Informative Essay on Viability of Upgrading to Windows 8

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Harvey Mudd College
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SWOT analysis is an important technique that helps in understanding CMI strengths, weaknesses identification of weakness and threats they are likely to face during the analysis (, 2017). In upgrading to operating system Windows 8, SWOT analysis will form the basis to justify the supported scenarios.

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Windows 8 operating system has several features that are new such as Networking Stack, Parallel Session Allocation, Monitoring Server Core, Improved image-based installation, Self-Healing NTFS File System among others. Therefore, these features form the basis of strengths of CMI, and the benefits include customer support that is strong, a strong product. Also reduced the cost of administration and client reference that is of quality.

The first weakness that the company will experience is persistence in cost. Although with the existence of the previous server, the license of CMI will still need to be upgraded to the new server. Hence, if one has a large network, a major cost will be incurred by the company. Moreover, if one upgrades to Windows server 8 then it will be of importance to upgrade the server also so as to increase the speed of a processor or memory among others. Additionally, when upgrading to a new server, the old features and role will be removed hence the company will need to come up with a new role.

Having a new Window server creates a lot of opportunity for the company. The server enhances reliability and helps to create a competitive advantage in the market. Also, the Window 8 server comes with an inbuilt software that one can apply to their company computer to increase its accessibility for every employee and it is faster and smoother compared to the previous server.

Differentiation is undermined whenever data performance is improved. Also, rising of data recovery tool develops a valuable issue. Moreover, the working environment is compromised by the economic downturn. Besides, ever since it has been in market Windows has had a bad reputation, it has been a favorite for hackers or viruses, and many experts consider it to be the operating system that is highly insecure.

Upgrading Plan

The 250 employees in Texas,175 in Maryland, and 25 in Nevada that have the capacity for running Windows 8 for their customers need not be overwhelming. Therefore, a phased approach should be applied so as to give IT department an ample time for transition in every location. The IT department has a ten-year experience with server 2012 and Windows 8 thus the migration training should be smooth. The phased approach plays an important role since it ensures the networks are properly configured with app locks policy, group policy, and public network that sets an environment for Windows 8. Moreover, to deploy Windows 8, the tools used in deploying include Microsoft Deployment Toolkit System Center Configuration Manager 2012. Also, the phased approach will ensure before all new applications going live in the branch they will be tested. Thus, this gives a lot of time to help desk in understanding all the issues that may arise during the migration. Hence, this will helps in reducing downtime and increasing productivity with the use of remote in the company. Also all problems or dangers of application compatibility can be reduced and achievement of success through good planning and system design.

Operations Organization

The network center being located in Texas, the upgrades will begin from there then proceed to Maryland then Nebraska. The main departments of concern will be a department of IT, Executive, Marketing, IT support, Developers, and Human Resources. The current era people are is referred as the post-PC era where PC assume many forms of factors. The choice only between a laptop computer or desktop is long gone with the coming of the smartphones, Ultrabook, netbooks, hybrids, and tablets to be considered. Therefore this implies there are various arrays of user devices with a different approach to the deployment of the App and support need that are different. Therefore, CMI need to consider mobile management device solutions and virtualization options in preparing for an endpoint environment that is dynamic.

Length of the Project

The project timeline needs to be as soon as possible unless there is a specific deadline has to be met. However, vendor support for some application and availability of product are most likely to affect the finish date to completion.

Practices for securing laptops and tablets once the upgrade is complete

In order to secure one's laptop or tablets once the upgrading is complete will include the following practices (, 2017):

Renaming the administrator account which will prevent many hackers that sometimes guess a password and try to log in using the administrator. Leaving the administrator account open gives the hackers information they want to compromise one's laptop. Also, one can create a decoy Administrator account so as to keep busy any potential hackers for a while.

Picking of strong passwords. A password should contain a minimum of fourteen characters and should be a combination of letters, symbols, numbers, and one should avoid words that are easily found in the dictionary. Also, it is good to have a login password whenever the laptop or tablet goes comes back from sleep, this prevents individuals who are Snoopy and can access while one is away.

Using of antivirus and firewall software. Always keep the antivirus functioning and updated this is because new viruses usually come out. And updating the antivirus will protect the laptop or tablet from latest viruses, Trojans, and other attacks. Luckily most of Microsoft Antivirus Products have been licensed by UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and can be used at no cost. Also, it is important to have a personal firewall installation for the protection of the system from unwanted or unauthorized network activity. However, since the invention of Windows XP and Microsoft Server 2003, all computers that use Windows comes up with a personal or local firewall.

Pros and Cons of an AppLocker

AppLocker is an application control solution that is based on group policy. AppLocker has been a great development of Software Restriction Policies since it has been providing a more intuitive and flexible solution than its predecessor. The AppLocker only ensures that authorized users are allowed to run installation packages, scripts, and executables (Smith, 2016). Hence, it has a good provision in selecting rules, the inclusion of file name, file hash, and publisher. Additionally, it gives the possibility of identifying an application by their file properties, like version and product name. However, this capacity is restricted to applications that are signed.

On the contrary, the AppLocker causes disappointment in its end user experience. Since, when the application is blocked the configuration of the message by the end, the user is hard. Therefore, this makes the IT department to have problems in conveying an important message to their user once there is blockage of an application (Smith, 2016). Further, this is aggravated by the unavailability of any method for accessing the unauthorized application when a user requests. It is, therefore, more challenging when there is the absence of informative messages and mechanisms of feedback to the users.

Process and Options of Managing Application Installation and Updates Using Windows Store

The Windows Store for Business creates a platform where one can find and purchase for their organization Windows apps individually or in volume. There are several options one can manage their application installation and updates, for example, managing the System Center Configuration Manager or Managing with Microsoft Intune (, 2017).

When using Microsoft Intune or Configuration Manager, the first thing is to associate the account of Windows Store for Business with Intune. There are three processes involved in managing the application, configuring synchronization, synchronizing apps and deploying apps. In configuring synchronization, the process involves;

Choosing Admin from Microsoft Intune administration or configuration manager console

Then choose Store for Business in the administration

Once in Store for Business, sign in if one has not yet done that then select Configure Sync.

Choose Enable Windows Store for Business Sync while in Configure Windows Store for Business app sync.

Then select the language the apps will be displayed from the Language drop-down list. Then Ok.

To Synchronize apps;

Select Sync now from the Windows Store for Business to synchronize the bought apps with Intune or Configuration Manager.

Then select Apps then volume-purchases apps from the Apps workspace to view the Apps for deployment and verification if the apps were correctly imported.

In deploying of apps, there is licensing for every user who installs the app. Therefore, if everyone uses the available licenses for a deployed app, it will be hard to deploy any more copies. Therefore the following measures can be taken;

Uninstalling the app from a device

Reducing the scope of the present deployment to only focus on the users that one has enough licenses.

Buying of more copies of the application from the Window Store for Business


Manage apps from the Windows Store for Business. (2017). Retrieved 11 March 2017, from

Suggested Best Practices for Securing Windows | Help & Support | The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2017). Retrieved 11 March 2017, from

Smith, T. (2016). AppUNBlocker: Bypassing AppLocker. The State of Security. Retrieved 11 March 2017, from

SWOT Analysis: Discover New Opportunities, Manage and Eliminate Threats. (2017). Retrieved 11 March 2017, from

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