Is Microsoft Windows 8 losing interest among IT buyers?

Infotech Lead India: A Forrester research suggests that Windows 8 doesn’t offer enterprises enough savings in operations to make it a top priority.

Forrester’s data also shows that early enterprise interest in Windows 8 is half that of Windows 7 prior to its release.

IT decision-makers don’t yet see the new Windows experience as an improvement.

IT perceives iOS as the most preferred OS for tablets.

Interest in iOS, Android, and Mac OS X will remain high, particularly among influential employees.

With Windows XP’s end of life date of April 8, 2014 rapidly approaching, Forrester analyst David Johnson says that most IT shops are still focused on migrating to Windows 7 to bother with Windows 8.

Today, 48 percent of commercial PCs are running Windows 7, and 76 percent of firms report that newly deployed PCs are powered by Windows 7.

In sharp contrast to IT interest, however, employee interest in Windows 8 is very high.

Forrester’s survey of nearly 10,000 global workers reveals that 38 percent of employees would prefer to use Windows 8 on their work computers, compared with 35 percent for Windows 7.

Looking at what they would prefer to use on a work tablet, 20 percent say Windows 8 versus 26 percent for Apple iOS. IT organizations should prepare for a strong initial push to formally support Windows 8 or permit employee-owned Windows 8 devices.

Interestingly, Microsoft India urged the IT users to migrate to Windows 7 or Windows 8 from Windows XP or spend $300. Around 50-60 percent installed PC base in the enterprises are still running Windows XP, according to an IDC report. Microsoft wants Indian enterprise users to migrate to benefit from new value additions.

Cost of upgrading (assuming no enterprise license agreement and three-year amortization period) will be $95 against the cost of non-migrating which will be $300 per user followed by almost a double the cost in the subsequent year, should they choose to opt for a custom support contract to stay on Windows XP post April 2014.

A Microsoft press release quoting an IDC research says the non-migration cost is only the documentable cost as this does not include costs related to business loss due to security and data breach threats, productivity loss and other similar factors.

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