Microsoft Says Windows 10 Is On 300 Million Active Devices; But In The Enterprise, Partners Sing A Different Tune

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Despite Microsoft’s claims that Windows 10 is facing explosive adoption rates partners are telling a different story in the enterprise.

MIcrosoft said Thursday that its new operating system has been installed on 300 million active devices. But according to several Microsoft partners interviewed by CRN, enterprise customers are shying away from opportunities to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise and Windows 10 Pro.

“Our clients really feel like they have no compelling reasons to upgrade to Windows 10,” said David Felton, owner of Canaan Technology, a Microsoft partner in Norwalk, Conn. “And Microsoft hasn’t communicated a real value proposition to us that we can turn around to our customers.”

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Felton’s company works with SMB customers that could now take advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade opportunities for Windows 10 Pro, yet less than 20 percent of Canaan’s managed clients have actively upgraded to the new OS, released last July.

Businesses' hesitation in upgrading to Windows 10 may come as a surprise; in a blog post Thursday, Microsoft said the operating system is now running on 300 million active devices.

The Redmond, Wash.-based vendor also noted that its free upgrade offer, which extends for Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro (not Windows 10 enterprise), will expire July 29. After that date, customers who don’t get the OS on a new device will need to pay for a full version of Windows 10 Home, at $119, and Windows 10 Pro, at $190.

Partners say many of Windows 10’s features don’t offer a compelling reason for business customers to upgrade, but two bigger issues are ease of use for business environments and underlying compatibility issues with other devices.

Felton said many businesses are task-oriented, and see no value in some of the new features of Windows 10, such as Microsoft Edge.

“We use computers to accomplish a task. The glitz and glamor of Windows 10 is cool for those in tech, but I can’t make an argument to clients if they have Windows 7 about what they’re missing out on,” said Felton.

Meanwhile, Joe Balsarotti, president of Software To Go, a St. Peters, Mo.-based Microsoft partner, said he has received frequent complaints from his business clients who installed Windows 10 that they were losing productivity because of behind-the-scenes updates. He also noted that drives were being filled with install files without users’ knowledge, and updates were being downloaded automatically were occurring while users were trying to work.

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