Windows 8, however, even if it's not widely adopted by corporate, will have an impact on IT, Johnson acknowledged, specifically Microsoft's decision to speed up the release tempo with its "Blue" project. The first of what Microsoft plans will be annual updates to Windows, named Windows 8.1, will release later this year, reportedly in October.
Blue may not affect enterprise IT immediately, not if Windows 8 is shunned as Johnson believes, but the annual cadence will at some point. Like other analysts, Johnson was unsure how enterprises would take to Blue, or even handle the annual updates.
"Blue gives Windows 8 a better chance of adoption," Johnson admitted. "But the success of that strategy depends on whether enterprises accept the new value in each update, and has much to do with the amount of differences from release to release. That's the central question."
If the differences between each update are relatively minor, Johnson said, enterprises would be more likely to accept those updates. But Microsoft will have to earn the confidence of corporate IT in its ability to deliver a solid product that doesn't break current workflow practices or applications.
That confidence building may take several update iterations, another rationale IT may use to distance itself from Windows 8 while it waits for the next major upgrade before considering dumping Windows 7.
Other analysts, such as Michael Silver of Gartner, have said much the same.
But Windows 8's rejection by enterprises, cautioned Johnson, does not mean that either Microsoft or PCs are destined for the dustbin. "PCs are not going away," he maintained. "And there will be a Windows OS in enterprises for years to come."
It just won't be Windows 8.
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