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Windows Businesses Microsoft Operating Systems

Microsoft Likely To See a Boost in Windows 10 Sales This New Year (fortune.com) 172

Because many businesses are wary of new software updates, let alone a new operating system, Microsoft could see a significant surge in Windows 10 install base and sales in the New Year. From a report on Fortune: Businesses have been slow to upgrade all of their corporate computers to the latest Windows OS in 2016, according to research by IT services and technology company Adaptiva. Adaptiva said Tuesday that based on its findings, it believes companies are going to be upgrading to the latest version in 2017. Adaptiva based its findings from a survey it conducted over the summer of 300 IT professionals at various businesses. The company said that 41% of the companies it surveyed have been avoiding the upgrade, and some "have gone so far as to actively resist the move by using software to prevent or disable Windows 10 installation." The survey didn't say why exactly companies were avoiding the upgrade, but the majority of respondents that did upgrade "rated the Windows 10 migration process to be somewhat to extremely challenging," the survey said. According to latest figures provided by Microsoft, Windows 10 is running on over 400 million devices.
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Microsoft Likely To See a Boost in Windows 10 Sales This New Year

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  • Linux (Score:5, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @11:23AM (#53439937) Homepage Journal
    This is doubtful. 2017 will be the year of desktop Linux.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Windows 10 has Ubuntu Bash, so it's the same thing, really.

      • Excellent point.
      • Just add some UserMode Linux kernel, just to have the full GNU/Linux stack for extra geek points.

      • Except bash is free on Linux.
        • Bash is free software (as in speech) on all platforms. But GNU/Linux itself is not free as in beer for those who need to replace an incompatible laptop with a compatible one. Furthermore, laptops warranted by their manufacturer for use with GNU/Linux, such as System76 or Dell XPS, tend to have a higher sticker price than entry-level laptops warranted for use with Windows 10.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        At this point Microsoft would be better off focusing on porting their server software to GNU/Linux, say Ubuntu Linux Server, and maybe bringing the Microsoft Windows UI as a desktop environment to Ubuntu Linux non-server. At least this way Microsoft could be seen as truly embracing open source and free software without us worrying about the extend and extinguish phases.

        • by unrtst ( 777550 )

          WHAT?!?! If MS ported their UI and server software to (Ubuntu) Linux, how the hell would that calm any fears of them extending and extinguishing? That would be the biggest extinguisher yet.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Windows can have the desktop and its fading relevance. Linux already has the phones, the supercomputers, the embedded devices, the tablets, the Internet... pretty much everything EXCEPT the desktop.

      • Linus share of the desktop has doubled in the last ~year to 2.2%. That's a nice jump.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Learn to differentiate between Linus and Linux!

        • by Jerry ( 6400 )

          "Linus share of the desktop has doubled in the last ~year to 2.2%. That's a nice jump."
          Nice backhanded insult masquerading as a compliment, but entirely nonfactual.
          Using a Windows centric website as a source for desktop market share is like asking a Met fan to rate the Dodgers.
          One can pick any website that tracks the OS of visitors. Here's one:
          http://distrowatch.com/awstats... [distrowatch.com]
          According to the data on that webpage WIndows has a 39% market share and Linux has 47.2%

          Or this site, which shows Linux at 5.6%
          http: [w3schools.com]

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Windows can have the desktop and its fading relevance. Linux already has the phones, the supercomputers, the embedded devices, the tablets, the Internet

        What do people use to develop applications for the latter, or even to write articles for the latter?

    • I wish your help desk support staff good fortune in the phone call swarm to come.

    • 2017 will be the year of desktop Linux.

      No sarcasm/irony intended in this post...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why pay for it when you could use it for free, never activating and thus not seeing any ads?

    • That makes no sense. Barebones Windows 10 installs with ads right out of the box, activated or not.
  • And I predict a sharp decline in Windows 10 sales the year after, once businesses have gotten some experience in dealing with the Windows 10 system.
    • Or once the lawyers find out about all the data that the OS sends to redmond, and what that means to company internal secrets...

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        I think that's fantasy. Lots of high-end enterprise kit has phone-home so deeply embedded into it you basically couldn't use the product without it. Compellent actually has a feature called "Phone Home" that sends telemetry to support and support can remotely console into the system.

