Toshiba America CEO: Windows 10 Is Big Opportunity For Business Market

Toshiba America Information Systems CEO Mark Simons, who is leading an aggressive business mobility channel charge for the laptop maker, said he is bullish on Windows 10.

In fact, Simons said he expects to see a much quicker transition in the corporate market to the new operating system than past releases. "Look at how long it took us to get to Windows 7 in corporate America; I definitely don't think you will see that same length of time to get to Windows 10," he said.

[Related: Microsoft To Offer Windows 10 As Free Upgrade For Windows 8.1, Windows 7 Users ]

"We are very optimistic about Windows 10 both in the consumer and corporate side of the market," said Simons in an interview with CRN just one day after Microsoft formally unveiled the new operating system. "In my preliminary conversations with many customers, they are enthusiastic about what [Windows] 10 brings to the market."

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Simons said he sees Windows 10 hitting the market later this year with an Intel chip transition that will spark a potential hardware transition for corporate customers. That said, Simons noted that before corporate customers make the move they will "first make sure that platform is secure."

Simons said he does not expect Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer for customers running Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 7 to have any impact on the business market. "That is not going to change anything for business," he said.

Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing, development and engineering for Toshiba America Information Systems, said he sees a big opportunity for business to take advantage of new hardware advances from OEMs such as touch- and voice-enabled systems. He sees it as a much bigger opportunity for business productivity than the Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 transition.

"To take advantage of upcoming hardware and Microsoft's vision of [Windows]10's future you need touch-enabled systems, you need systems that can support Cortana [Microsoft's Siri competitor] voice assistance, there is a lot of hardware that needs to get replaced through the cycle. Windows 10 will give us that impetus."

Pinto sees businesses deploying more 2-in-1 systems and tablets as a result of Windows 10. "The hardware was leading for a bit and now the OS is coming up to that."

John Krikke, vice president of Onward Computer Systems, a Burlington, Ontario, Microsoft partner for 16 years and is Microsoft’s SMB Partner Area Lead (PAL) for Canada, said he also sees a much bigger opportunity for the Windows 10 transition than Windows 8.1.

"I see a big upgrade opportunity with Windows 10," said Krikke. "Windows 8 and 8.1 just didn't move as many people to upgrade from Windows 7 as Microsoft wanted. Now with new hardware coming out, I think you are going to see a lot more people looking at upgrading to Windows 10."

Krikke said he has seen Windows 8.0 and 8.1 suffer from the same negative perceptions that hurt Windows Vista sales. He said he has found Windows 8.1 to be a robust operating system with compatibility from Microsoft Windows-based smartphones to tablets to the desktop.