Microsoft recently ran a well-attended event in London, showcasing the Windows devices, and showing how they come together with Windows and Office to deliver a great Microsoft end user experience. Representatives from a number of Government departments were joined by Microsoft partners, including: 

  • Intel, who brought along a selection of the latest Windows 8 devices – such as the Lenovo Twist, Dell XPS12, and the Samsung ATIV
  • Risual, talking about their experience as a UK SME of deploying Public Sector desktops at pace
  • Camwood, who shared their best practices and techniques for helping customers deal with “the app compat” blocker

We were also kindly joined by representatives from West Sussex, who shared their first-hand experience of a recent Windows upgrade project, and talked about how they approach the business change as well as the technical aspects.

During the session, the Microsoft desktop specialists gave a great session on the benefits of Windows 8 and Office 2013 for Government, showing how they can solve Government challenges around mobility and openness, but also deliver real savings compared to previous generations of desktops.

We also showed how to deliver a modern Windows estate – whether that is Windows 7, Windows 8, or a mix. We showed how, and why, the desktop estate from now on will often contain more than one version of Windows, coexisting happily, based on users’ and business needs. And we showed management of a mixed estate, including non-Microsoft devices and users’ own-brought devices -reusing tools most Government departments already own.

Camwood’s session on the urgency of moving away from Windows XP was particularly well received. They talked about practical steps customers can take to start understanding, and remediating applications, so that users can move up in much more agile ways than previously possible. You can hear more about Camwood’s work on their recent “400 days to go” article.

We’ll be running another session in the Spring, where there will be more devices to show, more exciting Windows 8 apps for Government to talk about, and new innovations to unveil…  Watch this space for the announcement!

by Richard Shipton
Microsoft UK Government Team