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Enterprises Uninterested in Windows 8

Enterprise IT hardware decision-makers are about half as interested in a Windows 8 adoption as they were with Windows 7 during its release in 2009, according to Forrester analyst David Johnson.

In a Forrester blog post, Johnson finds that only 24 percent of firms expect to move to the Windows 8 platform; however, they also say they remain uncertain if they will do so or not – compared to the 49 percent for Windows 7 in 2009.

Meanwhile, only 5 percent have immediate plans to move to the Windows 8 platform within the next 12 months, versus 10 percent for Windows 7 in 2009.

In a previous related post, Johnson outlines the seven reasons Windows 8 adoption in the enterprise is at risk saying that most IT shops are still in the midst of their Windows XP to 7 migration.

According to Johnson, clients told him that migrating to Windows 7 is not only an expensive process, but a timely one as well. With application migration and modernization and the OS upgrade process, the associated labor and costs are high.

In addition, although the new Windows 8 interface is impressive, most employees said Windows 7 is “good enough.” In a Forrester Workforce Technology Assessment, large group of employees (50 percent or more), respondents said they prefer a simple interface.

Of those surveyed in the Workforce Technology Assessment, some responded stating: “Keep it simple. While I love these tools, they’re just a way to get the job done”, or “I use computers as part of my job, but I don’t use them much at home.”

According to Forrester, with this information from employees, they believe most find the Windows 7 “adequate for their needs,” while the Windows 8 interface will “cause disorientation and frustrations, requiring additional training and support.”

In a Computerworld interview, Johnson attributes the loss of the familiar Start button for navigation as the potential for confusion amongst employees. According to Computerworld, Johnson’s predictions echo reviews and consumer comments made recently about the new interface for Windows 8.

On a BYOD front, however, Johnson predicts positive prospects for the Windows 8 platform. Of those surveyed, 20 percent of respondents said they would prefer Windows 8 on their personal touchscreen tablets. However, the iOS platform still dominates, as 26 percent of respondents said they prefer Apple’s platform on their next touchscreen tablet.

Robert Mullins for eWeek, however, says we shouldn’t rule out Windows 8 as a failure just yet. Since the new platform has only been on the market for barely a month, it’s too soon to call it a loss. According to Mullins, there are a number of factors affecting the growth curve for Windows 8 that suggest the fight isn’t over yet.

Mullins notes that many reports, including one from Gartner, predict that Windows 8 adoption will pick up in the second half of next year. According to Gartner Research, forecasts indication that Windows 8 will finish 2012 with a meager 3.8 million units, but could increase to a staggering 21 million units by the end of 2013.

Nevertheless, the adoption process for Windows 8 is a slow one and doesn’t even compare to that of the iOS platform, which its newest version saw a 60 percent adoption among users after just one month, according to Apple Insider.

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