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Analysts argue Windows 8 does not bring a compelling set of features for business users, drawing Vista comparisons

Windows 8 lands on Friday, and with it the big question of whether the consumer-friendly operating system is as good a fit as previous versions of Windows, which were more stodgy and business-minded from an interface perspective.

I. Businesses May Not Want Windows 8

While there have been some opinionated folks decrying the merits of Windows 8 for business users, the greater sentiments of the business community towards the upcoming product remain largely unknown.  Currently an estimated 41 percent of the world's 1.5 billion PCs run Windows XP.  In other words, in the near term, many businesses are still working on their Windows XP to Windows 7 transition plan and have little thoughts on Windows 8 adoption.

Analysts are still busily debating the merits of the upcoming Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) OS product, whose early adoption rates are trailing those of Windows 7

Analyst Michael Cherry told Reuters in a recent briefing, "Some organizations, when they look at Windows 8 Intel tablets, they are going to like them because they are manageable.  When they look at RT they are going to be disappointed, because it's no easier to manage than an iPad."

In other words, x86 tablets -- like those bearing Intel Corp. (INTC) chips -- may bear an advantage for businesses over current tablets, but Windows RT tablets (built with ARM chips) will likely not.

Gartner, Inc. (IT) analyst Michael Silver says he expects Windows 8 to never catch on to the extent of Windows XP or Windows 7, even years down the road.  He comments, "We believe 90 percent of large organizations will not deploy Windows 8 broadly, and at its peak, we expect about 20 percent of PCs in large organizations will run Windows 8."

Windows 8 boxes
Windows 8 boxes on diplay at Wal-Mart [Image Source: The Verge]

Doug Johnson, head of risk management policy at the American Bankers Association, similarly argues to Reuters, "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.  There is really no additional business functionality that Windows 8 gives you that I see."

II. Does it Matter?

Increasingly Microsoft's revenue stream is driven by licensing software (such as Office and SQL Server 2008), rather than licensing operating systems.  Last year OS sales only accounted for 25 percent of Microsoft's bottom line versus 30 percent five years ago.  

And a large portion of OS revenue -- roughly 40 percent -- comes from bulk licensing agreements with free upgrade provisions.  For that type of licenses, IT departments' decision to adopt or pass on a particular version of Windows makes no difference, as long as the business is using some version of the OS.

In other words, as murky as Windows 8's business fate may be, the impact of those long-term sales on Microsoft's bottom line is even more unclear.  That said, the general air of skepticism from business users is a concern for Microsoft in the long term, and definitely something Microsoft will (or, at least, should) take into acount when crafting Windows 8's successor.

Source: Reuters

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RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By Kitten_Mary on 10/22/2012 4:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
> 80 Percent of Businesses Will Never Adopt Windows 8

> I hope we never roll out Server 2012.
> I can at least understand changing the UI of the desktop
> world to match those of phones and game systems


I think you got that exactly backwards. SQL Server 2012 is 99% backwards compatible with SQL 2008. If you don't need all that extra features... you simply don't use them.

But you *DO* want all work computers to "match" gaming systems and cell phones????


Why in the world would any business on the planet want that?

By PsychoPif on 10/22/2012 4:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
I think you forgot to quote the end of the phrase where he says except work pc...

RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By Lord 666 on 10/22/2012 10:59:36 PM , Rating: 3
Where does he mention SQL? He only mentioned Server 2012 as in the OS.

My apologies in advance if the OP is a female.

RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By Samus on 10/23/2012 1:36:16 AM , Rating: 2
Considering I still have numerous clients running Server 2003/SQL 2005, the obvious choice when we replace their servers will be Server 2012. It all depends how much of a compelling improvement it is over Server 2008r2. Some clients have found Small Business Server 2011 (which is 95% SBS 2008) a solid choice, especially when you consider it has a very good Exchange arrangement (opposed to SBS 2003/2008 which neutered Exchange) and in Premium has some virtualization and SQL bundled in.

SBS 2011 is very buggy though. I spend 5-6 hours after deployment just straightening out the bogus errors and warnings in Event Viewer. It also eats up a lot more resources which increases power usage, shutdown/hibernation time during a power failure, and disk wear.

RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By Lord 666 on 10/23/2012 2:44:20 AM , Rating: 2
Even more business opportunity for you with the move towards more PS in Server 2012. Few "IT Helpers" want to venture down that path and the ones that do more than likely muck things up. The irony is I am very much looking forward to migrating to SQL 2012 from MySQL, especialy for the BI. Just waiting for the mission-critical software vendor to support it.

Hoping MS releases a "Business Pack" that brings back the classic appearance of both the server and client OS though.

By NellyFromMA on 10/23/2012 8:52:12 AM , Rating: 2
Do yourself a favor and apply 2008 SP1 to SBS 2011. We've seen many domain controllers plagued by sharepoint resource bugginess that can easily be rectified by the SP.

SBS 11 was ok, and no end users experience any down sides, its just very noticable at the console.

RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By mi1400 on 10/23/2012 1:22:51 AM , Rating: 1
Gartner has been proven wrong in past... Just the DeDupe (WinSXS solution) & HyperV features inside Win8 are sufficient to jump to Win8 and ppl should stop bitching with metro ... Start8,ClassicShell,ViStart,RetroUI are now developed and stable.

RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By twhittet on 10/23/2012 5:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
Dedupe is the the biggest reason I'm even thinking about server 2012 right now. Need more info on "optimized" backups before jumping on it though.

By n0b0dykn0ws on 10/23/2012 9:48:39 AM , Rating: 3
But you *DO* want all work computers to "match" gaming systems and cell phones????

I was referring to the consumer world. That's the downside of Microsoft sharing their consumer space with their business space, if one is changed, all are changed.

The one area Windows 8 would benefit businesses is tablets, and in my little corner of the world the people who have tablets don't really need them. They just want to look important during meetings.

I think you got that exactly backwards. SQL Server 2012 is 99% backwards compatible with SQL 2008. If you don't need all that extra features... you simply don't use them.

I know the features are there. I'm mostly referring to the GUI. It makes no sense for that to be on a server, but if they made it an option on one, it would likely carry over to the other.

My point is that Server 2012 doesn't do enough over 2008 R2 to justify the change.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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