While we’re all super excited about Windows 8 releasing soon, a research firm, IDC, has made bleak predictions about the operating system.
It says Microsoft will have a hard time selling Windows 8 because it is going to be largely irrelevant to traditional PC users and it expects effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor.
Besides access to the Windows app store, Windows 8 doesn’t bring much value to laptops and desktops. And then there are application compatibility issues too. Like most of its predecessors (Windows 2000 Pro, XP and Vista), this operating system is also going to be plagued by compatibility issues, thanks its “metro” interface that features a tile-style look and feel. Al Gillen, an IDC research vice president, predicted Windows 8 won’t get more than minor traction on desktops until 2013 due to this very reason.
As if this weren’t enough, the recent push by enterprises to adopt Windows 7 is also going to hamper Windows 8 acceptance on PCs. As Gartner’s Michael Silver puts it, “migration fatigue” will prohibit large numbers of business users from upgrading PCs to Windows 8. “Microsoft has implied that [Windows 8] would not drive an upgrade cycle. After all the work on Windows 7 deployment, organizations will think twice before deploying this everywhere. They’re looking for a little respite, and planning to take a break because of migration fatigue,” Silver was quoted as saying in September, talking about corporations purchasing new computers to replace outdated machines and operating systems.
However, there is optimism about Windows 8 on tablets. Microsoft is going to have to work really hard to make the OS a success on tablets, though. It will have to convince developers that the operating system deserves their attention. According to Gillen, “If the company can persuade developers to rework existing Windows applications for 8’s Metro interface and craft new mobile-centric apps, it has a chance.”
Gillen, however, said he didn’t mean Microsoft itself was irrelevant. “You can’t declare Microsoft irrelevant when their OS ships on more than 90% of new systems,” said Gillen.
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