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Windows 10: Who will jump on the upgrade train?

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | June 16, 2015
Probably anyone now using Windows 8.x, but most companies are likely to say no for now.

It will cost you more if you continue to buy Windows 7 machines. For example, the cheapest Windows 7 laptop from Dell currently runs for $549, and the lowest-cost one from HP will ding your corporate credit card for $400.

I don't see small businesses moving to Windows 10 anytime soon either. Small business owners that were dismayed by the Windows 8 fiasco and stuck with Windows 7 to stay out of it are probably inclined to hold off and see just how thoroughly Windows 10 rectifies matters. If I were a small business owner considering new computers for my staff, I'd give serious thought to the far more affordable and easier to manage Chromebooks.

So who will buy Windows 10 systems? That's a good question. I have a feeling Microsoft isn't going to be happy with the answer.

For example, parents will be buying students new PCs at about the same time Windows 10 will be released. Good news, right? Maybe not.

Sure, some people, out of the ingrained "buy Windows" habit, will get Windows 10 machines. But Chromebooks are cheaper and their sales rate keeps growing. And who buys Chromebooks? That would be students, by Gartner's count; 72% of all Chromebooks are headed to the education market. It doesn't look to me like the "back to school" computer market will help Microsoft that much.

So, when all's said and done, I think that compared to the very weak performance of Windows 8, Windows 10 will be successful. But it won't reach a Windows 7 level of adoption anytime soon.

Me? I'll still be running Linux on most of my PCs and Chrome OS on my Chromebooks. On my machines I reserve for Windows, it's going to be Windows 7 for at least another two years.


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