Windows 8 has had a rough start to life, failing to spark excitement in the consumer market, and falling behind the much derided Windows Vista in uptake pace during its first two months.
Now one of the big players in the PC market, Lenovo, have heaped further bad news on Microsoft’s latest operating system, by announcing that they will be shipping Windows 7 on all enterprise-designated orders rather than shipping with Windows 8.
Lenovo have apparently learnt from the Windows Vista experience that the official Microsoft “downgrade” path can be painful. So the machines are “downgraded” to Windows 7 by default. Those who do want Windows 8 installed can upgrade from the discreetly bundled disc which interestingly also includes software that brings back the Start menu.
Microsoft did face many questions as to how the touchscreen-centric operating system would function in a business environment, even showcasing a number of Windows 8 business apps before launch. However, enterprise environments are notoriously slow when it comes to rolling out upgrades and a few touchscreen optimized business apps were unlikely to encourage large organisations to go through the headache that would be involved with the deployment of a relatively new operating system.
Despite this move, Lenovo wouldn’t be drawn on the exact ratio of Windows 7 to Windows 8 machines shipped, with the possibility that enterprises may be interested in supplementary touchscreen devices. Lenovo’s UK boss Marc Godin stated that enterprises were interested in testing Windows 8-powered touchscreen devices in-house but again wouldn’t reveal anything further.
Microsoft will be hoping that the launch of Windows Blue, the next big update to Windows 8, rumored to bring many improvements to both the operating system and apps, will reverse the fortunes of the beleaguered system. Nevertheless, the start menu looks like it has gone for good, and the start screen is here to stay, for better or worse.
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