Windows 8 is an enterprise 'non-starter' because IT sees no value in changes
Sticking with Windows 7, but companies must prep for BYOD presence, says Forrester
Computerworld - Windows 8 faces a number of hurdles in the enterprise, but the biggest reason it won't replace the current corporate champion, Windows 7, is simple.
"Enterprises just don't see Windows 8 having value," said David Johnson, an analyst with Forrester Research. "They don't see the value in the changes in Windows 8 [compared to Windows 7]."
Johnson, who authored a recently-published report that concluded enterprise IT will skip Windows 8 as a corporate-standard operating system, wasn't saying much new: Analysts have been predicting Windows 8 would face a tough sell long before the OS shipped last October.
Those prognostications cited everything from "upgrade fatigue" caused by ongoing efforts to purge networks of Windows XP machines to shortages of compelling hardware to stiff competition from Apple's iPad.
Johnson ticked off all of those.
But the value proposition was top on his list. "Windows 7 is proven," he noted, and fair or not, Windows 8 would have had to demonstrate major productivity improvements over that workhorse to have a chance at supplanting it.
And that's not something IT decision makers see in the upgrade, instead viewing it -- and its radical overhaul -- with suspicion. Their top concerns about the OS, according to Forrester's surveys, are the potential for significant end-user training and support, and the need to design in-house applications to leverage the new "Modern" user interface (UI). Just 7% of the nearly 1,300 IT professionals polled said that they believe the Modern UI is an improvement over Windows 7 and its traditional desktop.
"Windows 8 is a non-starter in the enterprise because of the UI changes," said Johnson.
However, Johnson acknowledged that Microsoft's problem in the enterprise did not entirely stem from the Modern UI, and its welding to the desktop. Timing was important, too. "This is an off-cycle release," he said, referring to the fact that companies have already spent capital on hardware refreshes for Windows 7.
This is an issue Microsoft has faced before: Many corporations have taken to adopting every other edition of Windows. For example, although Windows XP was already long in the tooth when Windows Vista debuted for enterprises in late 2006, businesses stuck with the former and largely ignored the latter.
The same will hold true with Windows 8, relegated to an also-ran.
But while IT decision makers are down on Windows 8, workers were much more positive about the moves Microsoft's made. More than a third of 9,800 workers surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2012 -- 38% -- said they'd choose Windows 8 as their preferred PC operating system, while 20% picked it as their preferred tablet OS.
- Microsoft plans to patch critical under-attack IE bug next week
- Microsoft reaches RTM milestone for Windows 8.1 update
- OS upgrades: Cheap is better than pricey, free is better than cheap
- No special treatment for China on XP, patches end April 8 in the PRC, too
- Microsoft ships Office 2013 SP1 the old-fashioned way
- Microsoft's 'go-low' play puts Windows revenue on the line
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Windows 7 lives!
- Users mock Microsoft for asking their help on XP-to-Windows 8.1 upgrades
- Microsoft concedes Windows 8.1 needs more for mouse, keyboard customers
- Microsoft tries to jumpstart cheap Windows devices with license price cut
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Windows White Papers | Webcasts