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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 Pirks on 10/22/2012 6:27:40 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Why would the server version even need a GUI?
you can deploy windows server without gui if you want, it's called server core, dumb lamers like n0b0dykn0ws and argon18 just don't know about it... if they stopped sucking unix cock and learned some basics they would not look so stupid now :)


RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By retrospooty on 10/22/2012 6:36:48 PM , Rating: 1
"you can deploy windows server without gui if you want, it's called server core, dumb lamers like n0b0dykn0ws and argon18 just don't know about it... if they stopped sucking unix cock and learned some basics they would not look so stupid now :)"

Dang Pirks... Even when you are right you are still an ass. =)


RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By Pirks on 10/22/2012 6:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
"oh come on, you gotta admit, this is cool!" (C) http://0.tqn.com/d/create/1/0/7/Z/5/-/syndrome.jpg


RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By Schadenfroh on 10/23/2012 12:13:19 AM , Rating: 2
Is that an unholy fusion of The Joker with Jay Leno?


RE: Don't forget about Server 2012.
By Pirks on 10/23/2012 1:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
By n0b0dykn0ws on 10/23/2012 9:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
You're right... to an extent. Core is great if you primarily need the built-in Windows Server features supported under Core. But I don't do AD work, I support application servers, and most of the business applications my systems host don't have a command line installer, and can't be configured through the command line.


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