        Everyone and their dog is scrutinizing Win10 telemetry and MS knows it. Any half-solid evidence they're grabbing proprietary data would be an instant multi-billion dollar class action suit.

        • It depends very much on context.

          For example, I've been involved with sales to the IT groups at certain banks, and they have strict checklists where anything connected to or running on their systems must meet 100% of the hundreds of conditions or it's game over. Nothing with any sort of telemetry built in would be getting anywhere near those systems.

          For Joe's Retail Business, if the systems involved aren't handling anything regulated/audited like credit card details, it might be a completely different story.

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            For example, I've been involved with sales to the IT groups at certain banks, and they have strict checklists where anything connected to or running on their systems must meet 100% of the hundreds of conditions or it's game over. Nothing with any sort of telemetry built in would be getting anywhere near those systems.

            I'd guess they'd get told telemetry was optional but would be necessary for certain support functions or turn some automated functions (like software updates) into manual, downtime-required functions.

            I've worked with a couple of banks before and it was always amazing how their procedures would turn a 30 minute maintenance task into 6 hours of downtime. We actually negotiated our way out of a project with a bank because they were so hard to work with and I think we even modified our estimating process for a

            • I'd guess they'd get told telemetry was optional but would be necessary for certain support functions/p>

              I'm fairly sure that if you'd told them that, all of the banks I'm thinking of would have required either the ability to permanently disable all such telemetry code before going into service or, in some cases, a custom build of any relevant software with all such telemetry code removed.

              or turn some automated functions (like software updates) into manual, downtime-required functions.

              No-one in the environments I was dealing with would have been installing any sort of automated updates anyway. We're talking about the kind of place where taking anything out of service, other than special emergency procedure

    • And I predict a sharp decline in Windows 10 sales the year after, once businesses have gotten some experience in dealing with the Windows 10 system.

      Uh, they'll see the boost b'cos last year, they had only been giving it away, whereas this year, they'd have 5 months of sales. Next year, they'll have all 12 months.

      What I more seriously wonder is - will anybody actually buy Windows 10 for anything where it's not already pre-installed?

  • by anthony_greer ( 2623521 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @11:34AM (#53440019)

    There were large reservations around the frequent upgrade requirements of Current Branch for Business but those are getting worked out as the servicing model matures and the tools to support it, like SCCM, get more robust. That said, a lot of companies do want the new OS because there are a lot of speed improvments, as well as security improvements that include better support for strong (mil spec) encryption out of the box, better protection against malicious "rootkit" like software with tools like Secure Boot and better tech to protect credentials from pass the hash attacks. All this relies on native UEFI support, an area where Win10 is far and away above Win7.

    Make all the jokes you want about ads and such in the consumer builds (i dont like it either btw) but as a windows deployment specialist who is fielding regular head hunter calls when they find me on Linkedin, I can tell you Win10 enterprise is very desirable for many companies.

    • Yeah though defense contractors may not even be happy with just being able to turn off windows telemetry. I don't think they would want an OS that even has that code anywhere. They scan every program on our computer pretty much each time it is used to make sure it doesn't export data already.

      • The United States DoD is doing large rollouts of Win 10 to replace ageing systems. Put it this way, if it weren't secure, do you think DoD and The Dept of the Navy would be going with it?

        • by sinij ( 911942 )
          Yes they would, if they mistakenly believe they are the only ones with the keys to the telemetry backdoor.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          The US probably doesn't care about US spyware reporting back to the US. Other countries will see it as espionage, though.

          • Only china and russia, as the allies of the USA are okay with being spied upon. And china and russia can just simply do a country level analogon of a hosts file edit to block the data from flowing, china already has a pretty good firewall in place.

        • It is funny you guys think that someone can tell if any closed source OS is secure or not. You can't.
          • Woah, I agree with you twice in one month. It must be something in the water. :)

            But you're spot-on: you cannot tell if a closed source OS is secure or not. In fact, the safe bet would be to assume that it's not secure.

            • In fact, the safe bet would be to assume that it's not secure.

