Will businesses avoid upgrading to Windows 8?
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 22 Oct 2012 at 11:25
Businesses will avoid widely deploying Windows 8, analyst firm Gartner has claimed - but are businesses any more concerned than normal by the new OS?
Windows 8 is set to officially arrive on Thursday, but the new OS has been available to businesses via subscriptions since August.
According to analyst firm Gartner, Windows 7 is good enough for businesses, meaning Windows 8 won't make much of a mark.
"We believe 90% of large organisations will not deploy Windows 8 broadly, and at its peak we expect about 20% of PCs in large organisations will run Windows 8," Gartner analyst Michael Silver told Reuters.
Upgrading to Windows 8?Take our quick survey to let us know whether your firm is moving to Windows 8
Previous surveys haven't been positive. One by a research group called ITIC suggested 61% of 500 surveyed enterprises saw no business need to upgrade to Windows 8, while 49% said Windows 7 was good enough for their current needs.
Other surveys returned similar results. Research from Dixons' IT consultancy Equanet suggested one in ten businesses will adopt Windows 8 immediately, but said 42% of firms surveyed have no plans to adopt the new OS, with 76% of those saying it was too expensive for current budgets.
Half are still trying to finish upgrades to Windows 7, the survey showed. However, as the company pointed out, those not looking to move to Windows 8 aren't considering alternative OSes - they're sticking with Windows 7 rather than move to an open-source option or to Apple's OS X.
One reason firms are carefully eyeing Windows 8 is the focus on touch, said one analyst. Hybrid tablet/laptop devices will surely appeal to some businesses, but management constraints will mean enterprises will prefer Windows 8 Pro over ARM-based RT, according to Michael Cherry, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft.
"Some organisations, when they look at Windows 8 Intel tablets, they are going to like them because they are manageable," he told Reuters. "When they look at RT they are going to be disappointed, because it's no easier to manage than an iPad."
Of course, it's impossible to accurately predict exactly what businesses plan to do with Windows 8 - and a failure to upgrade could have as much to do with the popularity of XP and Windows 7, and economic concerns over shrinking IT budgets, as it does the OS itself.
Windows 7 only just overtook XP as the most popular OS globally, as many firms - and governments - held onto the decade-old OS rather than pay to upgrade. Microsoft's own figures over the summer suggested Windows 7 had only just grabbed 50% of the market, three years after its release, after only hitting the 20% mark the year before.
Is your firm moving to Windows 8 or sticking with Windows 7? Let us know by filling in our quick survey.
Avoid implies companies actively taking steps to dodge having to upgrade, whereas most will simply stay with what they have - Largely XP, I suspect.
I strongly expect W8 to follow Vista in this respect, few will bother to upgrade as there is no really good reason to do so - even if the licensing costs for many will not be a factor.
In fact, with a completely new interface, many will see that as a very good reason to not bother.
Trouble with Microsoft is that the Marketing Dept seem to be leading the whole company, but with little sense of what people actually want. They appear to think if they come up with a 'new' OS every two years, everyone will want to upgrade and any criticism is effectively ignored with a 'we know best' and 'it's because you've not tried it for long enough'
What people really want is an OS that is invisible - once they get to know their way around, they do not want it changed.
By greemble on 22 Oct 2012
...As we have a site licence for Windows and Office.
As far as the four people testing they've carried on as normal and have no issues.
Take Facebook for example: Every six months or so there's a major change and we get a whole load of people posting 'waaahh put it back'. Two weeks later and they've vanished and everyone carries on using it.
Personally I do NOT want to go back to Windows 7. There... I said it. Logging in with a live (Outlook) account carries across my Exchange (Needs vertificates), pop3 and imap accounts with ease along with additional settings. The new interface is damn easy and I've even added tiles that lead to my shared Documents/videos/music/pictures folders so that's the Start menu done and gone.
Change... It can be good.
"but with little sense of what people actually want" - Millions upon millions of people quickly and easily jumped onto the mobile OS that sits on the iPad. THAT is what people want. Think about it.
By rhythm on 22 Oct 2012
XP all over again...
People seem to forget that XP suffered the same fate, when it was released.
Nobody wanted to touch it, most companies were still transitioning to Windows 98 or Windows 2000, when it came out.
Didn't it achieve 6% market share in its first year? And only really went mainstream with SP2?
By big_D on 22 Oct 2012
The problem with Windows 8..
.. is the "flagship" feature is something nobody without a touch screen wants.
It has some great features, but they are not being pushed ahead of METRO, which isn't that great.
A bit like selling an smart-phone as a barcode scanner. It can do that, but it's hardly its best feature.
By cheysuli on 22 Oct 2012
"RT tablets aren't manageable" is the most damning thing I've heard about Win8. Wasn't that the whole point in foisting a monstrous carbuncle OS upon us that shoehorns a touch and desktop interface together? If Intel don't pull something spectacular out of the bag next year to make Pro tablets competitive with iPads, it's time to short Microsoft.
By brendan on 22 Oct 2012
People tend to upgrade when the have to or when they need to.
My upgrade path was:
3.0 > 3.1 for truetype
3.1 > NT3.51 so that I didn't have to reboot evey time a program crashed.
