Windows 8 adoption in enterprises hinges on UI acceptance, devices

Microsoft Windows 8 hasn't been as beloved out of the gate as Windows 7 was for a number of reasons, including the touch-centric user interface.

Microsoft customers haven't taken to Windows 8 as quickly as they did to Windows 7, and there are very specific reasons for the lack of immediate uptake.

Microsoft said more than 40 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold, but it has not provided details on how many of those are business licenses. Meanwhile, observers doubt Windows 8 adoption has been as robust as Microsoft claims.

In fact, anecdotal statements from IT professionals and data gleaned by analytics firms show slower uptake of the new system in its first two months on the market than its immediate predecessor, Windows 7.

In its first two months on the market, Windows 8 eked out a 1.72% share of desktop operating systems usage, according to Web analytics firm NetApplications. In comparison, three-year-old Windows 7 holds a 45.11% share, while Windows XP has 39.08%. Even the all-but-abandoned Windows Vista still has 5.67% share, by NetApplications' count.

"Unfortunately, it's true [that] there aren't many companies that are already migrating to Windows 8," said Michael Van Horenbeeck, technology consultant for Xylos, a systems integrator and Microsoft Certified Gold Partner in Belgium.

More about the slow Windows 8 adoption and its UI

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Considering alternatives to Microsoft Windows 8

Is the Windows 8 tablet doomed?

The adoption rate for Microsoft's latest operating system has been slower than the rates for previous Windows versions at the same point in their release cycles is partly because Windows 8 is fundamentally different from Windows 7, Horenbeeck said. It requires a different approach, he added.

Another reason for Windows 8's lack of popularity to date is that while it works on non-touch hardware, Windows 8 is better suited for touchscreens than use with a mouse, users said. Concomitant with that is the new tile-based user interface.

"Windows 8 does not work well on non-touch PCs and laptops," said Tim Bajarin, principal analyst at Creative Strategies Inc. in Campbell, Calif. "The second thing from an IT standpoint is that the new OS is generally disruptive -- the leap to Windows 8 requires not only getting users used to the UI [user interface], but also through the learning curve."

Meanwhile, analytics firm StatCounter Global Stats reported that Windows 8 had a 1.31% share after one month on the market, compared with 4.93% for Windows 7 in its first month of commercial availability.

In addition, when Windows 7 arrived, there was a lot of pent-up demand among IT shops that had been waiting to do a hardware and software refresh following the Vista debacle. Much of that demand has been sated by new Windows 7 machines.

There is still the backlog of XP machines out there that will need to be replaced in the next year or two, but when and how that will evolve is still unpredictable.

Typically, enterprises continue to run old versions of Windows for as long as possible to delay upgrade costs and headaches. Those that do upgrade quickly often wait to upgrade to new operating systems so kinks can be worked out.

Windows 8 in 2013

As the operating system matures this year, interest may increase.

"I have not seen a lot of intent to migrate to Windows 8 so far, but most people are expecting to see it ramp up in the first quarter of 2013," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT Inc. in Hayward, Calif.

In fact, demand for the OS may increase significantly this year as the number of new devices that support Windows 8 increases, said Philip Moss, managing partner at U.K.-based IT solution provider NTTX.

"At the moment, a large number of my clients carry an iPad with some form of laptop or ultrabook," Moss said. "I can see that being reduced to just a Windows 8-based device."

Microsoft is expected to release more recent figures for Windows 8 licenses on January 24, when the company reports sales and earnings for the holiday quarter.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to provide any updated numbers.

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Do you plan to adopt Windows 8?
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pile of carp
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Windows 7 works well enough and retraining staff on Windows 8 is an unnecessary time investment.
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Just upgraded to Windows 7 last year.
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The new UI will cause adoption troubles.
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We are moving to adapt more of a tablet workforce over the next 2-3 years. This means a small test group of ipad, win8 and linus based tablets to see what works best in our environment. Once decided which is best then we will remove the experamental tablets and roll out the winner
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Windows 8 behaves as a play machine, toy, and a vertical platform. Win 8 will promote to use of Linux or Ubuntu for the serious user.

