Microsoft still has ‘a way to go’ in determining its market for Windows 8, says Network Rail

Microsoft has “a bit of a way to go” in determining which market it is targeting for Windows 8, even though the operating system has now been on the market for over a year, Network Rail’s head of information systems strategy Simon Goodman has told Computing.

Goodman praised Microsoft’s early entries into hybrid-led technology via Windows 8, saying there was definitely “a need” for hybrid notebook-tablets, and that this was something Network Rail had “explored internally”.

“We’ve already looked at Surface-based devices,” confirmed Goodman.

“It gives you a combination of nice tablet looks and feel, a lightweight device, but it’s got a bit of grunt behind it, so if you need to do something a little bit more hefty from an applications perspective, you’ve got the tools and capabilities to do that,” he said.

But Goodman described the move from Windows 7 to 8, with its added Modern apps interface, as “a huge jump” for Microsoft, which could affect ease of adoption for some of Network Rail’s workers.

“If you’re a traditional desktop user, it’s quite difficult to get to the look and feel of how that works, and how to navigate around it,” said Goodman.

But Goodman maintained that, from a tablet perspective, “it’s not that hard to work out where you go, and everything else”.

However, Goodman is going to hold fire before rolling out any Windows 8 systems en masse at Network Rail.

“For me, it’s something we will look to embrace where it makes sense to do so, but I still think Microsoft has got a bit of a way to go yet to determine exactly what market it wants to play into,” said Goodman.

Look out for the full-length video interview with Network Rail’s Simon Goodman on Computing very soon.

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