IT Professionals Eyeing Upgrade to Windows 8?

Windows 8 is a hard sell for many ‘traditionalist’ PC users. There many out there that just want a simple interface, few changes, and a place to get things done quickly. This couldn’t be any truer for IT Professionals.

The majority of those in the IT business still use Windows XP, especially at the enterprise level. With Windows XP ending support in April of 2014, however, many businesses our now weighing their upgrade options.

Microsoft has recently made a big push towards getting these businesses to switch to Windows 7. According to Redmond, Windows 8 is still a little ways off and Windows 7 offers a superior solution to Windows XP, at this time.

Of course in the IT world, upgrading is generally about getting the most bang for your buck. Even though Windows 8 may not be out until late 2012, many businesses are preparing for the jump.

In an effort to see how businesses viewed the upcoming version of Windows, Information Week recently polled 973 different IT Professionals.

The purpose of the poll was to see about whether or not their business was considering the upgrade to Windows 8. According to the results more than 52% of these professionals said that they would be upgrading to the new OS.

So why are businesses interested in Windows 8? The biggest reason is that Windows XP is winding down support and IT Professionals will need to make an upgrade. IT Professionals aren’t in a hurry to upgrade, and so rushing to Windows 7 isn’t necessary.

Windows 8 offers everything that they could get in Windows 7 while also providing the new Metro interface and tools that will provide a consistent platform across tablets, netbooks, and PCs.

Consistency across platforms is becoming increasingly important in today’s markets where businesses don’t just use traditional PCs, and it could be argued Windows 8 on tablet has more of a professional draw than Android or even iOS.

While 52% said they were interested in the upgrade, what about the remaining 48%? Those who said they weren’t going to make the witch said they were sticking to Windows XP or 7 for two primary reasons.

Will they migrate

Will they migrate

The first reason is that that many IT pros already have enough projects in the works and adding the hassle and frustration of a full-scale upgrade isn’t on their priority list.

The second reason for avoiding the switch has to do with concerns about hardware compatibility.

According to Microsoft, compatibility isn’t a real issue and Windows 8 should be fully backwards compatible. Despite what Redmond says, however, from a business point of few the features in Windows 8 look very alien.

With of a tablet computer style, the new OS is better suited for touchscreens and other cutting-edge hardware that businesses don’t want to add to their expense list.

Without adding the new hardware, there is less differences between Windows 8 and 7 that matter. Additionally, one of the best features of Windows 8 is that you can get the same experience on a tablet as you can on your desktop.

So for businesses that already have invested in  Android tablets, this feature is moot.

Although it is likely frustrating for Microsoft to see so many businesses clinging to the archaic Windows XP, it seems that more than half of these users may finally move onward to Microsoft’s more current options.

If Redmond really wants to see Windows 8 become fully embraced by the remaining skeptics in the IT world, however, they will need to find ways to make Metro and other Win8 features more appealing.

For example, business-focused METRO apps that could give the same type of performance and features on an enterprise desktop and enterprise tablet would be a compelling reason. For now, Windows 8 seems more geared towards casual users.

Despite the casual feel of Windows 8, if the business world becomes more cross-platform friendly then Metro could certainly have its place in the business world.

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