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.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

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.

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