Enterprise IT shops put off Windows 8 migrations

Windows 8 migrations have stalled as IT shops grapple with decisions over hardware and software upgrade costs, Windows security issues and more.

Microsoft's latest operating system has been on the market for nearly five months, but enterprise IT decision makers have yet to implement strategic plans for Windows 8 migrations because of concerns about upgrade costs, security and more.

The lackluster interest among businesses to migrate users to Windows 8 is attributed not only to a new user interface, but also to the high cost of hardware that can take advantage of the new OS.

Enterprise decision makers say any Windows 8 installation won't come for another year, after the first Windows 8 service pack is available.

To help hardware manufacturers drop the cost of touchscreen devices that exploit the Windows 8 user interface's swiping and gesture movements, Microsoft this week slashed the Windows 8 and Office dual-pack licensing fee to OEMs from $120 to $30. The software maker hopes that the move will drop the cost of the hardware for end users, spurring demand for forthcoming touchscreen-enabled devices.

Even if the price drop raises early-adopter interest, Microsoft's move won't be enough of a catalyst for widespread Windows 8 migration plans that include the software as well as hardware upgrades, according to end users.

"It's almost like a television," said Alex Wilson, IT operations manager at Courier Corp., a printing service company in Chelmsford, Mass. "You're interested in the television show, but not the television."

Our users are more interested in the applications they use than in the devices they use, he noted.

Although there are some early adopters for Windows 8 at Courier, the business has not made the leap to the latest OS, he added.

Windows 8 technology changes will slow adoption

The adoption lag is to be expected, as it takes time for enterprises to embrace a new technology fully.

"[Typically], the adoption of Windows is three to five years," said Tim Bajarin, principal analyst at Creative Strategies in San Jose, Calif. "The problem is that [Microsoft] doesn't have three to five years."

Windows 8 installation may be particularly slow because touchscreen monitors are not prevalent in the corporate space, said Heinan Landa, CEO of Optimal Networks, a network and computing support consulting firm in Rockville, Md.

"As more workstations are designed with touchscreens in mind at an affordable price point, then larger companies will begin adopting this operating system the next time they need a company-wide hardware upgrade," Landa said. "In general, however, companies will not accelerate their upgrade cycle for this operating system upgrade."

IT shops will need to carefully analyze the productivity effects of using Windows 8 throughout an organization over a significant period of time, Landa added.

"The real question is whether or not getting a head start on application development would give them a leg up on Windows 8," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, a consulting firm in Hayward, Calif.

Windows 8 security concerns

Meanwhile, IT users are keeping a watchful eye out for the next Windows 8 service pack release.

Aside from the high cost of tablet PCs and rewriting any business software required for the Windows 8 environment, security concerns are another obstacle to large-scale migrations to the OS, said Gyutae Park, co-owner and head of IT at Money Crashers Personal Finance in Piscataway, N.J.

"There have already been a number of patches released, and the first official service pack isn't scheduled for release until next year, Park said "Until then, it's likely that many companies will remain content to use their existing operating systems."

Microsoft released its preliminary list for its March Patch Tuesday with a bulletin noting a fix for Internet Explorer 10 that affects Windows 8 and Windows RT, as well as previous versions of Internet Explorer and Windows.

Microsoft declined to comment for this article.