              That's true of all software, open or closed. Any software that has the potential of being a security concern is either making use of outside libraries developed by someone else or depends on hardware that has firmware running on it that could also be potentially vulnerable.

          • If you're big and important enough, your suppliers will pretty much always let you audit their source code under some sort of heavy NDA.

            • If you're big and important enough, your suppliers will pretty much always let you audit their source code under some sort of heavy NDA.

              But they won't give you what you need to build your own OS from source, so even if you had the resources to audit the whole thing (and enough barf bags to control the hazmat, in the case of inspection of Windows code) it would be completely, utterly, and totally worthless.

              • The real world doesn't work like that. Having independently audited the source code from a big provider, there isn't much difference between having your own background-checked people building it and having actionable assurances from senior executives at your supplier that their technicians with the same relevant background checks and security clearances have built it properly. At some point, there is always a level of trust in the individuals involved and a level of oversight in how the product is made and

                • But they won't give you what you need to build your own OS from source, so even if you had the resources to audit the whole thing (and enough barf bags to control the hazmat, in the case of inspection of Windows code) it would be completely, utterly, and totally worthless.

                  The real world doesn't work like that. Having independently audited the source code from a big provider, there isn't much difference between having your own background-checked people building it and having actionable assurances from senior executives at your supplier that their technicians with the same relevant background checks and security clearances have built it properly.

                  Well, to be fair, it is good for one thing: getting insurance. Or, presumably, ISO certification, so I guess that's two things. What it's not good for is verifying security. Microsoft in particular has demonstrated time and again that they are not trustworthy. No amount of assurances from them would reassure me.

                  • That may be true, but we have not yet discovered how to make a system that is truly, 100%, absolutely guaranteed secure. That means real world security is all about risk management: what risks can we identify, and what can we do to mitigate them?

                    Unless you are capable of building literally everything you need, from the most basic hardware components or the first line of code on up, at some point you will come to a decision between trusting some partner organisation and its staff to do what they say and look

                    • maybe no amount of assurances from Microsoft would reassure you, but if you're in charge of a hypothetical multi-year, multi-billion dollar R&D programme and you need a desktop OS to run your software on, who would you allow to reassure you? Apple? The Debian security team? A few hundred specialist developers you just hired to build you something from scratch on top of FreeBSD?

                      I'd do some sort of analysis to tell me which was best, and then I'd trust the best for which I could get the source.

          • by sinij ( 911942 )
            As heartbleed demonstrated to us, serious bugs and/or plausible denability backdoors are almost immediately discovered in the OS code.

            If there is a source code in the forest, but nobody reads it, does it make a sound?
          • by Altrag ( 195300 )

            Its funny you think you can tell any open source OS is secure either. It may be, in principle, possible to fully audit open source software in a way that closed source can't be but that doesn't mean anyone actually does it.

            Not to mention Windows source is available to anyone who meets certain criteria. Its definitely not as free (speech) as downloading the Linux source and I'm not sure its free (beer) either, but enough people have access to it that scrutiny is likely at least comparable to true open sour

        • Contractors tend to care more than the DoD. No one is going to fire the DoD for having insecure systems, contractors can loose all of their government contracts, possibly putting them out of business.

        • 1 Do you think MS does not have a DOD version of all their software?

          2 all else failing if needed it would be simple for a "training accident" to sort out the server(s) collecting the data

        • Considering that they used Windows NT as the primary operating system for submarines armed with nuclear missiles, I would say that their ability at evaluating the technical qualifications of software leaves something to be desired.

          • Why? Windows NT is/was pretty secure, and although it had successor OSs in Windows 2000 and XP, XP was where you had the desktop and workstation OSs merge, and where security was more compromised in order to be more plug and play friendly. Since submarines don't need the latest and greatest versions of IE or Facebook/Twitter, they are pretty good.

            Now, one could argue why are they not using SE-Linux, but that's another story.

            • Hardly. Windows NT was a bug-ridden mess.

              I suggest google searching for news about how their systems went down due to bugs and crashes.

        • The United States DoD is doing large rollouts of Win 10 to replace ageing systems. Put it this way, if it weren't secure, do you think DoD and The Dept of the Navy would be going with it?

          Why not? Since when has security ever stopped them from going with previous versions of Windows?

