Are you excited for the release of Windows 8? Today, Microsoft is making the final public pre-release build of Windows 8 available for download before the product is released to manufacturing. If you want to take the upcoming OS on a test drive, you can get your copy at preview.windows.com.
If you’re a fellow computer geek or technology enthusiast, then you’re probably excited–if you’re like most users (particularly businesses), you most likely couldn’t care less. This brings me to my main point: Will the masses adopt Windows 8?
Many home users and businesses (or at least the lucky ones) skipped over the lackluster Windows Vista and decided to stick with XP. Some held out on upgrading with hope that something better would come down the pike—that “something better” just happens to be Windows 7. Business adoption of Windows 7 has been excellent when compared to Windows Vista. Microsoft is now claiming that up to 40% of all business desktops now run it. That sounds like good news, except for the fact that 60% of all business desktops are NOT currently running Windows 7—they’re still running Windows XP.
While Microsoft has continued to extend its support lifecycles to accommodate the slow-moving business market, its customers have responded by not upgrading to newer versions of the OS. My guess is that Windows 7 will simply be the next XP. It will be the main Windows version deployed throughout the Windows 8 lifecycle and, maybe…just maybe…even Windows 9’s.