NT3.51 > NT4 for the task bar
NT4 > XP for USB support
XP > W7 for 64 bit (As I had to get a new OS and do a full reinstall anyway I went to W7-64 rather than XP-64
So I'll probably upgrade when some new hardware that I need to use comes along which isn't supported by W7. I find the idea that MS will manage to come up with some 'must have' software addition to the OS somewhat unlikely.
By qpw3141 on 22 Oct 2012
I'm quite happily going to keep running Win 7 x64 and give win 8 a miss. Win 7 is perfectly fine for my needs.
By Jaberwocky on 22 Oct 2012
I wonder what the House of Commons (recently upgraded to Vista) will do?
By gavmeister on 22 Oct 2012
We're deploying it...
... I've been running Windows 8 now using our volume licence for the past few weeks as have a number of other testers. We now have the first draft of our site-wide image ready for deploying on new machines and after initial feedback (which has recommended the inclusion of Classic Shell for it's start menu) it's ready for general use.
By skarlock on 22 Oct 2012
Windows 8 = Skip
my organisation - 5500 PCS - has just migrated to windows 7, which was a 7 month project. We Defeinitely won't be moving to windows 8 in the near future. Very likely to skip windows 8 and wait for an OS that will provide something funcionally better than Windows 8. There will probably another OS in a couple of years time once Microsoft realise that people didn't want nor ask for Windows 8.
By Manuel on 22 Oct 2012
I think it depends on the company.
There are still many out there that are stuck on XP so they might as well actively move to WIn 8.
There are many that have just moved to Windows 7, so why spend more upgrading again?
Its obvious many feel Win 8 could be another vista, but its definately not.
Its soo much faster and it brings the cloud and other eco systems together.
I think win 8 is a much better than win 7 because it can make an average performing Win 7 PC soo much faster.
My media desktop is a 2.7 AMD dual core, which would take over 1 minute to start up, windows 8 on it takes about 20 seconds to start up.
Apps launch quicker, so do the full blown apps like Office 360 preview etc...
Personally I like it, but Im sure many wont as they are will miss the start button
By r1sh12 on 22 Oct 2012
An Interesting Set Of Views
I reviewed the range of views set out above with interest. Those who found their experience of Win 8 positive did so due to features that pulled them into its features set. Those who were less impressed either had no awareness or need of those features, or were repelled by other aspects that were offered.
It appears to be something of a 'Marmite' offering, love it or loath it.
Even on (now disbarred) lowly hardware it was fast, but none of the new log in features offered anything to me. Rather, that appalling, ugly brick covered, useless (to me) opening screen got in the way. The desktop offered some hope, - if I could ever find what I wanted. It was fast, but there was the rub, 'if I could ever find what I wanted'. With no easy way to find programs I resorted to posting short cuts to be able to locate programs. The mouse movements here there and everywhere failed to bring up items at the top right, left bottom or wherever they were supposed to be, rarely produced the options they should. Forget mouse based dragging items! What was the purpose of the 'charms' and what made them so charming?
Do they do anything useful, they did not do anything for me.
I need the so called cloud like others need a blizzard with temperatures of 90 below zero.
Shut down was interesting, most times I used the button on the front of the case, it was soo very much easier than playing 'hunt the option'.
There is clearly a split between those who simply love the 'new allegedly modern way' and those who are happy to get their work done just the way they always wanted.
I am with those who feel that MS did miss the point by forcing their 'my way or the highway' approach, when it could have allowed user profiling of their installation.
I agree about marketing winning over sense. Pushing something useless will never make me want to buy an operating system. I suspect I may not be alone. I don't have 'apps', I may be the minority but I still use programs. I expect them to work for as long as they meet my needs. I don't need an 'app', (or even an Ape) 'for that' and I certainly do NOT need 'a store in which to browse'. I suspect others, like MS have a far greater need for such a trade point.
By Jonesr18 on 23 Oct 2012
Well said, Jonesr18
I think it comes down to two main problems.
First, it's too soon to upgrade.
It's fine for those with site licences, as I said before, that takes the cost out of the equation, but there is still the fact that many companies have no need to upgrade, the 'aint broke' bridge and considering the myriad of other problems a business has to deal with on a daily basis, replacing working & familiar IT equipment (which includes the software) every two years is something no-one should have to worry about.
Really, if there is a need to upgrade, that need should be clear and demonstrable without having to be explained.
Second problem is the interface.
Yes, people have taken to iOS in the millions - on a touch screen tablet/phone - There is a major difference between those and a non-touch screen, mouse & keyboard driven Desktop.
If there was an option to return to the desktop - with the start button & menus - then Windows 8 would only have the first problem (i.e. Why bother?) to deal with.
Of course, if Metro (or 'New/Modern/Latest' whatever they call it this week) was to be removable, exactly why would anyone need W8?
Just as a thought, is it 8 or Windows 6.2?
By greemble on 23 Oct 2012
Why would any business jump on a new OS on day 1? Windows 8 may be the new XP/7, or it may be the new ME/Vista - who knows yet??
By NickS on 1 Nov 2012
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