        • How do you quanitfy a "large rollout" of Windows 10? Don't forget DoD is still using 1970's era computers with 8-inch floppy disks and CRT screens.
    • improvments, as well as security improvements that include better support for strong (mil spec) encryption out of the box, better protection against malicious "rootkit" like software with tools like Secure Boot and better tech to

      The word "encryption" does not mean "secure". It is a marketing term with no intrinsic value of any import.

      protect credentials from pass the hash attacks.

      Now that right there is one hell of a low bar.

      All this relies on native UEFI support, an area where Win10 is far and away above Win7.

      The most compelling feature for preventing "rootkits" is hyper-v virtualization of the desktop environment. There is narrow fleeting hope it will one day be tractable to make hypervisors secure. Yet the very concept of a rootkit is mostly irrelevant. Even if rootkits disappeared entirely it won't make a lick of difference as you can still do plenty of d

  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @11:36AM (#53440041)
    Win 10 is good OS that would be quickly adopted if/when MS decided to remove or make optional bolted-on telemetry malware. Such "feature" is simply not acceptable on a non-free product.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's not acceptable, full stop. Malware is malware.

      • Malware is not the correct name as it assume malicious intent. So saying this means you are either ill informed about what Windows 10 actually does or are trying to please the /. crowd.

        Here's a detailed description of what it does from a concerned user: http://www.zdnet.com/article/w... [zdnet.com]
        here's MS's comprehensive documentation on it's configurability and what is collected: http://www.zdnet.com/article/w... [zdnet.com]

    • Did you forget that the first ~year of the install base were given the upgrade for free?
    • People don't mind being spied on. Well, they say they do, but they really don't, otherwise they would do something to stop it.

      After 10 years, the expression "personal privacy" will be reduced to simple oxymoron, because how can a person have privacy, when all his personal data are public or for sale?

    • Win 10 is good OS that would be quickly adopted if/when MS decided to remove or make optional bolted-on telemetry malware. Such "feature" is simply not acceptable on a non-free product.

      The percentage of the market that is aware of the telemetry and also bothered by it is negligible. The enterprise, which can disable it anyway, have resisted the upgrade because Windows 7 is adequate and the new features of 10, including administrative ones, aren't compelling enough to disrupt business to carry out the upgrade.

    • You also aren't their customer because they don't even think you really have a choice. You are the product. Facebook style.

    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      That's mostly irrelevant, or at least far far down the relevance scale.

      The biggest problem is compatibility issues. MS can promise backward compatibility all they want and for the most part they do pretty good, but it only takes one quirky device or shitty old piece of Win3.1-era software to prevent an entire organization from upgrading immediately.

      My own company uses one such piece of software. In fact I actually think it would work with Win10 with a little beating, but I've never put the time into fight

    • Horseshit. No one outside of slashdot cares about telemetry. No one even know what it means including here on slashdot. It doesn't factor into windows 10 market share one bit.

  • Ummm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LVSlushdat ( 854194 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @11:37AM (#53440049)

    Unless you can get Windows 10 Enterprise, your business is Microsoft's business.. Even if you "castrate" Home and Pro, they still blab your business to Microsoft. And even if you *could* completely disable the spyware aspects of 10, how do you know that MS won't come along and turn it all back on via one of its updates? If you trust MS at all, you have your head in the sand.. The only way to win with Windows 10 is to NOT PLAY.... Let the MS apologists mod me down... It HAD to be said..

    • Also, apparently if you ARE using Enterprise, and disable telemetry, then windows updates stop working properly.

      • Well, if you want Microsoft to automatically determine which update(s) are relevant for your system, obviously you're going to have to share some level of information about what you have installed already. If that counts as telemetry, then yes, of course the update tools won't be able to work properly if you disable it. I'm not sure how relevant this is for Enterprise users, though, since the odds of individual users managing the updates on their own systems in an environment running Enterprise must be pret

  • I don't get this. The entire bump in sales numbers seems to be based on a theory that business haven't upgraded yet, so they will next year. I don't own a Tesla vehicle, but I also will not buy one next year. How does that theory make sense at all?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If they stop selling any versions of Windows7, "sales" of Windows10 can only go in one direction. But how many of those "sales" where actually sold retail licenses ("Hi, i actually, really, like to buy a Windows10 License for 300 Bucks!"), and how many where Free-as-in-Herpes upgrades or preinstalled on a new PC?

