What made sense to Redmond in regard to an upgrade cycle for the Windows OS may not be making as much sense in the enterprise.
Many surveyed managers – up to 90% of IT leaders according to Gartner – have no immediate plans to migrate to Windows 8. Eric Lai of ZDNet writes:
A Forrester Research survey of North American and European IT leaders found that only 4% had specific plans to deploy Windows 8 in the next 12 months, with another 5% planning to deploy it, though not before the end of Q3 2013. 47 per cent hadn’t looked at Windows 8 yet.
“There’s about half the interest at this point in the early cycle of Windows 8 than there was for Windows 7 among IT decision makers,” Forrester analyst David Johnson told IT World Canada at the Windows 8 launch in New York City last week.
Brian Greenberg, vice-president of technology operations for Total Attorneys told CITEworld that the “shock and awe of a pretty GUI” isn’t enough to compel him to upgrade the cloud application vendor’s PCs to Windows 8.
In fact, many of these organizations are in the process of upgrading from Windows Vista and Windows XP to Windows 7. So despite a user base of hundreds of millions of desktop computers that could be upgraded to Windows 8, en masse upgrades are not likely in the immediate future.
There are two silver lining here however, for Microsoft. The first is that, according to iYogi insights, many small businesses indicate a strong interest in using Windows 8 on tablets.
In total, 29% of all the small businesses respondents said they were considering Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets exclusively. Ten percent said they are already using Windows 7 tablets.
“Small businesses may be the key to Microsoft’s winning strategy with Windows 8, as their size allows for agility and experimentation unlike larger enterprises,” said Vishal Dhar,co-founder of iYogi.
“The need is for speed, seamless integration and connectivity on the go as small businesses are often mobile, multi-location and dependent on multiple interconnected devices,” he added. “Windows 8 promises to offer all that to users and much more.”
Businesses already invested in Windows – XP, Vista and 7 – will experience the gravitational pull of Windows 8 over time as their use of tablets grows. This allows the use of a single platform over all devices ranging from tablets to servers.
Second, Microsoft is not necessarily panicked if larger businesses focus on moving to Windows 7 in the near-term. Microsoft gets the license fees anyhow. Eventually, when the majority moves to Windows 8, Redmond will also bank those fees too.
So the key is new income streams, at least in the tablet arena, where Microsoft has played second fiddle to both the iPad and Android-based tablets. Small business it seems, will lead the drive, according to iYogi study.
Do you agree? Will large businesses drag their feet while small business leads the charge to Windows 8?