Windows 8

Infographic: Who's making the move to Windows 8?

See some results from TechRepublic's survey of who is and who is not upgrading to Windows 8.

Whether to make the move to Windows 8 is a huge question facing companies right now. TechRepublic conducted an independent survey of over 1,100 tech pros to see where they are on this decision. Here are a few data points from the survey. The entire survey and a discussion of its results, including the reasons companies give for upgrading or not upgrading,  can be downloaded for free here.

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Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

95 comments
ricardoc
ricardoc

Being mainly a Windows XP Pro shop (XP 62%, W7 38%) we are considering taking advantage of the low pricing for upgrade ($40) and move altogether to W8. Of course we could move all XP to W7, but does it makes sense to upgrade to an OS that is already 2 years old? So in order to know if this is possible we set to test W8 first on two savvy users' PC and then expand on the test to five more users. This is what I have found after a couple of weeks working on it: The bad news: My MS Office 2003 won't work with W8 (see KB2777626); some users have reported being able to install it, but it breaks Windows updates. The graphics for the windows (application windows) suck, they are really hard to discern from the windows in the background. None of my deployed with GPO printers got deployed to the W8 computers; however I could right click on them and connect no problem (all printers are very old-attached to a print server). My laptop's nVidia card (Quadro FX350M) wasn't recognized; after some time spent on the net I found the 64 bit driver for W7 on the MS Update Catalog which worked fine. Bluetooth has played me a couple of tricks with my Logitech KB and mouse; I have had to remove them and reconnect them a couple of times (this is a 6 year old laptop). And finally the "metro" interface; I get it out of my face as soon as I log in by going to the desktop with WinKey + D where I have all my shortcuts. However I really think MS screwed up big time by not letting the user choose between a "desktop" option and a "mobile" one when installing the OS. Having to constantly go to the Desktop is an annoyance and not having a Start menu is going to be a major adjustment for most users. And having to customize the start screen to eliminate (or "unpin") a bunch of useless apps is going to be a pain for most shops. Still there is no save as PDF option (or asimple PDF printer) on the many applications included by default in the OS. The good news: Fast boot. It feels faster over all, but I'll have to wait till some time has passed to check if this is just an effect of being a clean install. For shops that can't afford to pay for the Ultimate version, the adding of bit locker encryption on W8 Pro is a god send. Regarding the deployed with GPO printers mentioned earlier one good thing was that when I tried to connect to a printer which has only the 32 bit driver in the printer server, W8 looked up the 64 bit driver by itself on the net and made it happen; with XP an error will pop up that no suitable driver was available, meaning you will have to load the 64 bit driver before hand on the server. If you're a KB shortcut user you will have no trouble getting your way around the OS; all old shortcuts are still there and a few more. I will say that the main two issues when upgrading are: applications and hardware drivers. If you get those sorted out then move on or plan what your next move will be when XP looses its support in 2014. Just my two cents...

wmroc
wmroc

My next computer (note desktop computer) will be Linux based cause I want a big screen. Once I've re-written/adapted my software will use Linux computer and save my XP machine for banking and investment purposes, but NO email.

john616
john616

I always say, "New computer gets the latest and greatest Windows." XP PRO SP3 on my laptop (INTEL CORE DUO 2GB DDR2) and VISTA ULTIMATE SP2 on my desktop (INTEL Q6700 4GB DDR2). Goddamned kids! Get off my lawn!

richard.bennett
richard.bennett

If this is an accurate snapshot of the market, Microsoft is in TROUBLE! I would hate to have my board of directors see the expected reception of one of my "Most innovative" product launches look like this survey! For my industry, Education, we spend tax dollars and we are normally a year or more behind. Moving to Windows 8 would require a major shift in how business uses computers before we would move in that direction. If industry uses it, we will teach it and use it but until then Windows 7 is our best choice.

chdchan
chdchan

So far I've seen an inclination to play things only.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Gotta get those outsourced help desks up to speed. Only 15% of XP shops. If you haven't moved to W7 by now, you sure aren't going to W8.

