updated 07:40 am EDT, Mon October 22, 2012
Windows 8 may be by-passed by enterprise altogether
Although Microsoft has invested a huge amount of effort in developing Windows 8, it is unlikely that many companies will be early adopters of the new OS, reports Reuters. It is also quite possible that some enterprises may never adopt it according to analysts. From an enterprise perspective, Windows 8 is perceived primarily as a consumer operating system with many companies still to make the switch to Windows 7 from Windows XP.
"Windows 8 is, frankly, more of a consumer platform than it is a business platform, so it's not something that makes any sense from a business perspective at this juncture," Doug Johnson, head of risk management policy at the American Bankers Association told Reuters. "There is really no additional business functionality that Windows 8 gives you."
Rather than develop a tablet or mobile-specific OS to tackle the iPad, Microsoft chose to adopt a different strategy by merging a touch-driven UI with its more traditional Windows desktop. While the end result is contentious, Microsoft has aimed to offer PC users similar form factors to the market-leading iPad, but without any of the perceived limitations of Apple's more simplified approach.
Although the iPad and iPhone have made inroads into enterprise, Windows 8 may hold more appeal to IT departments who are looking to offer their staff tablet devices (despite by-passing it for mainstream PC use organizationally). Microsoft has also controversially chosen to enter the hardware business, with its line of Surface tablets. It has sold out ofits initial production run in the US, though it is yet to publicly announce exactly how many sales this translates to.
With Microsoft promising ten years of support for its operating systems, there appears to be little urgency for enterprise users to shift to Windows 8 in the short term. With the follow up to Windows 8 due anywhere between two to three years from its launch this month, enterprises will be able to test Windows 8 and at least one successive operating system into the future before companies move to upgrade beyond Windows 7.