It is the pursuit of mediocrity, rather than excellence.
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The graph says it all "Not planning on windows 8 90.48%"
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I use several W8, and I give mark 5 !
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No Way...Can you say another Vista like lack of acceptance
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We absolutely have no plans to deploy W8. It would be madness to do so, and would almost certainly lead to a huge drop in productivity.
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Expenditures for all new hardware, learning curve & doesn't play well with non-touch - all of the above create a negative for us.
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I'm part of W8 early adopters group in our company. There are a lot of reasons to choose it over W7.
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We are testing application now with plan to deploy tablets as soon as hardware requiremnts are met. Decision to deploy to desktop/laptop to follow.
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Because of the UI.
It's ugly and unconfortably for use in a enterprise environment.
My right arm pains!
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Although I'm against a corporate roll-out of the Win8 OS, I personally like it very much. It's become my #2 Admin machine (Win7 being #1 with an XP Pro 'just-in-case' machine still sitting on my desk). My feelings against a corporate roll-out aren't as strong, either. Once I gave up (completely) on the touch interface (I really tried it, too, with a gorgeous 24" touch LCD) & went back to the traditional mouse|keyboard I have no problems getting around efficiently. I'm still more comfortable with my Win7 machine, but NOT that much more. I can now envision my 'power users' being able to work in an efficient enterprise environment without all the initial support calls I originally felt it would take. As an OS -- my experience with Win8 is it's a superior product to Win7 structurally. I think a year from now, the Win8 storm will nothing compared to what it is currently.
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No benefit seen. Only cost (*not* a benefit). Windows 8 seems to be targeted to the tablet type market. Business needs to be able to do computing -- possible but unpleasant using a tablet. Why change if it makes (corporate) life harder?
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We've only just upgraded to Windows 7. 8 does not look like a viable business alternative - the phrase 'a sledgehammer to crack a nut' comes to mind!
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I don't want to learn users using computers with new UI.
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I am not planning to. Windows 7 is just ok for me.
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The hardware requirements for Windows 8 is making it not cost effective for us to upgrade at this point in time.
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How can they hope to sell Window 8 to the office enviroment. Brings a whole new meaning to the words "touch typing" There are operations that still require a keyboard!
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We tried W8 on 5 desktops. People after 2 weeks constant moaning moved to W7 and XP.
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we are just migrating to Windows 7...
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we don't see any "must have" applications to justify the cost in a business situation. Might be fun for home use and games.
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Classic shell would help with adoption of Windows 8. Brings back the start menu on Win8. http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshell/
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we upgraded our enterprise machines recently to Windows 7, so now Windows 8 Migrations not possible.
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Will Use Win * only as a last resort on a desktop PC
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Will probably move to Linux Mint, and
run Windows XP under virtual Box
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The new interface and workflow elements of Windows 8 are counterproductive to IT and most Enterprise users. I have no plans to move to Windows 8 ever.
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Makes Windows ME and Vista look good; visually a disaster.
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Not enough of our applications are compatible with Windows 8 nor IE10
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It is fast, stable, and Works well on non touch devices as well - I see no problem there.
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There is no business reason to do this as none of the new functionality will help you to get the job done. If MS wants to see the future look at Gnome-3 in Linux. The developers made the exact same mistake and users abandoned it in droves.
The solution is simple: Offer the option to return the desktop to the Windows-7 look and feel ( a business edition), and leave the tiles and other detritus for the kids.
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The desktop is visally worse than Win7, wihout Aero. The Tiles and their Fullscreen requirements tick me off. No Windows Mobile support in Visual Studio since VS2008. App have too many limits what they can do. For example with self signed certificates. With Win7 I can use Touch on my Device when I want. With Win8 Im forced to.
I really dont like Win8.
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The desktop is visally worse than Win7 without Aero. The Tiles and the Fullscreen requirement tick me off. No Windows Mobile support in Visual Studio since VS2008. App have too many limits what they can do. For example with self signed certificates. With Win7 I can use Touch on my Device when I want. With Win8 Im forced to.
I really dont like Win8.
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I don't wanna to used it because of it will be slower to my computer
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not in a near futur
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Change for changes sake, is stupid
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Give it a year I think....
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Will not even consider rolling out Windows 8.
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We are not going to roll out Win8 this year -- if ever. Reason: learning curve will be too high (I rolled out Win95 18 years ago -- I know what it will take).

That said -- I like Win8 very much. I don't think the statement "Windows 8 does not work well on non-touch OCs ..." is true. It's become my primary Admin workstation using only mouse & KB. It wasn't until I gave up trying to use my 24" touch screen with it I finally was able to figure out how to effectively get around the OS & get stuff done. It's an excellent OS; every bit as good if not better than Win7 in some cases. But it is different & it takes some time to get used to it (why we won't roll it out to the gen pop as it now is). I don't think Win8 is going to be as popular as Win7 was, but it doesn't deserve the knocks against it the media (most) & uniformed (all) are giving it either.
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not sufficiently compelled to. Mobile apps are sufficient enough to drive me to this ecological upgrade
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Just moved to 7, no plans for 8.
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Perhaps they should have brought out two versions one called Windows 8 touchscreen,
and just Windows 8, that came with the same user menus or similar to Windows 7.
I think the takeup would have been lot faster.
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The learning curve is to steep. There is no way I'm going to ask people to try and learn this OS and hurt there efficiency for several weeks or more.
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No plans to roll out this year but will be evaluating within the IT department.
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Tech reasons I understand, but if as a user you can't learn to work in a new OS environment in half a day you must have rocks in your head.
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