DurbanDon
DurbanDon

I have 4 computers running XP. Suport will end in 2 years. I am a retired person with limited money. I shall take advantage of the low cost to convert my 2 desktops to Win 8. The other 2 I shall only use off line in the future. I shall learn to use Win 8 without a touch screen.

sightsandsounds
sightsandsounds

There are going to be alot of nice LCD LED monitors junked soon, Im planning to check in for a really great price on a Fantastic Monitor. One I visit will call me when a nice one comes in.This will be just like Recently, you could find a really nice TV with DVD player for $20.The Problem is there will be So MANY LCD screens that fill the Landfills with TOXIC waste.

Trentski
Trentski

It feels old when I goto work and use Windows 7, supporting clients with XP feels ancient, I upgraded my old PC at home for 14.95 It will probably be at least 6 months before I get Windows 8 on my work computer

xangpow
xangpow

I find it funny that 50% of the people that have Vista plan to go to W8 but only 15% of people that have XP or earlier will be going to W8. (is someone still using 98, 95, or *gasp* ME?) It is also interesting that India, China, and Southeast Asia plans on getting W8, yet Europe and the US have no plans.

Dereckonline
Dereckonline

Interesting the results by region. Who will be the experts? Sounds like strategic investment to me.

daniel.vinet
daniel.vinet

Hi everyone. I think Microsoft was so focused on tablets to strike down iPad and Android, that they almost forgot there is a whole PC market out there. You know, the ones who used Windows for decades now!! Yes it's cute and fast, but it's not functionnal!!! Most of the professional in the industry don't see this OS coming in the offices. Why? Just think about it, do you see a secretary working half on a mouse, half on touch screen, if touche screen there is. We already have many tendinitis out there only with a mouse. What do you think it's going to be with a touch screen? It seams like Microsoft thought about good looking, not functionality. They should have let us choose what we need, not decide for us! The first thing I did when I tried Win 8, I downloaded a start menu from StarDock, it's free and at least, it gives you back the feeling of Win 7. Daniel

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Why spend the money when it doesn't do anything for you?

nomad_tech
nomad_tech

Healthcare IT is realatively behind the curve taking advantage of the latest operating systems. We are starting to move from XP to Win7 only because Microsoft is sunsetting the operating system.

trashmail
trashmail

Why would I? 95% of my usage is Office and browsers, and the remainder is utilities that mostly deal with th shortcomings of Win7. Even if Win8 removed the nuisances, what possible benefit might I reap from a costly, complex, and risky upgrade. While this upgrade (sic) will NOT be installed by 75% of the users (surveyed), alternates and alternate means of computing will continue replacing classical Windows machines. I don't predict the demise or failure of Microsoft (and lack creds for doing so!), but wonder how this dynamic will affect the balance of Win/OSX sales of new machines? The replacement market for older XP/Vista/Win7 machines seems better for Macs than for PCs, at least in the home sphere. In the enterprise world, not so much, but then, their huge investments in interlocking pieces of complex systems seem to speak more to stasis than change. Win8 is simply not compelling in either sphere, at least it seems so to me.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't think you can expect a new version of Windows to have driver support for hardware as old as some of yours (six year old laptop, 'very old' printers, etc.) without some work.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

maintain the Win XP or Win 7 look of the GUI, if you want to.

dcolbert
dcolbert

In the day of WGA, I'm hesitant to take a $15 gamble with gray market Windows vendors for home systems. It seems an investment in 3 Powerball tickets would be about as likely to have a positive return on my investment.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Vista, so they're staying with what will run their important software.

dcolbert
dcolbert

My daughter's Acer laptop from Vista to Windows 8 this weekend. The BIOS does not support NX Bit enabled, and the idea of researching if the BIOS was upgradable and supported this on a consumer release of a radical new Windows OS made me decide to hold tight. This was the only system that I've considered upgrading to Windows 8. Vista isn't horrible... but at $39, if it hadn't been for the hardware problem, I would have rolled the dice on Windows 8.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

your industry. I expect it to go well in consumer hardware like tablets and phones but not in enterprise or home PCs. I'm already hearing of people cancelling new computers due to the vendors saying anything new shipped from their warehouse will be Win 8 - average users don't want it on their PCs.