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Do you plan to adopt Windows 8?
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Will do gradual upgrades to pilot new and legacy software on new platform.
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No I will not adopt it at this time
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Evaluating upgrade merit for Desktop PCs and new convertible tablets with touchscreens…
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considering the rumors of a new upgrade due out shortly and the users upgrade worries in terms of UI,it will be at least a year before I upgrade .
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Need to get the evaluation to run on a disk configured as SCSI or to run in a virtual machine.
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There is no compelling business need. It offers us nothing.
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No plans to update to WIN 8 any time soon
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No reason to migrate
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Windows 8 is not user friendly, inconvenient, difficult to use and control.
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Touch-screen is ergonomically wrong for desktop.
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I like the security and operation of Windows 7. Windows 8 is too strange for most users.
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no I am no planning to have a touch screen on my desktop don’t like the interface I prefer windows 7
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after sp1
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Still deploying Windows 7. Give us a break.
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User interface of Win7 was more acceptable for our users.
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No speed boost in the OS, and no productivity gains without a touchscreen, if anything I see Windows 8 hampering productivity.
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Windows 8 is just much quicker than 7 and gives you a nice touch experience. Why wouldn’t you adopt it in an enterprise that runs Windows 7?
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Not ready for change, need to see windows 8 tablets market mature further and end user device strategy for mobile vs desk workers.
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Windows 8 will only be on newly bought PC’s when there is no further possibity to downgrade to Windows 7
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Al ready i hve upgraded my win 7 to win 8 pro
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I already have Windows 8
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Rolling out Windows 7 this year.
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we will stay on windows 7 as Windows 8 is rubbish
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Am already running it on half of our computers. The increased performance is enough of a reason to upgrade. We didn’t bother with touchscreens. They aren’t required to run Windows 8.
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I never install a new OS until after the first service pack. I also have no intention of ungrading my hardware this year.
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Absolutely no chance we will upgrade. We’ll stay with 7 until MS get a proper O/S out the door. Don’t want no kiddie systems.
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too early
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don’t need win8 and touch. My users have a mouse and a keyboard :-)
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Why would I wish to adopt a touchscreen OS into an environment that uses keyboards amd mice. Has anyone at M$ tried writing reports using only the touchscreen? Not to mention the unsightly smears across everyone’s monitors!
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Transition to difficult for the enterprise. (users affected, hardware non valuable in our context, they are far from touchscreen ready :) )
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It's a platform OS that has lots of potential
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windows 8
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d
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Metro issues
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we need the apps not the os no start button no sale
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as this article states, its the TV show not the TV which counts.. my enterprise has to many custom "home grown" applications that work perfectly for our needs, having to rewrite them to have gesture control.. is "cool" but not required.. why fix something that is not broken? the operating system is not the business application so it will not happen anytime soon..
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Will wait for first service pack. Just got to Win7, no pressing need to change again
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it is horrible system waste of time.
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Too many operations changed; IE VERY confusing with two versions; tile layout hard to organize and understand; modified role of desktop also very confusing. Windows 8 is a Frankenstein Monter
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Problem with Windows 8 is not as much of a hardware issue but with the OS itself. It has roughly the same requirements as Windows Vista or Windows 7. So any computer bought within the last 6 years could be fine.
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Yet another Micorshit Blunder, can anyone say Vista/Windows ME... Microsoft never gets it right the first time. Windows 7 is stable, end users know how to use it, why change just because Microsoft is ramming anohter sub par OS down our throats.
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Not sure why all the confusion about touch, windows 8 works fine as a desktop OS without touch. If starting a fresh migration from XP now go straight to 8, if your part way through migrating to 7 finish what you started .......
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When so much has to be invested in an "upgrade", you may as well look at alternatives. Microsoft has made the once impossible to imagine a naturally sensible option.
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The PC is tried and true technology, or doesn't Microsoft know this? Please innovate and don't shove Surface down our throats. We like our Androids and iPads.
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Touch screens have no real value for us because the screens are out of reach for the users.
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Added it to a test machine and immediately removed it due to the hardware not peforming well, in spite of the fact that it met Microsoft's "minimum" recommended configuration.
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Tiles and apps could be very distractive to the employees and may reduce the productivity during the work time.
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Windows 8. Is not cost of business friendly. I don't see any benefit to our business. I see lots of downsides. We are working to migrate to Ubuntu. We still have some issues there. I did an install of Win8 on my personal computer, and deleted it. I can see it for a tablet, but in my case my tablet is Galaxy 10 Note... Android is more suited to my needs. And I don't like the Windows phone.... So I see little reason to stay in any kind of Windows environment. Dan White
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Apple pie for me!!
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its the way of the future
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Microsoft succeeded in the first place because they made the OS so simple that people of all ages were able to use it, they have created a "Toy" with Windows 8, most companies have home grown applications, the cost of upgrading those plus hardware is not justifiable at this point. What do we get in return? a "Cool" os? Not enough!
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Not to mention that it was really stupid to remove the Start button.
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Windows 8 should just be targeted to the surface, phones and other trival devices. Window Server 2012 is built off window 8 gui, another ser of new MS nerds attempt to be like apple. What a joke interface for IT pros I wish there still existed another Server OS that was tuned to IT admins.
MS will soon go the way of other firms that don't know how to migrate their user base.
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From an administrators perspective, the interface is unacceptable. Other than using on a tablet, which we currently do not have, I do not see any benefit in the interface and users should have been provided the option on install. I think this greatly pushes those contemplating changing platforms to make the move.
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If Microsoft treat Windows 8 as Home OS that would raise more acceptable level than replacing Windows 7, beside Server 2012 on Windows 8's GUI, that's mean "Business" is not serious. They believe that changes are required after a few years, they truly believe that market MUST accept their changes. What happen in real life are, most of the bank's workstation just upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows XP or 7 since last year, the reason is about those OS at least looks more like doing business.

Show your boss that you just chat with your friends for the past few hours on Surface that's really "Cool".
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Apple just seams simpler to use.
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waiting
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We analysed the alternatives, side by side tested Microsoft Office and Libre Office 4.0, all of our backend systems and Have moved most of our Desktops to Linux.

