Business World Still Slow to Transition to Windows 8

March 19, 2013

Many in the business world have been sluggish to embrace upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 8, and that trend might not be changing in the near future. A new study has found that only 20 percent of small businesses expect to be using Windows 8 on their desktops within six months.

The survey, conducted for business software vendor Sage North America, shows that Windows 8 users are still definitively a minority in business. Only 20 percent said they do use Windows 8 or plan to within six months – meanwhile, 19.8 percent have rejected the new operating system, 23.4 percent are considering it and 36.7 percent have no opinion.

Support for Windows 8 has been so lukewarm that some computer manufacturers aren't bothering to include the OS on their newly released products. The PC maker Lenovo, for instance, is sending out new PCs with Windows 7 installed instead – Windows 8 comes separately, discreetly bundled on another disc.

Lenovo has not seen any drop-off in revenue as a result of its OS downgrade – on the contrary, the corporation has shown 15 consecutive quarters of growth, The Channel reports.

According to Net Applications survey data, Windows 8 is currently the fourth most popular operating system in the world. In data reported at the end of February, Windows 7 remained dominant at 44.55 percent, followed by Windows XP at 38.99 and Windows Vista at 5.17. Windows 8 owns just 2.67 percent of the current market – a figure that's growing, albeit extremely slowly.

There may be hope for Windows 8 on the smartphone market, where the touchscreen-friendly OS has made the most progress. The Sage North America study found that 10 percent of phone and tablet users already use Windows 8, and 16 percent more are considering it – not dazzling numbers, but stronger than their laptop and PC counterparts.

Joe Langner, executive vice president of Sage North America, sees the mobile device as the area where the operating system has the best potential for growth, according to IT World Canada.

"For many businesses, the mobile device is an extension of the office," Langner said. "It affords workers the freedom to leave the office while maintaining the connectivity necessary to keep business objectives moving forward wherever they are."

Business hasn't embraced Windows 8 with open arms yet, but by gradually easing into the market through the mobile route, Microsoft can still gain some ground yet.