Half of IT Leaders Prefer Microsoft Mobile Platform

Microsoft gains momentum for the Windows 8 launch as nearly half of IT managers in a survey said they plan to move their company’s mobile platform to devices that support the Microsoft operating system, including smartphone Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 and tablet OS Windows RT, according to ThinkEquity, an institutional investment banking services company.

Out of 100 U.S.-based IT managers, including CIOs, technology vice presidents and IT directors, 48 percent of respondents said they would choose Microsoft technology as their corporate mobile standard.

According to a research note from ThinkEquity financial analyst Yun Kim, the findings from the survey are up four percent from a similar survey conducted three months ago.

At the same time, the report by IDG News Service correspondent Juan Carlos Perez on the survey notes that Google’s Android OS dropped eight percent from 11 percent, while Apple’s iOS grew from 10 percent to 14 percent.

As reported by Perez, a large factor as to why Microsoft pulls ahead is because they show “‘strength and longevity’ of its Office productivity suite.”

“With this continued confirmation of this surprising finding six months ago, we have increasing confidence that [Microsoft] is well positioned to leverage its Office franchise to perhaps continue to dominate the corporate PC environment as the platform shift from desktop/laptop to mobile devices,” said Kim.

Kim also added that with Microsoft strengthening its enterprise position, it could improve its chances in the mobile consumer market.

While Forrester Research analyst David Johnson said the survey findings make sense, IT managers should be wary of standardizing their mobile platform. Johnson notes that “if there is anything to be learned by the RIM implosion, it’s that device choice lies in the hands of the employee, not IT.”

Johnson added in an email to Perez, “Humans are going to use what they want to use, whether it’s preferred by IT or not.”

Meanwhile, IDC analyst Al Gillen told Perez that IDC expects that the “majority of organization will stick with Windows 7 as their PC OS.”

“There has been robust deployment of Windows 7 over the past year or two, and given the investment many customers made to get to that level of deployment, it is very unlikely most will switch horses mid-race and try to finish up with Windows 8,” wrote Gillen in an email.

Gillen’s analogy for the move makes sense, though, as additional findings from the ThinkEquity survey showed that 45 percent of respondents are still rolling out Windows 7. In addition, more than 82 percent said they “haven’t altered their Windows 7 implementation plans as a result of the imminent launch of Windows 8.”


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