Extremely happy so far, only 3 legacy applications left to migrate and we won't need windows anywhere.
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don't need it, don't want it, and shouldn't have it. We don't think it's good for us
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I work for Higher Ed and there just isn't the need to upgrade from Windows 7. The Windows 8 interface is quite impractical, Microsoft might not see the need for a "start", but they are in the minority. With an organisation of thousands of users (like our University), forcing users to "learn to drive all over again" just isn't an option.
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As a school IT Manager in the UK I will not roll it out until Summer 2014 because it is so radically different that it is too much change that teachers do not want to have to deal with just yet.
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Such a pity, to have done so much good work behind the scenes trimming up the OS so it behaves very snappily and fast. Then totally destroy the whole experience with the user interface from hell.
Do they really think that everyone wants to learn how to use a PC all over again? Get rid of the dreaming whiz kids out of the marketing and production sides of the business and get back to basics you damn fools.
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Truth is, I have already been fleeced by MS in form of double payments for their licenses regarding OSs that have come in OEM (preinstalled with manufacturers such as DELL). I therefore prefer infusing Linux/Unix into my environment while keeping and maintaining Windows 7 on some few.
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Full adoption of Windows 8 in the corporate arena will only happen when touch screens are cheaper and more readily available.
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Needs a classic user interface
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people must move with new technology
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Look and Feel of Windows 8, is much as comfortable as Windows 7 is. Windows 8 is Windows 20 Years ago (simple Winodws, simple colours ) ..
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Very hard to use if touchscreen technology is not available
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Windows 8 is for tablets nor the desktop.
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Really? I'm currently running W8 on a 5+ year old Dell precision and it runs like lightening- much, much better than the native Vista it came with. Also, I completely disagree with all these "useless without touchscreen" comments. It's better on a touchscreen, but personally I think it's better than W7 even without (tip 1- put the desktop tile top left of start screen, it then responds to "Enter" key to load).
If people actually used it "in anger" they would realise what a great OS it is, fast and responsive and as a result, I can work a lot faster. Just because it goes into top gear on a tablet doesn't mean it's useless on anything else.
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Microsoft is trying to milk us but is not really offering us any "must have" features. We have lots of XP installs and they are paid for and do what we want. Win7/8 needs hardware upgrades and that is costs we can avoid right now. We are also installing more Linux systems and so far that is working out better than we hoped for and others predicted.
As for Office 365 and Cloud, we don't have a good enough Internet connection to even contemplate it.
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I don't plan on upgrading to Windows 8.
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An operating system should not be a play thing....
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It is not a business focused OS
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too ealrly
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NO NO NO I will NOT adopt WINDOWS 8 - - IF MS ever gets it that MOST businesses NEED the traditional Start Menu & give us the CHOICE rather than the dictatorship Bull Crap, then it will be considered to migrate. We are currently evaluating moving to APPLE - they give their basse options
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No advantages for me.
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Still to early in the face and as no service packs are expected within a year. It to early to implement
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Put it on the work laptop for 6 weeks it took my productivity right down, so reverted back to windows 7. Really wouldn't use again it's awfull. But to be fair seemed faster, but then the metro nonsense wiped out all other gains, and not prepared to pay for third party software to neutralise the metro apps and regain start button
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Steve Jobs succeeded in turning productive technologies into fashion accessories. Okay for him. Microsoft is not, never will be, Steve Jobs or Apple and we don't need them for that. My company doesn't employ 13-year-olds who crave devices to deliver gossip and entertainment wrapped in video ads all day. We're just trying to get our work done. Windows 8? Thanks for nothing.
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On the Business sector, the technology itself and the users discomfort in changing so rapidly to a "Touch Interaction Environment" and "Unfamiliarity" of that environment in today's fast pace and do more with less expectations is placing a lot of pressure on the IT Professionals to find a balance to provide the best overall performance for all concerned and involved. I personally wish for common sense approaches, stable and consistent services, hardware and software without the constant unnecessary changes and updates. It is somewhat an insane world created by the desire to create new things for the sake of more and more profit and losing sight of sensible ways to make things better without going overboard.
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grt os
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winodws 8 looks okay
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I have been using the trial version on Virtual Box for some time, but am not satisfied with its performance. It is basically two operating systems patched together. The metro system is of limited use in a business environment and the basic windows os doesn't bring anything new to the table.
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Currently running Windows 8. I have a Windows 8 phone. I don't know what all the fuss is about
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I've personally gone to Windows 8 but I am not recommending out company to go because I don't see a compelling reason to go. Too big a learning curve for users and we don't have touch screen monitors.
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We need a real OS not a phone on a computer.
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Insane touch interface for desktops is a dead on arrival disaster.
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user interface is wrong... very wrong.
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Nice os but must change also the hardware !
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Windows 8 will be easy to use as the earlier Windows OS.

The myth of the people are creating is false!!!
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Due to recession companies are not willing to invest in new hardware for windows 8.
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I've already adopted it at home and in the process of installing it on parish computers. It's a nice fast booting OS and works well. I've found drivers a pig to sort out on some old hardware although often the latest Windows 7 drivers are fine. To circumvent the learning curve for users, I've resorted to free third party Classic Shell software to bring back the traditional start menu although personally I like the new start screen.
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Windows 8 should take advantage of the extra PC capabilities such as the big screen, the keyboard and the mouse not "forget" them. The desktop is not dead - it is vital if you want to do many things in parallel. Metro UI puts icons on a screen with no grouping (where are the program groups?). I would prefer if Metro was something like active desktop++ ie integraded with the desktop and configuarable centrally for all PCs in the company. Before deploying windows 8 you need a central management solutions which is Active Directory 2012 - infrastructure comes first.
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