Report: 'Migration Fatigue' Keeping Windows 8 Enterprise Adoption Low

With many organizations just now making the move from Windows XP to Windows 7, Microsoft's latest OS will continue to go largely ignored by enterprises, according to a new report by research firm Forrester.

Nearly half (48 percent) of commercial PCs are already running Windows 7, according to Forrester's "IT Will Skip Windows 8 as the Enterprise Standard." Of the organizations surveyed in Forrester's report, 76 percent said they are in the middle of deploying more Windows 7-based machines.

The current high volume of Windows 7 deployments may lead to what Forrester called "migration fatigue," especially for those organizations that typically skip an OS generation after deploying a new version.

"To be reasonably considered an enterprise standard, approximately half of company-issued PCs must run Windows 8 by the time Windows hits the shelves," said Forrester in its release. "Windows 7 hit that mark. However, Forrester doesn't believe that Windows 8 will become the next commercial standard."

The top reason respondents gave for not moving to Windows 8 is that most shops don't see enough major management capability improvements over Windows 7 to justify the move. Only 7 percent of those polled by Forrester said the new Windows 8 user interface is an improvement over Windows 7's.

"I have to believe Microsoft expected better enterprise adoption for Windows 8," said Forrester analyst David Johnson, the lead author of the report, to PCWorld.

While enterprises aren't making the move to Windows 8, Forrester did find that employee interest in the new Microsoft OS is high. Out of 10,000 workers surveyed, 38 percent said they would prefer to work on a Windows 8 machine, while 35 percent chose Windows 7 as the platform of choice.

Even though employee demand will not necessarily lead to IT making Windows 8 a corporate standard, Forrester said that organizations should make a strong effort to support Windows 8 and allow for Windows 8 devices, like the Surface tablet, to enter the enterprise.

Microsoft is expected to make a new push for both consumers and enterprises to adopt Windows 8 when it unveils more information on its OS update, Windows 8.1, in the coming months.

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