Does Windows Still Drive the Enterprise?


I'm old enough to remember the saying, "nobody ever gets fired for buying IBM." That phrase used to be used all the time in stories about corporate IT purchase decisions, and it mainly meant that no matter what new technology appeared on the scene, the good old mainframe would continue to dominate.

What I'm wondering now is if Microsoft Windows has become the IBM mainframe of the current era, or whether Windows and Windows apps still dominate the enterprise IT decision-making process. There was an interesting dynamic on a panel discussion this week at the Business Insider Ignition Mobile event in San Francisco. It was best illustrated by comments from Dan Levin, COO of online storage startup Box.

In one breath, Levin was talking about how providers like Box needed to pay homage to Microsoft Windows integration in order to win big tens-of-thousands-seats contracts with enterprise customers. But then in his next statement, Levin said BYOD was here to stay. So which is it? Are employees really leading the way with IT decisions? Or does Microsoft Windows still rule?

In a post earlier this week I argued with an analyst report that predicted Windows Tablets would beat iPads in the business market. One of my points, that Apple's tablets hold a huge installed base lead, was proven by recent research by Citrix which showed that iOS still holds a commanding lead in business mobile deployment. Such facts, however, fail to impress the legions of Windows believers,  many of whom like to take offense to notions that something could supplant Windows in the enterprise.

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