5 Business Reasons for Adopting the Windows Platform

Microsoft Windows not only works; it is simple to set up, maintain and keep users working--which fuels profits.

Most everything in life should just work. But for today, the focus is on software we use to run our businesses. If it doesn't work as well as it should, you will likely suffer a cascade of issues that hurt your business-like money (and the loss of it). The best strategy to prevent this is adopting a platform that helps reduce costs and allows you to make investments that support the business's growth instead of derailing it.

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For the majority of businesses, the best platform is Microsoft Windows. It doesn't matter if you are looking to run desktop applications like spreadsheets and word processors or if you want to run server-based database or portal applications, the Windows platform is the 80 of the 80/20 rule. Windows not only works; it is simple to set up, maintain and keep users working.

When choosing a software platform for your business, several factors should be considered that would be crucial to any business decision. Here are the five most critical criteria.

Think the argument in this article is a load of hooey? Believe that it's the most accurate examination of the Windows in the enterprise? Be sure to read the other viewpoint in Seven Financial Reasons Not to Use Windows.

Profits

America continues to maintain its position as the most successful capitalist economy the world has known. This success is not the result of feeling good about ourselves, building community and sharing the fruits of our labor just for the fun of it. Hell no! We earned it the old-fashioned way by building great products and services and charging a fee for them that exceeded the costs of production. This is known as earning a profit, and it is the goal of any respectable business.

Earning a profit isn't popular in some social circles, but that doesn't mean you can survive without it. Despite the current political rhetoric, earning a profit is the key metric of a company's health-and the more the better. Profits are an indication that a company has products that the market demands. In addition, profits point to the fact that a company knows how to take care of its customers. Companies do this by creating products and services that solve their customers' problems.

Microsoft is a champion at turning a profit. For the past fiscal year, Microsoft's net profit margin was 28 percent versus an industry average of 18.4 percent. Software profit margins have always been high, but the fact that Microsoft's net margin is almost 10 points higher than its industry shows that the software maker's products work and are in-demand.

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A company delivers products demanded by the market by understanding the market, which is driven by the desire to generate profits. Compare this to open-source software, where the primary focus is the technology instead of the business problem to be solved. It isn't much of a stretch to understand who has your company's best interests in mind.

Accountability & Risk

Companies make money by risking their capital and reaping the benefits of success. Since risk is an ever-present factor of the business environment and cannot be eliminated, the best you can do is seek to reduce your exposure to it. When implementing software, this means choosing a proven software provider that backs its software.

As your business matures and software becomes more and more pervasive as critical components of your processes, it only makes sense to negotiate service and support contracts with your software provider. With Microsoft, you have the largest software company in existence. If you adopt open-source software, significant questions arise as to who is ultimately accountable if the software does not perform as promised. And if you can identify who is accountable, what recourse can you possibly expect from them? For example, a client operating in a Windows Server environment wanted to connect their user directory to their Linux-and-Java-based service provider's. One solution called for the adoption of a Microsoft-based product that simplifies Single Sign-On communication between Windows and Linux. This sounded great to everyone but the service provider, who searched for and found an open-source version of the same technology. When explaining its decision to go open-source, the service provider stated, "Because if it breaks, we can fix it ourselves."

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