More than a third (37 per cent) of UK businesses are planning to adopt Windows 8, according to research carried out by Equanet.
The Dixons Group-owned reseller questioned nearly 300 medium-to-large UK firms earlier this month to gauge the mood in the run-up to the OS's launch.
Furthermore, 11 per cent of those questioned intend to adopt Windows 8 as soon as it is released.
When questioned about the reasons for adoption, 44 per cent of respondents felt Microsoft’s new OS will improve employees' work/life balance, 34 per cent felt it could improve the control and management of client devices and 25 per cent felt it would integrate well with BYOD schemes.
According to the respondents, the top five features of Windows 8 (in percentage order) were: Windows To Go (42 per cent), Windows User Interface (19 per cent), increased licensing rights (18 per cent), virtual desktop rights (16 per cent) and Bitlocker (14 per cent).
Conversely, 42 per cent of larger SMB and enterprise businesses across the UK are not considering adopting Windows 8. More than three quarters (76 per cent) felt the cost of adoption could not be justified within current budgets.
Of the others not planning to adopt the OS, 46 per cent are still looking to standardise their networks in Windows 7, and 36 per cent are satisfied with Windows 7 and see no reason to upgrade.
A further 39 per cent saw no value in Widows 8 as they have no tablets. In addition, 63 per cent of those planning to stick with their current OS said they envisaged keeping it for the next 12 to 24 months.
Felix Stauber, managing director of Equanet, said: “Microsoft’s operating systems have defined the workplace for years. Amid staunch competition, Windows 8 looks likely to achieve the same feat, although it will take time. Reflecting the growing popularity of tablets, remote working and BYOD schemes, Windows 8 can seamlessly inhabit the rapidly changing modern work environment.”
He added: “The budget for investment and perceived lack of requirement will deter some, and only time will reveal Windows 8’s true popularity. However, real consideration should be given to the operating system as businesses of all sizes can benefit from the features in Windows 8 and there are innovative solutions for deployment which can be delivered without excessive cost and inconvenience.”
Stauber said Microsoft appeared to be in a win-win situation.
“The popularity of Windows 7 means that many businesses are perfectly satisfied with their current operating system and see no reason to change. Windows 7 does not deliver the same specifications as Windows 8, but it remains a very effective operating system, so, whether it be on the emerging or legacy software, Microsoft’s synonymy with UK workplaces looks set to remain,” he added.
“The real challenge is for companies currently using Windows XP. Microsoft will be retiring Windows XP in April 2014, so businesses in this situation will have to carefully consider all operating systems available in the very near future.”
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