Microsoft Windows 8: One Statistic May Slow Business Upgrades
Windows 8 PCs will be available October 26. But a statement from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) CFO Peter Klein has The VAR Guy a little worried about near-term potential Windows 8 business adoption rates. What did Klein say that triggered a nervous twitch for The VAR Guy? Here’s a recap.
During a July 19 earnings call, Klein said: “Today over 50% of enterprise desktops worldwide are running Windows 7 and software assurance attach rates are at an all-time high.”
Translation: It’s a safe bet CIOs won’t move all of those existing Windows 7 desktops to Windows 8 anytime soon. Remember: Windows 7 is a fairly new operating system, and the real corporate PC upgrade opportunity is from Windows XP. So right off the bat, roughly half of the corporate PC market (systems running Windows 7) is not a near-term opportunity for the new operating system .
Not that Microsoft really “loses” — since most corporations have big contracts in place for Windows, which means billions of dollars continue to flow Microsoft’s way. And let’s give Microsoft credit: Windows 7 is a widely respected business operating system.
Windows 8 Tablets?
Meanwhile, Microsoft has millions of opportunities elsewhere — particularly in the consumer-driven smart phone and tablet markets. Windows Phone 8 devices leverage a common core code base with Windows 8 PCs and tablets.
Plus, worldwide tablet shipments reached 25 million units in Q2 2012, up 33.6 percent from the same quarter last year. Apple has nearly 70 percent of the market. Next up is Samsung with 9.6 percent of the market, but the company’s tablet shipments doubled in the quarter.
Those big numbers mean there’s big opportunity for Microsoft in the still-growing tablet market — if Windows 8 and its touch-style interface delivers the goods. That’s a big if.
The VAR Guy has this sneaky suspicion that the new operating system will far exceed expectations on tablets, while lacking any serious corporate PC desktop momentum until early to mid 2013…