The appetite among users for Windows 10 appears to be strong with many planning migration to the operating system over the next couple of years.
It has been a while since there was such an enthusiastic interest in a Windows OS with 8 originally proving to be disappointing leading to an update bringing back certain features that users had missed and of course there was Vista.
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In between Windows 7 came out and the majority of users are still on that platform according to numbers gained by talking to IT directors by Spiceworks.
The firm found that 94% of respondents were running Windows 7 and 73% of IT professionals are planning to move to Windows 10 in the next two years.
That 73% breaks down into 44% going with Windows 10 within the first year of its launch and the remaining 33% looking at doing it post summer 2016.
This could provide a real boon to the channel because along with showing an interest in Microsoft's latest OS the other main headline finding from the research was that many (79%) were worried about compatibility issues.
In the past there has been plenty of opportunities for the channel to provide support around migration and compatibility and it looks like that revenue will be there again once users start adopting Windows 10 after its 29 July launch.
“Over 100 million new PCs, about half of which will be purchased by commercial organizations, will hit the global market over the remainder of 2015,” said Sanjay Castelino, vice president of marketing at Spiceworks.
“Microsoft’s stated goal of 1bn Windows 10 devices in 2-3 years is achievable, and strong interest from IT buyers bodes well for the entire Windows 10 ecosystem. However, it’s important for technology brands to understand the issues that matter most to IT buyers in a business context do not align with those of consumers, and brands should prepare to educate IT professionals accordingly," he added.
The channel will have a major role in helping customers get over their challenges moving to the next Windows OS. Spiceworks found out just what was worrying users:
early release bugs
lack of third party support
time of upgrade process
The Spiceworks survey found that there were still some users doggedly using Windows XP, which had support withdrawn by the vendor last spring, as well as plenty using version 8 and 8.1.
when IT professionals were quizzed on what appealed in the next generation OS the usability, with the return of the start button, along with enhanced security features scored highly.
On the flip side there was not much interest in the touch-optimised interface or Cortana and knowledge of the Edge browser was also fairly low.
That should change once the OS launch date draws near and the combination of advertising and word of mouth start to have an impact.
Clearly the main requirements are simplicity and pushing some of the additional features will not have too much resonance with all the customer base.