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Survey: Most Orgs Will Delay Windows 10 Upgrades for 6 Months

A recent survey by Microsoft solution provider Adaptiva indicates that the vast majority of enterprises will wait at least six months to begin deploying Windows 10.

Adaptiva, a vendor of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) tools, surveyed 186 Windows IT pros at last month's Microsoft Ignite conference. Its findings showed that 71 percent of respondents plan to wait at least six months to upgrade to Windows 10, while nearly half (49 percent) will wait more than a year.

According to Deepak Kumar, Adaptiva's founder and CTO, despite the survey's relatively small participation size, all of the people interviewed were deeply involved in the management of their organizations' client systems.

A vast majority of respondents (84 percent) use SCCM. About 40 percent manage over 10,000 nodes, while 8 percent manage 100,000 nodes or more.

Of those surveyed, 35 percent manage between 1,000 and 10,000 systems, 19 percent manage between 100 to 1,000, and 7 percent are small shops with fewer than 100 systems. Not surprisingly, the larger organizations are the most likely to wait.

"With the free upgrade and some of the technology they've put in for ease of upgrade, the expectation in the market is there will be this landslide of Windows 10 adoption," Kumar said. "The surprise for me is what people are planning to do with Windows 10 is the same as they have done with every other version: slow adoption."

The fact that organizations may wait to upgrade to the latest Windows OS is hardly shocking. In fact, it's consistent with best practices for major OS upgrades that analysts and consultants have been giving since organizations first deployed Windows PCs.

"People want to test it and have complete control where it goes out when it goes out," Kumar said.

Another noteworthy finding from the survey: Only 11 percent have at least some machines with Windows XP still in use. This is a marked decline from Adaptiva's findings at last year's TechEd, where 53 percent claimed to still have PCs running the discontinued operating system.

Not surprisingly, Windows 7 remains the most preferred OS, with 84 percent saying that their organizations are running that OS. Windows 8 is used by 57 percent of those organizations, but the survey didn't explore to what extent Windows 8 is in use.

Microsoft could still hit its goal of 1 billion Windows 10 devices if it succeeds in convincing the vast number of Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to take advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10, as well as the wide range of new PCs and tablets expected to appear in the coming months.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.