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As businesses flee the coming 'XPocalypse,' they're turning to Windows 7, not 8

Mark Hachman | Oct. 17, 2013
Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP, but even that won't spur Windows 8 adoption

Some businesses have already adopted Windows 8 for such use cases. Meiji Yasuda, one of Japan's largest life insurance companies, is shifting 30,000 employes from XP to Windows 8 tablets. And Campari Australia is upgrading its sales and marketing teams from XP and Windows 7 machines to HP ElitePad 900 tablets running Windows 8.

But tablet shifts don't necessarily signal a pro-Windows message, Dell's Raley notes. Instead, your management may be interested in simply shifting the company to a mobile platform—with no real preference for Windows over iOS or Android.

Microsoft's numbers still strong
Microsoft's numbers indicate that customers are still buying Windows. In fact, the company's commercial licensing business is showing signs of strength, growing from $8.3 billion to $10.1 billion (see chart below). But which version of Windows do these "commercial" customers prefer? The answer isn't clear in any of Microsoft's financial reports.

Although Windows 8 probably won't go down in history as one of Microsoft's successes, the upgrade to Windows 8.1 has improved people's perception of it significantly, analysts and industry sources say. "The changes into Windows 8.1 have begun resonating really well," Dell's Raley says. "I think we're going to see more Windows 8.1 adoption once it launches."

Maybe so. But for now, neither businesses nor consumers seem all that interested in buying a Windows 8 PC. Will they change their tune? Or will Windows 8, like Windows Vista, be the OS that businesses skip over? Right now, it certainly looks like Vista redux.


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