Analysts at IDC claim Windows 8 will launch with a split success and be largely irrelevant on traditional PCs.
Research analysts at IDC released their “Worldwide System Infrastructure Software 2012 Top 10 Predictions” on Monday. Prediction number 10 is: “Windows 8 will launch with split success,” according to IDC. “Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to the users of traditional PCs, and we expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor,” said an IDC spokesperson.
Al Gillen, IDC research vice president, questioned Microsoft’s value proposition for traditional desktops and laptops in an interview with Computer World on Monday. “Customers will be asking ‘What value does Windows 8 bring to my desktops and laptops?’ and the only real benefit I can see is that it provides access to the Windows app store,” Gillen said. Gillen believes Microsoft will suffer from application compatibility issues due to their push to Metro style apps. “Windows 2000 Pro required developers to upgrade their applications, but they didn’t do it,” Gillen said. “So Microsoft was forced to release Windows XP, with better application compatibility. Then Vista came along, and ditto, it was short on application compatibility. Windows 7 improved [application compatibility] because Microsoft had to.”
IDC’s predictions mirror concern from Forrester Research who published a report last week warning that Microsoft’s tablet strategy was too late. Microsoft unveiled its tablet Metro style user interface at the company’s BUILD event in September but has not yet revealed when we can expect to see the first tablet offerings at retail. “Forrester is bullish on Windows 8 as a product for consumers,” explained Forrester Research Director JP Gownder last week. “On tablets, Windows 8 is going to be very late to the party.” Forrester claims only 25% of U.S. consumers are interested in a Windows 8 tablet.