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Win 8's Slow Start

When Apple introduces a new product, people camp out for hours  -- perhaps mistaking a line for a new iPhone for the Superbowl queue. Even Steve Wozniak waited his turn for an iPad.

Microsoft only gets these crowds on rare occasion, like with Windows 95 (I once saw a long line for Zune -- but that was at the returns desk!).

Now an esteemed research house is dumping cold water on the Windows 8 heat. IDC, in its most recent collection of predictions, believes Win 8 will ship next year, but too few will apparently care.

On the enterprise side, IDC sees little IT interest in moving from Windows 7 to the classic "Desktop" version of Windows 8. Maybe that is because Win 8 won't look and feel much different than its predecessor. "Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to the users of traditional PCs, and we expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor," IDC says.

There is also bad news on the tablet front for when the Win 8 "Metro" interface squares up against Android and iPad, both of which are already mature. The analysts feel that success or failure rests on whether Metro can generate developer excitement, i.e. will it run revolutionary new apps and can I get Angry Birds?

Windows Server 8 has a much brighter near-term future, IDC says. Those looking at private clouds may turn in droves to Windows 8 and the built-in Hyper-V.

Which do you care more about, Win 8 or Win 8 Server? You tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 12/07/2011 at 1:18 PM


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