dcolbert
dcolbert

It seems like *one* region in particular wants to be ahead of the curve on technology, while the rest want to maintain the status quo at any cost. I think this pattern shows who is hungry and eager to embrace innovation and who is content to stay with what they know. Of course, it could be argued that this region has less to lose by embracing emerging technologies, while the other regions have established production models that cannot afford disruption and lost productivity. In either case, the regions that are aggressively adopting now will eventually lead in expertise on new platforms - because it is probably inevitable that Windows 8 represents a new approach that will become the standard going forward. Looks like they know the needful that needs doing.

Trentski
Trentski

It does have a lot more features and functions Too bad you haven't tried or even read up about them yet

kenyu73
kenyu73

I guess you haven't upgraded from XP yet either or bought a newer car lately either. Besides the UI change, Win8 has many core improvements so read up on them before posting a blanket statement.

ricardoc
ricardoc

Sadly this is one of the aspects of OS support business that I don't quite get. Let's start with the obvious matter of cost; does it really cost too much for MS to keep support for old (reasonably old) hardware? I don't know how much exactly; all I can do is compare with the level of support that Linux has for old hardware and conclude that if they can do it, so can MS. Maybe that's too simplistic comparison, but if someone knows better please explain. Continuing with the reasoning you would think that providing support for old hardware will increase the chances that more customers will upgrade to your new OS; after all not everyone has the money to buy a brand new computer, especially these days. When we talk business CEO and CFO want to know what the ROI really is and if you have to buy hundreds of new computers to upgrade, your chances of approval really decrease. Choosing not to support old hardware might be a good business strategy for business relationships between MS and hardware vendors, but ultimately it hurts MS and its customers. To be honest I was mostly happy humming away with my XP on this laptop; when I got this Dell Precision it was top of the line and so far the only issue it had was the nVidia card failing because those guys gave Dell wrong overclocking specs and there was a massive RMA and repairs because of it. Other than that my laptop was doing fine; but XP is coming to an end of support soon and I was missing a few options for network management currently present in 7; hence my "mostly happy" comment. I understand there has to be a limit of how back support for old hardware must be provided, but at least support should exist for hardware that still kinda matches what is today available; it is not as if this computer (and others in our company) have a 386, 486 or PIII CPU; these are Dual Cores at 2 GHz that support 64 bits OS and their video cards are present in multitude of laptops still running. Maybe I'm not that sold in the throw away-buy new every time new stuff is available. Thanks,

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

between sometime in Aug through Dec (or Jan 2013, can't remember the details) and you qualify for the $15 upgrade, which is a download from Microsoft. No gray market. There may be other ways, but I haven't heard of them.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I bought our new laptops a couple of weeks ago. So they would come with Win 7. I can decide later to upgrade to Win 8, or not.

xangpow
xangpow

The regions that have nothing to lose might see this as a step up. The "status quo" people (as you call them) probably have lots to lose so it would make sence that they NOT deploy something as experimental as Windows 8. If things go bad I would rather the "nothing to lose" people find it first that way nothing is lost.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

consumer market already owned by others. Sadly, they're trying to stuff it all into the one basket and it doesn't fit at all.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

corporate vendor lock-in ones, what new features does it have that's useful to the average business or home user. According to the lists from Microsoft it takes out many useful features and puts nothing back for home usage - heck, you can't play a movie DVD without buying another program to watch it in.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

we probably wouldn't be slowly upgrading to W7. We have no applications that require it. I only buy a new car when the old one stops working. Microsoft and the automakers may say I need a new one, but neither have provided a good reason to replace something that is paid for and still works.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

