Windows 8 Won't Become Enterprise Standard: Analyst

Dennis Faas's picture

A new report from Forrester Research says Windows 8 will not become an enterprise standard. In fact, the report says that by the time another version of Windows becomes available, Windows 7 will remain the enterprise crowd's chosen operating system (OS).

Forrester analyst David Johnson says that means Windows 8 can be considered nothing less than a major letdown for Microsoft.

"I have to believe Microsoft expected better enterprise adoption for Windows 8," noted Johnson, who acted as lead author on Forrester's report titled "IT Will Skip Windows 8 As The Enterprise Standard." (Source:

Timing, Cost to Prevent Windows 8 Adoption

Part of the problem is timing. Forrester's report says that many companies have only recently left the very popular Windows XP for Windows 7. Such migrations are neither cheap nor quick, making it unlikely enterprises will want to make another expensive and time-consuming transition to Windows 8.

Forrester says that, of the European and North American enterprises it surveyed last year, Windows 7 was the dominant OS for roughly half of all respondents. Windows XP maintained a 38 per cent market share. (Source:

That left very little room for Windows 8. Only one in four enterprises said they had plans to migrate to the new Microsoft operating system within the next year, with most companies scheduled to migrate to Windows 7.

Benefits of Windows 8 Upgrade Remain Unclear

Johnson says many IT professionals haven't been convinced that Windows 8 is substantially better than its predecessor. Furthermore, it's much easier for employees to make the transition from Windows XP to Windows 7, given that the two operating systems share similar user interfaces.

Since few enterprises use touch screen devices, Windows 8's user interface simply won't be useful for many companies. For those firms that do employ touch screens, Forrester found that Android- and iOS-based devices are preferred.

Johnson admits that Windows 8.1 (otherwise known as 'Windows Blue') could change how companies view Windows 8. However, Johnson says that until we know more about the update we can't even begin to understand its impact on the business world.

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