Enterprises See Little Reason to Upgrade Desktop Computers to Windows 7 or 8

As of April 9, 2013, approximately 47% of computers with Microsoft® Windows operating systems have been upgraded to either Windows 7 or 8. Windows 7 was released in October, 2009. We attribute the slow pace of upgrades to two factors:

  1. No compelling reason to upgrade to either Windows 7 or 8
  2. Users migrating to different hardware — small, mobile computing devices

We found these statistics in an article published on April 9, 2013 in the Wall Street Journal: Microsoft Pulling Plug on Windows XP. The writer, Steven D. Jones, notes: “Windows 7 was designed to eclipse XP, but since its introduction nearly four years ago, it has been installed on only 45% of PCs, according to data tracker Microsoft’s newest touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system introduced last year is running on 3.2% of PCs.” (quoted from Mr. Jones’ article. We’ve provided a link to the article earlier in this paragraph).

The first of our two reasons for the slow pace of upgrades is more important than the second. Most market commentators disagree. The real reason for the slow pace of upgrades, they argue, is widespread user adoption of computing with small mobile devices. But if Windows 7 or 8 included features and capabilities widely requested by consumers, most users would have upgraded by now. The results tell us that Microsoft stopped listening to the market with these releases and went off in its own direction.

The creative quotient is missing in both of these operating systems. Features are flashy, but very challenging for users. Marketing communications efforts are less than effective. Customers don’t understand that the touch features of Windows 8 require a touch-enabled display. They fail to realize the benefit. Social media reviews are less than favorable. The slow upgrade pace is the result.

All of this brings us back to a conclusion we reached in the summer of 2012. The state of desktop computing software here in the United States displays almost all of the characteristics of a classic commodity driven market. No wonder Microsoft’s OEMs are hurting.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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