Windows 8 won’t hit industrial PCs for another four years


Windows 8, the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, will have little impact on the industrial PC market for at least three years, according to a new report on the global IPC market by IMS research.

Senior IHS analyst, Toby Colquhoun expects Windows 8 adoption to follow the pattern set by previous Microsoft operating systems.  “Widespread acceptance will take at least four years as IPC suppliers release new compatible products and end-users gain confidence on using the new technology,” he says.

Even now, four years after the release of Windows 7, most IPC’s are still supplied with its predecessor, Windows XP, ready installed. But IHS expects sales of IPCs equipped with Windows 7 to overtake those with Windows XP in 2014.

“A large number of IPCs continue to be sold as windows XP,” Colquhoun comments. “The functionality provided by this platform is suitable for a great number of applications, and there’s no urgency for most IPC customers to change operating systems.”

“That said, in 2013, few industrial PC suppliers will offer windows XP with their newest products,” he adds.  “Most customers adopting the latest IPC technology will choose Windows 7 as it has a familiar user interface and is already proven in other applications.”

IHS also predicts that embedded variants of operating systems will be the fastest-growing segment of the IPC OS market over the next few years. In addition, it expects ARM processors to be adopted more widely in the future, changing the OS mix – principally to the benefit of Android and Linux systems.

Another trend is that IHS identifies is for more IPCs to be running visualized environments. These systems will grow at a compound average growth rate of 16% between 2011 and 2016, compared to a 12% increase in the number of I PCs being shipped over the same period.