Microsoft's 'big gamble' with Windows 8 won't pay off in the enterprise, says Gartner
The new OS won't do much better than Vista in corporations
Computerworld - Microsoft is taking a "big gamble" with its new Windows 8, one that will see the operating system peak at just 20% to 25% of corporate PCs, Gartner analysts said today.
"Microsoft is taking a big gamble over the next few months with Windows and Office, the two products responsible for most of its revenue and profit," the research firm said in a statement Tuesday. "[But] it is a risk that Microsoft must take to stay relevant in a world where mobile devices with new modern experiences are becoming the norm."
Windows 8 is set to launch at retail Oct. 26, one month from today.
The reasons cited by analysts Michael Silver and Steve Kleynhans will be familiar to followers of Windows 8's development: The two disparate user interfaces (UIs) of the OS, its tablet- and touch-first philosophy, its possible rejection by IT administrators as too much like Windows 7 on one hand, too different on the other.
But one factor, in particular, was stressed today by Kleynhans in an hour-long webinar held for current and potential clients: The overpowering presence in enterprises of Windows XP, an 11-year-old operating system and the need to get off that aged software as an April 2014 retirement deadline looms.
"The key message is that you really do need to get off Windows XP," said Kleynhans during the online seminar. "If you haven't done anything so far, you are really, really late. And Windows 8 is only complicating issues."
Complicating, as in confusing some companies about whether they should forget about the well-tested Windows 7, an operating system ready to head into its fourth year, and instead skip it for Windows 8 as they leave XP behind.
Kleynhans said that was wrong thinking.
"[Windows 8] is a big step for any Windows user," said Kleynhans [emphasis in original]. "But it's probably a bigger step than most XP users want to take."
Kleynhans argued that corporations should continue to transition from XP to Windows 7, a move that about 60% of businesses polled in May said they would wrap up by the end of 2013 rather than add Windows 8 to the mix.
The need to move off Windows XP is pressing: Microsoft will retire that OS in April 2014, after which it will not serve those users with security updates.
"Operating systems don't mature the day they're released. They take at least a year to mature," said Kleynhans of Windows 8's release next month. "It's not an option to skip Windows 7 and go to Windows 8 if you still have Windows XP in your environment."
- Windows' new normal shows software-as-a-service ambitions
- Microsoft extends Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline for business
- Microsoft puts the squeeze on Windows to shoehorn it into 16GB devices
- Google quashes 31 vulnerabilities, restores Metro mode 'steppers' with Chrome 34
- Microsoft drags customers 'kicking and screaming' into its world of faster updates
- Windows 8.1 Update deep-dive review: An OS that makes more sense
- Microsoft suspends Windows 8.1 Update release to businesses
- Windows 8.1 Update arrives today
- Microsoft requires migration to Windows 8.1 Update within 5 weeks
- FAQ: Good-bye old pal, old paint, Windows XP
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Windows White Papers | Webcasts