Why Are Companies Avoiding the Windows 8 Upgrade?

Imagine taking each of your company’s computers and replacing them with machines that look similar but operate in such a different way that your staff has to relearn how to use them. Do you have time for your staff to be out of commission for as long as that would take?  How quickly would you be able to get back up and running, fill orders, satisfy customers, and make a profit?

That, in a nutshell, is why companies are avoiding Windows 8. 

Windows 8 was heralded as the new way for computing when it debuted in October of 2012. Because of the increasing popularity and adoption of tablet computers in recent years, the playing field had changed radically for Windows.  More and more users were using mobile devices and tablets instead of desktop computers, and the operating systems on desktops suddenly began to seem outdated. To ease Windows’ transition into this increasingly tablet- and mobile-driven society, programmers at Microsoft made major changes to the operating system’s platform, calling it Windows 8.

Maybe you’ve tried Windows 8 and you like it. If you work primarily from a mobile device or tablet, the switch may have felt more intuitive. But maybe you’ve tried it in desktop form and found yourself frustrated with a completely different interface.

upgrade to windows 8

{photo credit: microsoft.com}

And this is where the problem lies for business. Windows 8 is so radically different from every single previous version of Windows that the learning curve is steep. Businesses just aren’t willing to risk the downtime that comes with learning a completely new system, particularly if it’s the first generation of a new system. History has taught us that operating systems evolve continuously, with new versions addressing bug fixes and customer complaints and suggestions. And Windows 8 is scheduled to upgrade yearly, meaning changes to the platform will come more frequently than ever before – just when your staff has adapted to the most recent version.

Workplace IT departments are resistant to the Windows 8 upgrade for a number of reasons. Many have recently completed a major upgrade to Windows 7 in order to remove Windows XP from corporate networks. Embarking upon another major upgrade to Windows 8, with the attendant training and support issues that come with it, is not something most IT departments are eager to do. Additionally, the touch interface of Windows 8 and the significance of apps in the new version make it difficult to roll out the operating system incrementally. There is no effective way to mix Windows 8 with older versions of Windows on a network.

On October 17, Microsoft implemented the first scheduled upgrade for Windows 8, addressing a number of customer complaints and bringing back the venerated “Start” button. How this will affect businesses’ willingness to move forward into the new era of operating systems remains to be seen. Chances are, most companies will stay the course with their Windows 7 machines and wait to see how Windows 8 continues to develop. As Windows 8 continues to move into the home usage arena, companies may find that an eventual upgrade to 8 won’t be too difficult. That day will come in the distant future, however, and for now, Windows 7 will remain the go-to operating system for most businesses.