> Going Back to the Start

Going Back to the Start

Posted on Sunday, January 8, 2012 | No Comments

One of the things I’m most looking forward to this year is the release of Windows 8; the OS that hopefully finally propels Microsoft in the tablet market.  When Apple released their iPad, I talked endlessly about whether the form factor was truly ready, citing that users didn’t really need a middle device between their smart phone and PC/Laptop – I’m not sure if my opinion of that has really changed any, but with Windows 8 walking the line between tablet OS and fully operated Windows release, that seems far more appealing to me and I hope to purchase a touch enabled device when the time comes.

One question I keep reading over and over again though is the around the question of what advantages Windows 8 brings to the business.  Whilst ‘metro’ and touch screen don’t necessarily translate well into the enterprise space, there are some improvements to be had – especially one feature in particular – ‘refresh/reset’.

On the ‘Building Windows 8’ blog (link – here), a whole raft of information can be found about how it works.  But the bit that caught my attention was the following table:

Recovery operation
Time required
Refreshing the PC
8 minutes 22 seconds
Resetting the PC (quick)
6 minutes 12 seconds
Resetting the PC (thorough, with BitLocker enabled)
6 minutes 21 seconds
Resetting the PC (thorough, without BitLocker)
23 minutes 52 seconds

It shows the amount of time it takes for Windows to do a refresh or reset from various states.  Assuming that the hard disk isn’t the cause of the failure, this feature could really improve the lives of many ‘road warriors’ and technical support folk; especially in conjunction with the ability to set your restore point.

Don’t get me wrong, road warriors will still have to make provisions to back up their data (unless you’ve already “gone to the cloud”), and look after their devices, but the ability to go back to ‘factory settings’ in extreme circumstances will be priceless for these users, especially if technical support is out of immediate reach.

Of course, many will argue that having this ‘nuclear’ option at all is an admission of defeat – after all, when was the last time you had to reset your smart phone or tablet device running integrated operating systems?  And I agree with those that make this argument, reinstalling or resetting will be the very last thing you ever want to do and is a bit of an admission of defeat on Microsoft’s part; however we’re still in a transition period between these post-PC, integrated devices and the traditional operating systems that require us to re-install every now and again.

There is also no denying that things have got better in this area overall though; I don’t think I’ve ever had to reinstall my Windows 7 laptop since it was purchased, where as I’m sure I would have found the need to do so if I were still running Windows XP.

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