Microsoft

Windows 8: Why Microsoft's next OS is haunted by the fate of Windows Vista

Could the unloved Windows Vista make life difficult for Microsoft's next operating system?

...that the number of businesses deploying Windows 8 "will definitely be lower" than that of Windows 7 - adding that recent Gartner surveys have found businesses are not planning any desktop OS refreshes beyond Windows 7 at present.

So Windows 8 will have to do a good job selling its benefits into the enterprise market. Just as many businesses held onto Windows XP because it was good enough, so Windows 8 will have to offer performance and features that far outstrip anything found in Windows 7 if businesses are to bite.

Of the Windows 8 features that have been announced so far, the focus has been more on the consumer side, so we'll have to wait and see whether there are some must-have features that will have businesses clamouring to upgrade.

And, for sure, there are certain companies such as airlines and those in the hospitality industry that will favour tablet PCs and could be swayed by Windows 8's touch-friendly interface.

But there is a question mark over whether Windows 8's ability to run on many different devices, better support for virtualisation and integration with cloud technologies is really going to be enough to make businesses swap from Windows 7.

It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Tablets cannibalising PC sales and the rise of consumers bringing their own devices into work mean the enterprise IT market is not as monolithic as it may have once been.

Desktop refreshes have never been so complicated and fragmented. Windows 8 will be born into a world very different to that of its predecessors. Let's hope it is ready.

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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