Windows 8 is the re-imagined successor to Windows 7 and a revolutionary leap forward for Microsoft’s flagship OS.
The new OS represents the biggest makeover of the Windows OS since Windows 95. It introduces the Live Tiles interface and eliminates familiar tools like the Start menu.
Windows 8 allows users to run the more familiar Windows Explorer desktop, but even that is quite different from versions past.
The new OS is therefore a big gamble for Microsoft as many corporate customers are still in the process of migrating to Windows 7 from XP.
InformationWeek notes that:
XP to Windows 7 is, in fact, the path that the vast majority of enterprises has taken, or will take. Silver estimated that 20% to 30% of large companies have completed the transition to Windows 7, while 60% are “well underway.”
A survey conducted in September by ThinkEquity LLC found that 37% of enterprises are fully on Windows 7, while 45% are in the process of upgrading. A recent InformationWeek survey of IT pros found that 47% have no plans to upgrade to Windows 8, while 64% will stick with Windows 7 for as long as possible.
The driving force behind the design of Windows 8 was to harmonize the look and feel of OSs across all computing devices, including the exploding tablet and smartphone markets.
By moving to the new user interface – which is clearly tablet-centric, Microsoft is betting it can use its desktop strengths (and applications) to succeed in the smaller-form-factor market.
Whether and/or how Redmond’s strategy will work will be discussed in Windows 8 Enterprise. Do you think Microsoft’s big gamble will succeed?