Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Windows 8 in Business

Enterprises spurn Windows 8, but there's emerging market hope

Corporations in developed markets aren't planning to flock to Microsoft's Windows 8, according to a TechRepublic and ZDNet survey. China, India and Southeast Asia, however, are more open to the operating system.

Enterprises generally are viewing an upgrade to Microsoft's Windows 8 as a non-starter, but there are a lot of nuances to consider. Perhaps the biggest item to ponder is whether Windows 8 has more legs in emerging markets such as India, China and Southeast Asia than developed countries.

TechRepublic's Bill Detwiler and ZDNet's Angus Macaskill have completed a Windows 8 business intentions survey and highlighted a few moving parts. Here's the drilldown (download report, registration required):

  1. 73.7 percent of more than 1,200 IT buyers said they have no plan to deploy Windows 8.
  2. But 49.9 percent of respondents had no current plans to deploy Windows 8 but may reconsider it in the future.

In other words, enterprises don't see the business case for Windows 8 yet. That take isn't surprising since Microsoft has largely pitched Windows 8 to consumers.

Related:  Microsoft's Windows 8: The enterprise case  | TechRepublic: Does Windows 8 make sense on business desktops? Tech chiefs are split

Here's where things get tricky. Of those companies planning to upgrade to Windows 8 security was the top reason followed by mobility and tablet integration. Upgrade was the No. 3 top reason to upgrade to Windows 8.

The reasons for not upgrading to Windows 8 revolved around the lack of a business need for a new OS, application compatibility, user training and the interface.

From the report:

The Windows 8 style UI and associated end-user training requirements are off-putting to many respondents. For companies with current Windows 8 deployment plans, tablet integration is a driving factor. But the dramatic changes (mostly the new user interface) required to make Window 8 a successful tablet OS are also a barrier to adoption. 41.4 percent of respondents rated the Metro user interface (now called the Windows 8 style or Modern style UI) as very important to their company’s decision not to deploy Windows 8.

As far as the Windows 8 upgrade decision goes, the CIO and CEO are the two most influential decision makers. Senior leadership and line of business heads are No. 3 and No. 4.

Overall, this report is an early snapshot in the Windows 8 upgrade cycle. Simply put, Microsoft has some convincing to do and it has a tall order in developed markets.

In fact, Windows 8 momentum could be best gauged in emerging markets.

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Consider that Windows 8 has its best deployment hopes in China, India and Southeast Asia. It's also no coincidence that those countries are about mobility first---and that gives Microsoft's Windows 8 some hope.

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