  • Our company is one that initially resisted a Windows 10 migration. One of the big reasons is that we still rely on some older software that's incompatible with Windows 10 unless you keep a very expensive maintenance agreement current with the vendor, so you can get/use their latest update. In our case, we're trying to migrate off of that product completely in the next year or so, switching to one that's being customized for our needs at this time under a different maintenance agreement.

    But realistically? Th

    • Ok, sounds like you addressed the usability, logistical, and other tech issues about Win10 at your place of business.

      However you did leave out the elephant in the room aka "Telemetry" and its related security issues. That kinda is a big thing and I guess you and those in charge just view it as a non-issue?

      • In the serious editions of Win10 used by larger organisations, telemetry mostly is a non-issue. They don't have the same compulsory phone-home behaviour as the Pro/Home editions used by small businesses and home users do.

    • Is it possible to at least configure things so that Microsoft doesn't vomit unwanted applications onto your system right on first install? I was livid when I installed a fresh clean copy and suddenly I had Candy Crush and a bunch of other useless apps that I didn't want, need, or ask for, just magically appear on my machine.

      • No, that's kind of advertisement and perhaps a bait to get a few users going to the Windows store, and there was a story that the GPO policy which can control that is only available on Windows 10 Enterprise, not Pro.

  • Now that you can no longer buy Windows 7 licenses, I'm sure that Windows 10 license sales will go up.

    Actual Windows 10 installations will probably not go up nearly as much, though, because many of those licenses will be used to activate with Windows 7 with the downgrade rights of the license.

    • Yep, for now there are still options to buy new PCs and run older versions of Windows (legally), though only if you're willing to jump through a few hoops at this point. There will be more serious questions when that possibility is also removed, which isn't far away now in business planning terms.

  • by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @12:00PM (#53440185)
    What's the matter with Slashdot? Why has it become a Microsoft's propaganda vehicle?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @12:04PM (#53440219)

    With past versions of Windows a business could wait until it was stable and then upgrade, but with Windows 10 it is in constant development and is never stable. Once to twice per year Microsoft is doing an Windows 10 "update", which is actually a whole new operating system download and completely new installation. It's supposed to transfer everything across, but it actually fails miserably and destroys your computer. To make matters worse the updates can remove features or settings that you use.

    The constant state of flux that Windows 10 is in would create chaos in your companies IT infrastructure. Windows 10 is all about what Microsoft want with no thought at all given to the customer/user.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So Fucking THIS. I'm going to trust an automatic unattended in-place upgrade to a whole new version of windows once or twice a year.

      Now with more and more H1B Visa programmers...

      All the other bad design and annoyances in 10 i can just tell users to "deal with it", but this shit is the meat of the problem and why I don't want to deploy until the very last minute when I absolutely must. This issue fucks us, not the users. Hopefully they'll smooth it out by Jan 2020, because 1511 and the "we didn't learn anyt

    • In all fairness, for the business folks out there they do make a LTS version of Windows 10 that is stable an supported for at least two years for businesses that are sensitive to that kind of thing. Of course you have to be on an EA agreement to get that, but if you're not big enough to warrant getting an EA agreement, then you're probably also not big enough to have a rigidly enforced change control process.
    • by jwegman ( 228147 )

      Exactly THIS! Proper, stable corporate IT requires stable, consistent software. The "constantly changing" model of Microsoft's new products makes them ill fit for professional use.

  • ... provided Microsoft decides that all those who enjoy the "free upgrade" option will have to start paying regularly.

  • Windows 7 goes end of extended life on January 14, 2020.

    If the XP to 7 migration is anything to go by then you're going to get an uplift of Windows 10 installations by corporates starting around 6 months before that date.

    Why migrate any earlier when Windows 7 works just fine and still gets security updates?

  • Plant? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jerry ( 6400 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @03:55PM (#53442167)

    The unsigned article in Fortune reads like a Microsoft PR plant.
    At least they took the MS PR Logo off before they republished it.

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