Windows 10’s Gulf prospects: Win, Win or lose, lose?

As Microsoft prepares to unleash its latest OS, talks to regional technology experts on the platforms likely adoption rate

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Windows 10’s Gulf prospects: Win, Win or lose, lose? Windows 10 could see rapid adoption across the Gulf, but analysts believe caution is needed. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  July 26, 2015

On 29 July one-time operating-system market-leader Microsoft will hold its breath, clench its fists, and release Windows 10 into the wild. Once the training wheels are off, enterprises around the world will doubtless think back to the ignominious debut of Windows 8.

Indeed Microsoft's decision, in naming the new Windows, to skip over "9", is indicative of the software giant's desire to distance itself from the hapless predecessor. Windows 8 struggled to be all things to all users in Redmond's scramble to belatedly deliver productivity computing to mobile devices and touchscreens, while preserving Windows' desktop heritage.

As Steve Kleynhans, vice president, Mobile and Client Computing Group, at research firm Gartner, says, "The issues surrounding Windows 8 have created problems for early adopters of that platform.  It never really received broad third-party support from software vendors, and most users never really warmed up to its user experience if they were running on traditional PCs."

The GCC experienced the same Windows 8 foibles as elsewhere, but the region has also become known as fertile ground for new technologies. As smart government projects gather steam, early adoption of hardware and software has been frequently reported by vendors and systems integrators. But will regional enterprises follow this trend when considering Windows 10 migration?

Arthur Dell, director, Technology and Service, MEA at virtualisation specialist Citrix, believes that Microsoft has given the right incentives to ensure this is the case.

"Microsoft has announced a very customer-friendly upgrade policy that effectively ensures that everyone in their installed base will want to upgrade to Windows 10 in the first year if at all possible," Dell says. "It is therefore likely that adoption will be rapid here and globally."

Gartner's Kleynhans suggests that Windows 8's failings may even work in favour of early Win-10 adoption.

"At first glance [past experience] would suggest businesses who had gone with Windows 8, like many in the Middle East, might be a little more cautious when it comes to Windows 10," he says. "However, those customers are the ones feeling the issues with Windows 8, and the ones who will get the most relief from a move to Windows 10."

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