Microsoft Windows chief Steven Sinofsky has described Windows 8 as "a generational change" the likes of which hasn't been made since Windows 95. With Windows 8, Microsoft hopes to move its flagship OS beyond the PC into the fast-growing tablet market. But, according to TechRepublic Pro and ZDNet research, Microsoft hasn't convinced many IT decision makers that Windows 8 is an essential OS upgrade.
In October 2012, we asked TechRepublic members to share with us their organization's plans for Windows 8. Over 1,200 people responded, and we compiled the data into our Windows 8 Business Intentions report. The following are five key takeaways from the report.
- 73.7 percent of respondents say their organizations have no plans to deploy Windows 8, with 23.8 percent reporting that they will skip the OS altogether. By comparison, a 2009 ScriptLogic survey (PDF) found that 59.3 percent of 1,100 respondents had no current plans to deploy Windows 7.
- Only 15.8 percent of respondents who run Windows XP or an earlier version as their organization's primary OS say they plan to deploy Windows 8. This is far below the 29.7 percent of those running Windows 7 and the 50 percent of those running Windows Vista who plan to deploy Windows 8.
- Security and tablet/mobile integration top the list of factors rated important by respondents who plan to deploy Windows 8. 61.2 percent of respondents rated tablet/mobile integration a 4 or 5 in importance.
- The Windows 8 style UI and associated end-user training requirements are off-putting to many respondents. 41.4 percent of respondents rated the Metro user interface (now called the Windows 8 style or Modern style UI) as very important to their company's decision not to deploy Windows 8. Open-ended responses from those without plans to deploy Windows 8 further illustrate respondents' concerns with the new UI.
- The number of respondents in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US with plans to deploy Windows 8 was lower than in China, India, and Southeast Asia. Of all the regions, the US was lowest, with just 24.6 percent of respondents reporting current deployment plans.
These are just a few of the data points the study uncovered. The full Windows 8 Business Intentions: Deployment Plans, Driving Factors, Roadblocks, and Strategies includes the following:
- A breakdown of Windows 8 deployment plans by organization size, primary geographic location, and industry sector
- An in-depth look at the factors important in the decision to deploy Windows 8, such as upgrade price, administration tools, and cloud integration
- Additional analysis of the driving factor behind the decision not to deploy Windows 8, such as time, resource, and budget constraints
- A look at the business leaders involved in making the Windows 8 deployment decision
- A complete breakdown of deployment strategies -- staggered, mass deployment, or hardware refresh
- Information on the percentage of computers that organizations will move to Windows 8
More TechRepublic Pro original research on the horizon
TechRepublic Pro, TechRepublic's premium service, provides information that IT leaders need to solve today's toughest IT problems and make informed decisions. The Windows 8 Business Intentions: Deployment Plans, Driving Factors, Roadblocks, and Strategies report is the first of many original pieces of research we're working on. In the coming months, we'll look at big data, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, SMB IT innovation, managing a mobile enterprise, and more.
While Windows 8 Business Intentions is free for all TechRepublic and ZDNet members, future reports will be reserved for TechRepublic Pro members or available for one-off purchase through the TechRepublic store. Visit www.techrepublic.com/pro for information on becoming a member.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.