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Windows 8 intrigues small-business owners (survey)

Holy smokes! Just when you thought you MIGHT be able to convince some of your customers to migrate their operating system over to Windows 7, there’s a new survey out that suggests small-business owners are eager for the still-to-be-release Windows 8.

The reason? Windows 8 ability to help workers get a better grip on managing their information and accounts across multiple devices such as on a desktop or notebook as well as a tablet or smartphone.

The data, part of the Staples Small Business Index, suggests that about 70 percent of the small-business owners who have heard about Windows 8 (it doesn’t say how many of them DO know about it, BTW), already have upgrade plans. Of those with upgrade aspirations, approximately 28 percent focused on the operating system’s promised interoperability with tablet computing devices.

As you might expect, Staples has a position on this, which is something that solution providers should be prepared to address or combat.

Earlier this month, Staples started selling a Worry-Free PC Promise that will make it more attractive and easy for small-business owners to update to Windows 8 when it hits general availability. Staples is attaching this service to certain Windows 7 systems: for $14.99, buyers of those PCs will get an update to Windows 8 Pro.

The Staples data reflects the sentiments of approximately 500 small-business owners or executives from companies with no more than 20 employees.

If your company is still trying to get customers updated to Windows 7, the Windows 8 release cycle will definitely be top-of-mind for those clients. So, offering them a way to make the switch to new systems now, without it costing a bundle for them to get over to Windows 8 when it emerges, is a smart strategy.

There’s no official word yet on Windows 8 will ship, but pundits are suggesting that an October 2012 timeframe is likely.

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