Software

Firms rush to climb onto the Windows 10 bandwagon

Businesses of all sizes are showing greater interest in Microsoft's new OS than its predecessor Windows 8, but is it really time to be considering an upgrade?

Ten weeks after the launch of Windows 10 more than one in ten businesses are testing the OS.

Data gathered by Spiceworks, an online hub for IT professionals, found that 11 percent of businesses connecting to the site are using Windows 10 on at least one computer.

It follows Microsoft's recent claim that business PCs account for eight million of the 110 million Windows 10 devices being used worldwide.

Peter Tsai of Spiceworks said that if businesses continue installing Windows 10 at the present rate then Spiceworks' expectation that 40 percent of firms would adopt Windows 10 within one year of its launch would be exceeded.

Firms in the US have been quickest to start using the OS, followed by Europe and then Latin America.

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Usage of Windows 10 by businesses is growing more rapidly than it was for Windows 8 at a similar point after launch, some 20 percent faster in the UK, according to Spiceworks.

Large and medium-sized businesses are more likely to be testing Windows 10, with nearly one in four companies with 500 employees or more doing so, compared to just over five percent of organizations with fewer than 50 people.

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"While it's true that this could be influenced by the sheer number of devices at bigger companies, it's also true that IT departments at smaller businesses tend to have less monetary resources or IT man hours to dedicate to projects like OS migrations, so they might be putting off Windows 10 testing and migration until later," Tsai said in a blog post.

Unsurprisingly the software industry has been the fastest to try Windows 10, with a penetration rate of just under one in five businesses.

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"At this point, Windows 10 is also the most quickly adopted Windows operating system ever,"said Spiceworks Tsai of overall download figures for the OS.

"It took Redmond approximately six months to sell 100 million licenses for both Windows 7 and Windows 8. Win10 has eclipsed them both in less than half the time."

This comparatively rapid rate of adoption is to be expected, given that Windows 10 is the first Microsoft OS to be available as a free upgrade to a sizeable number of Windows home users.

But given reports of the instability of Windows 10's initial builds and major updates in the pipeline - businesses would do well to bide their time before they commit to a full upgrade, said Richard Edwards, principal analyst with Ovum.

"It comes as no surprise to hear that businesses are showing more interest in Windows 10 compared to Windows 8, but Microsoft is still working on the "Threshold 2" branch of the OS, so organizations should proceed cautiously and with eyes wide open," he said.

At present, he said Windows 10 offers limited advantages to most organisations, he said.

"Organizations should always try and focus on employee productivity and business process innovation. Windows 10 may be able to offer some users a small boost in these areas, but the real opportunities lie elsewhere.

"If it's Microsoft products you're looking at, then business and IT leaders should assess the business potential of Office 2016 and recent updates to Office 365 before getting bogged down with OS migrations."

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About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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