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

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

Summary: 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.


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.

Topics: Windows, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Mobility, Tablets, PCs, Windows 8 in Business

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  • 43% in India

    But, of that number, how many will actually PAY for it?
    • Really? Why single out India? Why don't you furnish some proof

      I am sure you have not paid for 50% (or more) of what you own. How does that feel being told to you?

      It frustrates me when people like you make such blatant and baseless remarks.
  • Since most IT depts have just moved to Windows 7

    of course they won't upgrade the PC

    That doesn't mean they won't be looking at Windows 8 pro tablets, as those I've talked to are excited to test them on the domain.
    William Farrel
  • WoW. I'm not sure whom they're talking to for this survey !

    AFAIK several CIOs, CTOs are interested and we're doing multiple POCs for Metro Apps planned for deployment in mid 2013. I'm talking about big enterprises in US.
  • Enterprises spurn Windows 8, but there's emerging market hope

    This article is a rehash of other articles on ZDNet so I'll rehash my same comments. Enterprises are not quick to to upgrade to the latest software unless they are a development house or provide support. I'm willing to bet that a lot of the enterprises that aren't upgrading immediately are looking at Microsoft Windows 8 for when they do their upgrade project in a couple of years.

    Any company that is not deploying Microsoft Windows 8 because of the UI is foolish. The UI is their to make it much faster to get to your apps. Pin the app and then its right in front of you. There is very little training involved. If they can click with the mouse they can use Windows 8.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Larry...

    Do you have any comparison to these numbers for say Windows 7, Vista, or even XP?

    Just Curious.
  • 33% of China's enterprise

    is probably the equivalent to the total USA and European enterprise market combined!

    I'm guessing of course, but I would imagine that 33% of China's enterprise market is going to be a huge number just on it's own.
  • I don't know if my comment will go through or not

    ZDnet comment system is telling me my comment has profanities. it doesn't, so I dunno what's up with the comment system, but it seems broken.
  • Or, more likely it's a reflection of cultural values ...

    ... associated with responding to surveys.

    In any case, in even the most optimistic business setting, and even assuming it's correct, less than half are thinking they'll upgrade. Hmm ...
  • Thats a stunning success for W8. In the largely already moved to W7 US

    they still have 24.6% with plans to deploy W8 and 49.9% more saying they may reconsider their decision not to. For the typically slow cycled enterprise space thats a huge win for W8 at this stage.
    Johnny Vegas
    • sound like you are on a religious crusade,

      keep the faith...
      BTW how those surface ReTards are selling? Not even wants to answer, seems they keep it very secret...
      You know Apple pumps around 3/5 millions of 1st weekend of sales per launch, more or less.
  • What about Windows 8 Server?

    This will be where many enterprises make an investment. The server changes are extremely welcome to shops running Windows server.
  • Are planning or will be forced

    When the big MS says "XP will not be supported or receive updates of any kind as of xx-xx-20xx, many enterprises will be forced to plan. They're still absorbing what Windows 8 is and does, so the pole is a bit premature in my opinion. But the minute Balmer announces the XP death date, I'm buying stock. The IT silos will be falling over each other scrambling to develop the cheapest most painless upgrade path. It won't be fruit or candy named companies or OS's for sure.

    Consultants take note: You think the Y2K made people money? Wait till XP gets the pink slip from the enterprise.
    • windows xp

      That date is well known - April 8, 2014. So it's likely that 24% already includes upgraders form Windows XP.
  • What I'd like to see is

    How enterpises acted when XP, Vista and Windows7 were introduced, so that we can compare.
    I expect, that first 8 implementations will be on a server side and after a good consideration, enterpise W8 on a desktop will slowly start to move on. It is a recession and conservative approach together, so one can expect slow start in the enterpises. And of course, W8 offers many options, that should be studied and tested thorougly first, before beeing implemented.
  • enterprise flock?

    when has the enterprise ever flocked to an operating system?
    but me personally
    my 6 year old dell laptop loves it
    it has literally gave new life to this machine
    boots faster and out performs many newer windows 7 machines
    and I was a big fan of windows 7
    • ......

      Did you try to put a fresh windows 7 install on it right before the windows 8 upgrade as if you didnt then your not fairly comparing as an os will degrade daily via usage updates, downgrades, driver installs and clean outs. I bet the first day windows 7 was on your computer it ran just as fast.
  • Enterprise and Windows 8

    If I was an IT manager in Enterprise operations I would wait as well. Let the customers get familiar with Windows 8 at home or on friends computers. It would cut way back on training time. I would say at least a year.
    • That's funny!

      Not funny, seriously. What makes you think you couldn't pick up on a couple of keystrokes in a week? You tube has videos, if you really have problems. Microsoft has pages of info to get you going, regardless of your skill with - just about anything related to a computer(Linux and derivatives excepted).
      David Nesbitt
  • Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 vs. XP/Win 7 is a good indicator.

    There are plenty of enterprises who've long ago made the switch on the server end to 2008 or 2008 R2 (which is really Windows Vista / Windows 7 with additional services), yet haven't moved past Windows XP on their workstations. As most have already said, there has to be a reason for everything, but in most cases, the reason is simply that they have no compelling reason to upgrade.

    Windows 7 is being widely deployed in enterprise right now, and predictably, Windows 8 will be nowhere to be found anytime soon. However, on the back-end, we're already planning deployments of Windows Server 2012 systems for new clients.