IT Pro Impact: Windows 8

Oct 31, 2011


IT Pro Impact: Windows 8 (Non) Adoption

In the past, it’s been even odds that IT teams would roll out new Microsoft operating systems within 24 months of release. But for Windows 8, all bets are off. Almost half of the 973 business technology professionals at organizations with 500 or more employees answering our October InformationWeek Windows 8 Survey say they’re putting off the move as long as they can and sticking with Windows 7 and/or XP for the foreseeable future.

Why? Two reasons. First, they’re saddled with a healthy list of other projects that are higher priorities to their constituencies. Second, all the usual concerns about compatibility are exacerbated by the increased use of tablets and smartphones for business purposes. “Compatibility” no longer automatically means “Windows running on an x86 CPU,” because Android- and iOS-based systems running on ARM processors are more commonly used in business, too.

In fact, smart companies are getting themselves into a position where the underlying OS matters much less than it used to.

Microsoft’s aggressive release schedule isn’t helping matters, either. If you consider Vista’s release in 2006 to be a non-event (and we do), then XP’s tenure was nearly a decade. Now Windows 8 follows just three years after Windows 7, and most organizations have little or no interest in taking on the planning, migration and support costs of moving that quickly, especially since Windows 7 is an acceptable business OS. Bottom line, while IT teams look forward to improved security, added features and improvements to technologies like Hyper-V, they’re much less interested in yet another new user interface. And that’s bad news for Microsoft. (S3851111)

Research Report