are useful to you. Most of them are more steps along the Microsoft road of Vendor Lock-in. Secure Boot with UEFI locks you out from changing the OS - already some vendors are refusing to pass along the passwords or codes to unlock the UEFI, saying it's on the advice from Microsoft. And on some systems they come so locked down already that there are no passwords or codes at all. Touch screen is not of much use on a desktop, especially when the main productivity is through creating and amending documents. All below is based on the assumption you have Windows 8 Pro and not Win RT or the basic Windows 8 which can't join a Windows Domain. Don't need Windows to GO, don't need cloud based storage or email, already have a better browser than the new IE. The only reason I, like most people, would need Hyper-V is to run older software that won't otherwise work on Win 8 because Microsoft have changed the commands to stop them working. But that may also require me to have a legal copy of the other OS I want to run in Hyper-V as well, depending on what it is. Don't need the Windows Store as I don't use consumer apps on my work PC, beyond playing music through the headphones. Oh, the media player has no codecs for playing DVDs so I have to get another program to play them now. And personalising some of the network connections now has to be done via command line commands instead of the network UI.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

drivers it will work out of the box with all Unix and Linux, but MS pressure them to make it out of the box current Windows compatible. What's interesting is how much more is now coming out with the need for a Windows driver for any version of Windows, thus indicating it's Industry Standard compatible. Most hardware drivers for Linux and Unix to run Win compatible hardware are made by dedicated individuals and released into the wild for free.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

the response is usually that it is up to the hardware manufacturers to write new drivers so the new OS can talk to old hardware. i see no reason the same approach shouldn't be used to excuse MS.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

The issue of drivers since the early 1990s derives from a decision by Microsoft to walk away from Industry Standards to increase profits by forcing people to pay them to be able to have their hardware work with Windows. I'm not sure how far the situation goes with Apple command sets, but for the rest it breaks down this way: Industry Standard Command Set - used in all Unix and Linux operating systems and hardware intended for use with them. Windows NT Command Set - for equipment to work out of the box with Windows NT Windows 9x Command Set - for equipment to work out of the box with Windows 95 / 98 / 98SE Windows 2000 Command Set - for equipment to work out of the box with Windows 2000 / XP Windows Vista Command Set - for equipment to work out of the box with Windows Vista / 7 not sure if Win 8 has a new Command Set or is the same as Win Vista. If the OS has the command sets for all the Windows systems in it then everything is compatible, but MS do NOT work that way. They could have stayed with the one command set or even the industry standard one, but every time they change it they charge companies big bucks for a copy of the new command set so they can make software and hardware that works with the new set of commands.

dcolbert
dcolbert

That makes sense. So you get a voucher to upgrade at a discount when you've bought a system close to the rollout. Got it.

Slayer_
Slayer_

WMP played Monty Python Holy Grail. Not a very good player though,the seek is broken, no fast forward or rewind. It like the 8-track of DVD players.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

so I tried it. Win 7 Media player played it. VLC did, too. I don't know about Win 8 as I haven't turned on that one in awhile. The laptop in question has Win 7 Home Premium which is what it came with. I didn't bother to redo it with Ultimate as it has nothing in the way of crapware on it and HP does everything I need. Media Player won't play Blu-ray and VLC is supposed to but it whines about needing two files. When I downloaded them and followed the directions on where to put them, it still whined. No matter, my system came with PowerDVD which does play Blu-ray. It's crap like that VLC thing that drives me nuts. Software should just work without me having to hunt down pieces to make it work.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Maybe it only works in USA?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

website lists playing DVDs as a feature removed and not in Win 8 - it seems I was wrong to believe them about it being in Win 7

Slayer_
Slayer_

Just tried, it didn't work, says unknown format. I think VLC plays DVD's out of the box, and GOM can as well if you install the codecs GOM directs you to.

chdchan
chdchan

One way to help extend the old screen product life, is to frame up a see-through touch layer on LCDs.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

the problem is that's very likely the reason.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

There ya go. I wouldn't want you to be disappointed!

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Mr Ballmer has just absorbed a Screen Cleaning Company into Microsoft that maybe sort of works in a fashion that allows you to partially read the screen sometimes. Well all need Touch Screens to help destroy the planet by filling the landfill stations with toxic chemicals contained in the [b]Old Screens[/b] and the polluted air from the vapors of the Screen Cleaning Solutions that we will all now need. See just how M$ Locks you into their Walled Garden much better than Apple. :^0 Now I wonder how many Down votes that will get me. :D Col

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