At first blush that might not seem like a huge success, but compared to the rate at which enterprise IT organizations made the shift to Windows 7—and switching at all in the case of Windows 8—it looks like Windows 10 is poised to become an unqualified success for Microsoft from a corporate IT perspective.
The survey of 186 IT professionals conducted at the recent Microsoft Ignite conference by Adaptiva, a provider of tools that enhance Microsoft management software, finds that more than four in 10 respondents plan to migrate to Windows 10 within a year of its release on July 29.
While that might not constitute a mass movement, the first wave of enthusiasm for Windows 10 within corporate IT environments is substantially higher than adaption of Windows 8. In fact, outside of a few instances of Windows 8, the survey makes it clear that Windows 7 is the standard Windows operating system in use within most IT environments today.
Benefits of Windows 10 migration
How much of that enthusiasm is being driven by Windows 10 itself versus the changes in the way Microsoft is making Windows 10 available is unclear. Once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft has pledged to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device at no cost as part of the Windows as Service initiative.
IT organizations, however, will be offered a more predictable release cycle based on a "long-term servicing branch" and a "current branch for business" program that lets those organizations decide when to add additional features to Windows 10 at a pace they want rather than a pace that Microsoft dictates.
The survey does find, however, that and only about a third said they plan to buy new PCs to make the migration, and the biggest barrier to making that migration—as always when it comes to operating systems migrations—appears to be existing application compatibility.
While IT services firms could make money by helping to tweak those applications so they run on Windows 10, the better plan in many cases is going to be to replace them. Most likely, there is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application running in the cloud that provides a better user experience and can also be more easily accessed from a wide variety of mobile computing devices.
The effect on IT service providers
Naturally, the survey also finds that Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager software appears to be the odds-on favorite tool that will be used to make those migrations. The biggest issue for IT services providers, however, might simply be the fact that Microsoft has made migrating to Windows 10 too easy. Many IT organizations, along with end users, will choose to make the migration without any external help.
Conversely, though, once many of those IT organizations find themselves trying to manage multiple instances of Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and even Windows XP, it's just as likely a little extra external IT services help is going to be more sought after than ever.