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    Healthcare Organizations Embracing the Switche from Windows 7 to Windows 8

    While the movement toward Windows 8 migration has generally been somewhat sluggish over the last four months, there is one group that has eagerly embraced Microsoft's newest operating system – healthcare organizations.

    The Windows store now boasts over 850 apps designed for healthcare providers, which could change the way organizations interact with their patients and with each other. Healthcare providers are taking notice.

    "Healthcare organizations are under increasing pressure to deliver improved quality of care, provide better access for more patients and lower costs, while tackling productivity and workforce shortage challenges," said Michael Robinson, Microsoft's general manager of U.S. health and life sciences.

    Microsoft's apps have accelerated procedures ranging from accessing medical records to initiating communication between patients and their care providers.

    This progress in the healthcare sector comes amid general reluctance to adopt Windows 8. The operating system's market share is growing, but that growth has been quite slow. ZDNet reports that Windows 8 made up 2.26 percent of the market in January and that number expanded to 2.67 percent in February. Considering Microsoft's push to advance the popularity of its OS through December holiday sales and January post-Christmas discounts, the modest gains left a bit to be desired.

    Previous incarnations of the Microsoft operating system still dominate the market. Windows 7 leads the way with 44.55 percent of sales, nearly 20 times that of Windows 8, and Windows XP is running a close second at 38.99 percent. Windows Vista is third, followed by Windows 8 – the best-selling non-Microsoft product is Apple's Mac OS X 10.8, at 2.61 percent.

    Microsoft is optimistic that increased attention to healthcare solutions will improve Windows 8's market share. For instance, the PrimeMOBILE app for Windows 8, developed by Greenway, provides organizations with remote access to patient data, including extensive historical notes and lists of potential problems.

    "To truly deliver the most effective care possible, providers need anywhere, anytime access to comprehensive information," said Johnathan Samples, Greenway's executive VP of research and development. "With the growing popularity of Windows 8, we're pleased to deliver this access on the Windows 8 platform so our providers have another user-friendly tool, working together to improve population health."

    As Microsoft continues to roll out additional products targeted to industries that need them, the corporation is likely to see more converts from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in the near future. Today, it's healthcare, but any number of industries could be next.