Dell recommends Windows 8.

Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India

Sudha Nagaraj Bharadwaj, Journalist | 1/7/2013 | 16 comments

Sudha Nagaraj Bharadwaj
At a time when Microsoft is rethinking PCs and Windows, Indian enterprises seem to be very happy with Windows XP. With support for XP set to continue until April 2014, many organizations are not even contemplating migrating to Windows 7, much less the two-month-old Windows 8.

What makes Indian businesses technology laggards, even though Indian IT and services companies are world leaders in their fields? Decade-old enterprise application stacks that still rely on customized versions of software written for XP are the main culprit.

Though CIOs are excited about new trends and possibilities like touch capabilities, mobility, and BYOD, businesses are wary of migration for multiple reasons. Upgrading to a new OS calls for changes to end-user application interfaces. Legacy applications built on 16-bit architecture will not work on Windows 8. Organizations lack the capex for hardware upgrades and will resist changes that may affect task workers, such as bank employees who conduct transactions and shop floor workers who perform regular and repetitive tasks.

Yet change is inevitable. CIOs have long realized that applications written more than a decade ago (though perfectly capable of serving business requirements) may need a second look, due to security concerns and lack of support. For instance, an application built to run on Internet Explorer 6 or an older browser will not work as smoothly on newer browsers. They can continue to run on Windows XP up until Microsoft stops supporting that OS.

What is the solution? Experts here are suggesting desktop virtualization as a plausible way out of the issue of migration fatigue.

Desktop virtualization basically decouples the OS from the hardware and the applications from the OS. Linking the user to the OS instead, it creates a user profile that includes the type of OS and the applications that person uses. A virtual desktop is delivered to the user and may take the shape of a thin client, a laptop, a tablet, or even a thick client (an old desktop rendered into a dumb terminal). From the organization's viewpoint, the user can move seamlessly from one OS environment to another. And the organization can cut down on maintenance and other costs and avoid the pains of migration, including updates through service packs, patching for every machine, and dealing with application compatibility.

In India, desktop virtualization is already picking up pace, but migration to a new OS is not the driving factor. The real motivations are reducing desktop management costs, securing critical business data in datacenters, minimizing device breaches, and ensuring a homogeneous desktop experience for the office staff, mobile workforce, and remote teams. BYOD is also fueling the trend. According to the Citrix Bring Your Own Devices Index, CIOs are looking at desktop virtualization as the key technology to unlock the benefits of BYOD within the enterprise.

In 2013, Windows migration is expected to be another factor driving the trend toward desktop virtualization. Organizations here will probably move from XP to Windows 7, since the Windows 8 ecosystem is still developing. Some BYOD-friendly organizations may see value in the touch interface of Windows 8. However, those that stick with XP up to 2014 may skip Windows 7, opt out of Windows 8, and set their sights on Windows 9, rumors of which are already making the rounds.

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RPatrick   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   2/27/2013 11:57:50 AM
re: Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India
"With no support and updates for XP, eventually performance will suffer."

Emphasis on "eventually."  :)

I'm sure more than a few organizations are perfectly willing to ride the XP train until the wheels virtuallly fall off.

michaelsumastre   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   2/27/2013 11:01:57 AM
re: Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India
I have to agree with Tuscany. I know of someone who just would not leave XP for the simple reason that he didn't like the hassle of migrating or updating his OS. Of course, there's the cost as well, but he didn't particularly like the stress that came along with it. Well, with the lack of proper support now for XP, he had no other choice but to move up. There's definitely a reason why MS or any other OS manufacturer tells us to do that. Maybe they want to make a profit out of the new product, but perhaps we also need to think the upgrade will bring better features and more effective security patches. 
anthony.nima   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   2/17/2013 1:25:00 AM
Re: Not Surprised or Worried
Yes tuscany, they have to make different versions or leave desktops alone.
TJGUK   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   2/1/2013 8:37:49 AM
Re: Quite a jump
I am not sure MS will be sticking with the new GUI-not that I have any inside info. This is just my opinion. If you consider the number of folks who are getting new boxes with Win8 and going to Win7 and the paucity of Win8 phones, it is not certain that this GUI will be widely accepted by the public. The jury is out. Personally I think the GUI is not great for laptops and pointer computers. It is better for phones and touch devices. It is geared towards social use instead of business use and that also could be a problem.
Tuscany   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   1/30/2013 1:33:25 PM
Re: Not Surprised or Worried
@anthony.nima    I agree.  I think if MS is going to force this issue then they should focus this OS for devices and leave the desktop alone.

The numbers ( of adopters) won't lye.
Tuscany   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   1/30/2013 1:31:19 PM
re: Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India
RPatrick   I agree why should they ?  But MS and the times will eventually force them too.  With no support and updates for XP, eventually performance will suffer.
RPatrick   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   1/30/2013 10:04:26 AM
re: Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India
To be fair, if XP is suiting an organization's needs from a productivity and cost perspective, WHY should they change? 
anthony.nima   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   1/29/2013 9:35:45 AM
Re: Not Surprised or Worried
Even in India if Win 8 is a Non-Starter I think MS would have to do a serious re-thinking of their stratergy behind Win 8 soon. If not the market will die.
Tuscany   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   1/27/2013 11:17:05 PM
Re: Not Surprised or Worried
@Trek  I can see many companies stubbornly holding on to XP, but in most cases the jump to Windows 7 is not all that harsh. 

And I see this as the main purpose of windows 8 at this point, to corral those MS loyalist at the device level.

Tuscany   Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India   1/27/2013 11:14:03 PM
re: Windows 8 Virtually a Nonstarter in India
@RPatrick   I agree. I guess this is what happens when you have long window between software changes.

People have used XP for at least a decade or more - Windows 8 and all the rest should have come along long before this.
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