Will Enterprises Be Ready to Upgrade?

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-07-03

Windows 8 Adoption: 10 Issues That Could Hamper Sales

Windows 8 is slowly but surely making its way to store shelves. The operating system is scheduled to be released in the fall, and when it€™s made available, Microsoft will hope to usher in an entirely new era of computing. From tablets to Ultrabooks to desktops, Windows 8 will be the latest operating system that can run on wide range of PC models from desktops, notebooks to tablets and as Microsoft hopes appeal to a wide array of customers. 

However, just because Microsoft is launching a new version of Windows that doesn€™t mean that the new operating system will be an unqualified success. Being popular in today€™s software market requires not only smart decisions but a generous portion of good luck along with mistakes by other companies. Simply put, Windows 8€™s chances of doing well are not set in stone. 

Read on to find out what sort of issues could hamper Windows 8€™s adoption in the mobile market over the next few years. 

1. Security woes 

Microsoft has said time and again that Windows 8 will be the most secure version of its operating system to date. But what if it€™s wrong? If Windows 8 can€™t deliver a high level of security that protects both consumers and enterprise users, it€™ll have a hard time attracting users. 

2. A poor tablet experience 

Microsoft has thrown a Hail Mary with its Surface tablet. The company€™s slate will be the benchmark by which all other Windows 8-based products are judged. If the Surface proves popular, then Windows 8 will do well on other tablets. If it delivers a sub-par experience, Windows 8 will be in for trouble. 

3. A delay 

Although Microsoft has smartly decided to not say just yet when Windows 8 will launch, the company has made every indication that it€™ll be available in the fall. If there€™s a delay, however, real trouble could arise. Hardware OEMs along with consumers (and especially enterprise customers) don€™t like delays. A delay in the release of Windows 8 will also likely delay the shipment of new PC models. It also gives PC shoppers time to think about looking for a Windows alternative, such as an Apple Macintosh. 

4. Mountain Lion€™s continued popularity 

As Apple prepares to launch Mountain Lion, there isn€™t a single person in the market that doesn€™t believe the operating system will be successful. And because of that success, Apple€™s operating system could hurt Windows 8. After all, if its chief competitor is capturing the attention of customers, how can Windows 8 expect to hold up? 

Will Enterprises Be Ready to Upgrade?


5. Desktops€™ continued decline 

According to most research firms, desktops are on the way out. It won€™t happen anytime soon, of course, but their once-massive growth rates in shipments has declined and notebooks and Ultrabooks are taking over. Even tablets are hurting desktops. If desktop sales drop precipitously€”a not-so unlikely scenario, according to some analysts€”Windows 8 will be hurt. 

6. Poor Ultrabook adoption 

All of the talk in the mobile PC space revolves around Ultrabooks. The ultra thin, ultra lightweight computers are designed with mobile customers in mind and could dramatically improve the Windows ecosystem€™s standing against the MacBook Air and the iPad. However, if prices stay up and demand turns sluggish, Windows 8 could be in for serious trouble. 

7. Apple€™s iPad move 

Apple€™s iPad is the product that might have a major impact on Windows 8, and yet, it€™s often overlooked in a discussion of the operating system. The iPad is the Surface€™s chief competitor, and the product that Microsoft€™s tablet will be judged against. If the iPad hurts the Surface, Windows 8 adoption could prove sluggish. 

8. Microsoft efforts to diversify 

For many years Microsoft€™s focus was on PC operating systems and application software. But over the past decade the company has diversified through the development of everything from personal media players to video game consoles. That hurt Vista and could very well hurt Windows 8 if Microsoft doesn€™t focus on the most important task at hand. 

9. The enterprise€™s issues with upgrading 

As Microsoft knows all too well, the enterprise is not so keen on jumping on the latest and greatest products. Instead, it takes its time to determine if a particular product is right for what it€™s after. Although that is to be expected with Windows 8, with a sluggish economy still impacting firms, there€™s no telling when the spending freeze might start to thaw. If it takes longer than expected, Windows 8 could deal with some adoption problems.

 10. Windows 7 

Windows 7 is highly popular. The operating system is, in fact, the most popular Microsoft has offered at this point in its lifecycle. Considering that, how might Windows 8 adoption be impacted? Sure, Windows 8 will be a better operating system (on paper, at least), but to many, that doesn€™t matter. Windows 7 is a known OS with high-quality features. Many users, at home and in enterprises, could very well take their time upgrading to Windows 8 just as Windows XP users did when Microsoft introduced Windows Vista. This could be true even assuming that Window 8 is vastly superior to Vista and a major step up from Windows 7. 

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here 

Rocket Fuel