Microsoft may face resistance to Windows 8

Enterprises in the midst of migrating to Windows 7 are unlikely to repeat that same work in just two years with Windows 8.

Enterprises in the midst of migrating to Windows 7 are unlikely to repeat that same work in just two years with Windows 8, an analyst said last month.

"[Businesses] would certainly like to upgrade only to every other edition," said Gartner Inc. analyst Michael Silver. "If Windows 8 comes out in two years, many [enterprises] will be very suspect about migrating to the next release."

Silver said companies tire of migrating to new versions of operating systems, largely because businesses have critical applications that may or may not run on a new edition.

"It will depend on whether Windows 8 includes major architectural changes, or if it's more of a polishing release," Silver said. "If it's the latter, it will be kind of hard to skip. But if it's a major release, Microsoft will have a hard time selling [Windows 8] to the enterprise. They saw that when [companies] skipped Vista and stayed with XP."

Silver offered those comments after the Dutch arm of Microsoft Corp. suggested that the follow-on to Windows 7 -- dubbed "Windows 8" by most, if not by Microsoft -- will ship in 2012.

Michael Cherry, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, said Microsoft faces a challenge with Windows 8 because "Windows 7 is a good operating system. It is reliable and works well."

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about operating systems in Computerworld's Operating Systems Topic Center.

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Gregg Keizer

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