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Windows Roulette

Are you ready to play Windows Roulette and decide from among Windows 10, 8.x, 7, XP, or VDI? This year just might be the crossroads that everyone has predicted for years. It's really time to spin the wheel and make a choice about which operating system will carry you through the next few years – that is, if the underlying operating system concerns you at all.

I call this behavior Windows Roulette, because it's essentially a game you can't win. On one hand, you have a reliable, trusted operating system that everyone likes, that everyone is familiar with, and that everyone uses. On the other hand, you have a new operating system with its new features, its new interface, and its new bugs. In the middle, you have the user who just wants to get the job done with a minimum amount of hassle.

To further drive home the "no win" situation, there's the problem of your beloved Windows XP being beyond its service life, with Windows 7 hot on its heels. Your alternatives aren't great. Windows 8 is not something many people really like. Plus, to make it easy to use and enjoy to any extent, you have to have a touchscreen.

Windows 10 is the great unknown. It's almost like throwing money onto a roulette table without looking at the numbers. None of us really know what new aspects Windows 10 is going to bring to users and admins. I am not excited about it. Like many of you, I stuck with Windows XP until almost a year before the End of Life deadline, and I'll probably stick with Windows 7 until any device using it dies.

After experiencing Windows 8, I decided to make the switch to something that works. I've tried to switch to Linux as a desktop operating system over the past 17 years or so, but it's just not going to happen. My alternative has been to switch to Apple. I'm currently using my Mac mini to write this introductory piece. It joins my iPad 4 and iPhone 5. My day job PC begrudgingly runs Windows 7 – I say begrudgingly because it would run better with Windows XP, but alas, that ship has sailed – and Macs aren't allowed, so I, too, must play Windows Roulette.

Which version of Windows will your users use? Will you allow them to decide, or will you adopt a policy of OS independence and simply supply applications to whatever the user brings or wants as an operating system? There are so many great application delivery platforms in the market now that it seems like a no-brainer which way to go: I'd ignore the operating system completely and deliver what the users really want, which are applications.

Stop playing Windows Roulette and get into the application delivery game, where everyone wins.

Ken Hess * ADMIN Senior Editor