11/2012 10:14:39 AM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
@Keith: Latest on this is that I have successfully used it to dictate large (and often wordy) documents while driving, mostly aided by a good wireless headset.  Now motoring commuters can work as they drive to work.....
anthony.nima   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/30/2012 3:11:22 AM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
These little things do come in hige numbers when something goes wrong so its always better to have the little things analyzed closely and monitor consistantly.
PositivelyKeith   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/23/2012 4:38:58 PM
Re: Screen, Surface and Space
Thanks Toby, I'll have a look for that over the weekend and give it some consideration.
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