Survey Shows Slow Start to Windows 10 Enterprise Adoption

A survey conducted at last month's Microsoft Ignite conference shows the vast majority of enterprise Windows-using IT pros won't deploy the upcoming new Windows 10 for at least six months.

What's more, many respondents said they would wait more than a year to roll out the new OS, which might become available in September, according to some reports. Microsoft has said it expects 1 billion devices will eventually run Windows 10.

Conducted by Windows tools vendor Adaptiva, the survey indicated that 71 percent of respondents will wait at least six months and nearly half (49 percent) will wait more than a year to upgrade. Only 186 people participated in the survey, which might be a small sample size for statistical validity, but Adaptiva Founder and CTO Deepak Kumar said all of the people interviewed are instrumental in managing their organizations' client systems.

Those responding to an online survey conducted by Redmond magazine at the beginning of this year found that nearly 41 percent planned to upgrade in the first year.

A vast majority (84 percent) of respondents used Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and 40 percent managed more than 10,000 nodes. Eight percent managed 100,000 nodes or more. The largest percentage of those surveyed (35 percent) managed between 1,000 and 10,000 systems; 19 percent had 100 to 1,000 systems and 7 percent were small shops with less than 100 systems. Not surprisingly the larger organizations are most primed 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," said Kumar. "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 is hardly a shocking news flash -- it's consistent with best practices analysts and consultants have given regarding major operating system upgrades 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.

Microsoft could still hit the 1 billion milestone if it's successful in convincing the vast number of consumers with Windows 7 and Windows 8 on their systems to take advantage of the free upgrade as well as a wide swath of new PCs and tablets expected to appear in the coming months.

Another noteworthy finding from the survey: only 11 percent had at least some machines with Windows XP still in use. This is a marked decline from a year ago at TechEd where 53 percent claimed to still have PCs running the discontinued operating system. Not surprisingly, Windows 7 was most preferred operating system, with 84 percent saying that their organization is running that OS. Windows 8 was in use, at least to some extent, by 57 percent of those organizations.

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.