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Windows 8: 4 Reasons Why You Won't Upgrade

Windows 8 is likely to be released in 2012, so as 2011 starts meandering to a close, it's worth looking at Microsoft's latest offering and considering whether or not it'll make it into our organizations. Here are four reasons I think organizations will give this new OS a miss:

  1. They're just now deploying Windows 7. Having skipped Vista, dealt with Windows XP for close to a decade and finally facing the end of Win XP support, organizations are in the midst of Win 7 deployment and planning. They're unlikely to do it again for Win 8. Now that we know we can get by with a 10-year-old, extended-support OS without the world ending, Win7 will probably stick around until 2020 at least.

  2. The Metro UI. Everyone I talk to either loves it or hates it -- much like the Ribbon introduction in Office 2007. Like the Ribbon, Metro penalizes experienced Windows users the most by moving common tasks to hard-to-find new places. A Win 8 deployment means potential user frustration, retraining, and lost productivity. Is it worth the risk?

  3. Insufficient new business-class features. Apart from the perennial "most secure version ever" promise, Windows 8 doesn't really offer a ton of must-have new business features. At least in in the preview we have so far, it seems heavily consumer-focused. Businesses are more inclined to go with the "if it ain't broke" mantra and skip any OS version that doesn't deliver significant, obvious advantages.

  4. Will it really run everything? Microsoft says Win 8 will be Win 7-compatible -- but most companies are still concerned about Win XP compatibility, ideally without using desktop virtualization. Win 8 is still too early to test for compatibility, but simply the concern will slow down a lot of business' interest and adoption.

This just refers to the client edition of Win 8; the Server operating system is a bit of a different situation and I'll write about that in an upcoming post. But regarding the client, what are your thoughts? Is Win8 something your organization will at least look at? Based on what you've seen so far, does it stand a chance in your organization?

Posted by Don Jones on 11/18/2011 at 1:14 PM

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Reader Comments:

Mon, Feb 11, 2013

I have Windows 8 and I love it! It works just fine and I don't see why everyone has to dislike on it so much. I thought I wasn't going to like it and it turns out I love it. Give something a try before they start telling us not to get it.

Wed, Jan 11, 2012 EVVJSK

Do we know yet if you will be able to upgrade a Windows 7 PC to run Windows 8 or will it require a reload of software. We just went through a painful upgrade process from XP to Windows 7 where we had to reinstall, reconfig, and recustomize all our applications. If we can upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8, we may be more likely to go there at some point. If not, it will not be a likely upgrade.

Wed, Jan 11, 2012 DaveN Rochester, NY

I'm waiting for Win8 to purchase a new business PC. Hyper-V on Windows client will justify the upgrade - I can't wait to use Hyper-V on a fast desktop for software testing, rather than needing server-grade hardware for lab purposes.

Tue, Nov 29, 2011

any way, disable metro interface is v very simple thing.

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 WindowsVista567

When it comes to Windows 8, I wonder if the Metro UI will be a deal-breaker. On the desktop, it's not just about the "learning curve" - Metro is actually less capable of an operating environment, which Microsoft has admitted in some ways (though not stated directly). If it isn't better than the desktop, it has no business being on my PC. It is a touch-first UI and is therefore mouse-second. Also, Metro style apps feel clunky and awkard to use with a mouse.

Mon, Nov 28, 2011

Four reasons why companies will delay or not do a Win 8 deployment: 1. $ 2. $$ 3. $$$ 4. $$$$

Mon, Nov 28, 2011

We're one of those "40-50%" still on XP. Will we upgrade? Not likely, other than the new boxes that come with 7, and will come with 8 in the future. And, if 8 can't run well on the current network, it'll be replaced by 7 or even by XP.

Which OS is running on a computer is of interest to only a few people here - mostly those in tech support and some in programming. The rest couldn't care less, as long as the apps they use keep working. The computer is a tool here, and if it keeps doing the job needed it's good.

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 sc GY

I hope it's a conscious decision by Microsoft to do away with linking or defining their software versions by associating them with the year they have been released. For example, Windows 7 sounds so much more complete than Windows 2000.

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 Aaron Suzuki Seattle

Great article, but the other problems are around hardware and software: will there be devices that do Win8 touch correctly and (how) will software titles (new ones and our long time, much beloved ones, too) (ab)use metro? The ISV and IHV community has a ton of catch up and I wouldn't bet early on them getting it right the first time. Certainly, as a CIO or other tech decision maker, a quick move to Win8 is hugely risky.

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 Arun Kumar

I agree completely. People would be still in the upgradation phase, which obviously means expenses of 1) infrastructure and 2) training... Businesses don't go like that. Even I may give the OS a miss for my business. Maybe use it to know what all is there but NO, not for business until I feel it is easy and safe.

Sun, Nov 20, 2011

a lot of companies (and maybe people too) will probably not update because they are worried not only about software compatibility, but hardware compatibility too. A lot of older hardware won't get new drivers

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 Nate

What about the 40-50% of companies still using XP? I think they'll skip Vista and Windows 7. By the time support ends for XP, Windows 8 sp1 should be out or very nearly out.

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 kiel

The metro interface will definitely be disabled if our company was to go to Win 8.

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