Today InformationWeek began reporting on the results of its latest Windows 8 Survey which, according to Kurt Marko’s blog “Windows 8 Makes Strides in Mobility” polled “…859 business technology pros at organizations with 500 or more employees.” Here’s how their latest read on what they call Windows 8’s “favorability rating” shakes out:
- 37% of respondents like or love Windows 8
- 13% of respondents dislike or hate Windows 8
- 21% are indifferent to Windows 8
- 29% don’t know enough about Windows 8 to express an opinion
Perhaps what’s most interesting here is that half of the respondents are tilted either for or against, while the other half either have no opinion or simply don’t care enough about Windows 8 to form an opinion. To me, that speaks first and foremost of an issue that hasn’t really risen high enough on the priority list to be a big concern for the business community just yet.
My guess is that the uncertainty, fear, and doubt regarding changes to the Windows 8 UI will take the typical two-to-three year migration gap for new Windows versions — that is, the time between general availability for a new desktop OS and the time when more than half of businesses have started the upgrade or migration process for their users — and stretch it out even further. This could be good news for Windows 7 which just hit that crossover point earlier this year, and keep its adoption and use strong for another three years or perhaps even longer.
Some naysayers have been inclined to label Windows 8 as “another Vista” — a moniker that is undeserved, based on my own experiences with drivers, security, and stability of the new OS. They have been inclined to speculate that many businesses will elect to pass on Windows 8 entirely, in much the same way they elected to skip Vista completely. In light of such speculation, it’s also interesting to observe that this latest InformationWeek survey also reports that over half (53%) of companies do plan to upgrade to Windows 8 at some point in the future. Of course, these numbers could change either way, based on reports from early adopters on the enterprise and corporate fronts. Glad tidings will probably improve Windows 8’s prospects in the business world, while dire or even mostly negative tidings will no doubt strengthen the link between Vista and Windows 8 that some already see shaping up.
One thing’s for sure: with half the business audience either in the don’t care (indifferent: 21 percent) or don’t know (no opinion: 29 percent) columns, there are still a lot of business professionals who have yet to take on the go/no-go decision regarding Windows 8. This is certainly enough to tip the balance entirely one way or the other, even though those who are positive about the new OS currently outnumber those who are negative by a ratio of almost 3 to 1 (2.846, to 1, to be a little more precise).