Research firm IDC has published its top 10 systems software predictions for 2012, and it is quite skeptical about the success of Microsoft’s Windows 8 in terms of the number of upgrades. It believes that very few users will choose to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 as the new Metro UI skin offers no value to traditional PC users.
Windows 8 is expected to arrive sometime in 2012, likely launching in August on a new batch of PCs and tablets. The next-gen operating system offers the touch-friendly Metro UI for the tablet interface. New tablet owners will thus have Windows 8, but IDC predicts that there will be nearly no upgrades from existing Windows 7 desktop users.
“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.”
Upgrades will especially be avoided in enterprise usage, where companies will stay away from any compatibility problems that the new Metro UI might cause to their existing work flows. The Windows 8 developer preview has so far not shown any significant improvements to the desktop interface that would be compelling enough to upgrade and bare new licensing and support costs.
But even with Windows 8 shipping out on tablets, IDC still casts doubt on the platforms overall success, believing that Windows 8 tablet sales will be disappointing.