Do you train your users on how to use Windows?

I asked this question at a customer workshop last week, where they were discussing the possible rollout of Windows 8 across their ~20,000 users…

Do you train your users on how to use Windows?

Why the question?  For two reasons:

1. Windows 8 is going to be a significant new user experience for most employees.  Remember, you cannot disable the ‘Metro’ UI (yes I know, Microsoft isn’t calling it that anymore, but the rest of the world is), and so (at a minimum) every time a user wants to change settings or even restart they will need to shift into new areas of the interface.  Of course, there is no Start menu either…  For the average ‘Office and Email’ user, that is going to take significant adjustment, particularly if the standardised business applications will still require the old Windows desktop, but web access and built-in applications use ‘Metro’.

Also, much more importantly…

2. Many new employees will never have used Windows as their primary computing interface.  Whether they are Mac or Linux devotees that have never used Windows on a home PC or at their educational institution, or else tablet/smartphone users that have never needed or wished to sit in front of a ‘traditional PC’, then the experience of using Windows for accessing their work is going to be an alien one.

I’m not suggesting that this is necessarily happening in large numbers today, but over the next 3-5 years I believe that a significant minority of individuals will be entering the workforce without the expected framework of reference that previous use of a similar version of Windows has given in the past.

In both cases, for these users to achieve maximum productivity, I believe that proper Windows training will be essential.

So what’s your plan?

Will you begin to train your users in how to Microsoft Windows and specifically, Windows 8?

Also, will your oganisation look to shift away from a reliance on Windows toward platforms that more closely matches their previous experience?

Interesting times ahead…

Connections Desktop Plug-ins for Microsoft Windows now available

The IBM Connections Desktop Plug-ins Microsoft Windows is intended for Microsoft Windows users, adding social networking features and functionality from IBM Connections services, including Activities, Communities, Files, and Profiles.

The IBM Connections Desktop Plug-ins for Microsoft Windows provides the following features from Windows Explorer:

  • Upload files for personal use or to share with others
  • Upload files to a community or attach them to an Activity
  • Share existing Connections files with other users or with a community
  • Drag and drop files from your desktop to Connections Files or to a community
  • View and manage versions of your files
  • Add comments to files or recommend files
  • Edit and publish local drafts to Connections
  • Pin or follow folders and files for easier tracking
  • View business cards for people and invite them to your network
  • Easily access all Connections features via browser links

The IBM Connections Desktop Plug-ins Microsoft Windows supports:

  • IBM Connections
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), Windows Vista (32-bit), Windows 7 SP1 (32-bit, 64-bit)

I’ve been looking forward to this plug-in for a very long time, so I’m excited we have it for deployment today.  I know a number of customers that have been holding back on full-scale deployment of Connections until they have native access to Connections Files, so this will make a significant difference.  Hopefully the Mac version won’t be too far behind 😉