Windows 8 "ignored" by enterprise customers

Windows 8

The majority of HP customers will shun Windows 8 and stick with Windows 7, as they are happy with the operating system's stability and have only just made the move off Windows XP.

The vendor warned that enterprise adoption of Windows 8 will remain very slow for years to come.

According to Jim Zafarana, VP and GM for the HP Workstations global business unit, about 90 per cent of his customers select Windows on their workstations. Most have migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7 and plan to stay on this platform.

Businesses are ignoring Windows 8.

"Almost every customer I've talked to plans to remain on Windows 7 for quite a while because they want the stability, they've got a large install base of applications and tools," he told IT Pro.

With the current batch of ZBooks expected to have a lifecycle of at least three years, Zafarana still expects the uptake to Windows 8 to be "very small" when it comes time to refresh.

Two of HP's customers, including content creation firm Chimney and specialist car maker Morgan Motor Company, confirmed to IT Pro that they both plan to use the option to downgrade to Windows 7 Professional when they purchase new Workstations. This is due to application support issues.

Jeff Wood, project manager for the Workstation business, told IT Pro the firm even lured a couple of big [manufacturing] customers away from competitors, because they wanted to continue using XP.

"The customers weren't ready to move off XP to Windows 7 or 8 and we told them we would support it," he said.

"The new ZBooks and Z230 Workstation will not [support XP], so we are slowly weaning customers off XP."

Wood suggested that Windows 8 is by no means guarenteed to be accepted by the enterprise and could go the same way at Vista.

"Since x86 workstations began in 1996, there have only been three major OS releases enterprises that have been accepted. Windows NT 4.0 was the first, Windows XP and now Windows 7. They are ignoring Windows 8."

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.