There was once a time when the launch of a new Windows operating system was a huge deal for the technology departments in many businesses.
Microsoft Corp’s release of Windows 8 on Friday is likely to be a non-event for most companies — and some experts say many may never adopt it. The system may appear to offer something for everyone: touch-screen functionality for tablet enthusiasts, a slick new interface for the younger set and multiple versions to make it compatible with traditional desktop PC software. Many businesses, though, say there is no compelling reason to adopt. Indeed, a large number have yet to transition to Windows 7 from Windows XP.
“Windows 8 is frankly more of a consumer than a business platform, so it’s not something that makes any sense from a business perspective at this juncture,” said Doug Johnson, head of risk management policy at the American Bankers Association, whose members are among the world’s biggest technology buyers.
For most of the past two decades, that sort of comment about a new version of Windows might have set off panic in Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington headquarters. Not now.
Windows 8, in a stark reflection of how the technology business is changing, will rise or fall on how it is received in the consumer market. That doesn’t mean Microsoft executives are publicly saying they won’t be going after enterprise customers with the new version of its flagship product.