How IT Can Prepare for Windows 8-Packing Millennials

The millennial generation is different in what they do, how they view the world and what products attract them. Soon they will be touting brand new toys courtesy of the upcoming Windows 8 launch. It would be wise to be ahead of the curve so you can provide direction for which devices your IT department is best able to support.

By Rob Enderle
Fri, September 28, 2012

CIO — At a recent Intel event held to showcase upcoming Windows 8 hardware, Lauren Berger, blogger and author of "All Work No Play," delivered the opening presentation. Berger's topic was the life of a millennial, a group she considers herself a part of. As I am from a different, older generation, I don't have the same insight into millennials that Berger has. She is far better explaining what this powerful group of buyers is looking for than I would be.

The fact is the millennial generation is very different in what they do, how they view the world, what products attract them and, like it was when we were young, how much the world seems to revolve around them. In short they are just as high energy, just as convinced they are right, and think they are just as different from their parents as we did. So, here we are, with this latest generation about to get a bunch of brand new toys, courtesy of the Windows 8 launch less than a month away, for which they will soon be clamoring to IT about getting them to work.

Let's explore this new "I want everything, I can do it better than you" generation.

They Want Everything NOW!

An aspect of youth is that wants aren't that well defined, they are easily distracted by the latest flashy object and everything they say seems so incredibly deep and important to them and the older generation they are replacing don't get it.

For millennials everything is new and different even though much of it has been recycled from ideas that have been around for generations. And they want it all, they haven't yet defined what "all" is and clearly the vast majority is beyond their grasp. As a result, their expectations can often have little to do with reality.

This means that while it may be relatively easy to get their attention, it is very difficult to hold it. And they probably aren't going to wait for "authority" to get its act together any more than we did when we were their age.

A Day in the Life

Lauren took us through a day of her life, which began at 5:30 a.m. (I immediately disliked her, even though I, too, once used to be an early riser). She starts her day engaging almost immediately on social media. She delays email by an hour because she apparently thinks email is a low latency communications platform. She argued that 5:30 a.m. was simply too early to engage in email even though it's opened on the whim of the recipient and not the sender. This showcases what I think is a consistent significant difference with this generation; they assume everything is instant even when it isn't and, because of that short attention span, doesn't wait long enough to recognize it isn't.

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