Most businesses plan to upgrade to Windows 10, but not for the touch features

The interface
The interface

With Windows 10's release a little more than a month away, IT departments are in the process of finalizing their decision on whether or not to adopt the new operating system. Microsoft will surely be pleased by early polling results.

Seventy-three percent of IT departments plan to adopt Windows 10 within the next two years, according to a survey conducted by digital technology community Spiceworks. Overall, ninety-six percent of respondents say they are interested in adoption.

The majority of organizations that adopt Windows 10 will be making the jump from Windows 7. Ninety-four percent of organizations are running some form of Windows 7 today, compared with only 18% that say they are running Windows 8. Only 10% of companies say Mac OS is running on company laptops and desktops.

Of the 73% of respondents who say they would like to implement Windows 10 within two years, 40% are ready to begin a rollout within the first year.

Windows 10 enthusiasm

Only 60% of organizations that offered feedback to Spiceworks had at least one instance of Windows 7 running in their network two years after the operating system was launched. Although this data is somewhat skewed given that it relies solely on projected adoption, it does indicate an increased interest in the Microsoft ecosystem – slightly more than Windows 7 and dramatically more than Windows 8.

However, despite increased interest in Windows 10, less than half (48%) of IT professionals said new Windows 10 features made them more likely to consider Windows on tablets and smartphones, which is where Microsoft would like to see itself make gains on rivals like Apple and Samsung.

What they're looking forward to

The most intriguing new Windows 10 feature is actually an old feature. Sixty-four percent of respondents say they are most interested in the return of the Start button. Fifty-five percent say they are most excited about the ability to upgrade free from Windows 7 and 8/8.1.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, only 48% of respondents are neutral or very excited about the new Edge browser, compared with 4% of respondents who had a negative impression of the formerly-named Spartan service.

IT professionals are overwhelmingly not interested in Microsoft's most hyped Windows 10 features – touch optimization and Cortana. Fewer than 10% of respondents were interested in touch (8%) and Cortana (6%). Although Cortana is a feature Microsoft can live without its customers using, the technology manufacturer is wagering heavily on organizations developing a holistic Microsoft foundation, one that includes desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones running the Windows 10 operating system.

Windows 10 adoption numbers look promising, but lack of enthusiasm for touch could continue to render Windows the major desktop and laptop operating system, while iOS continues to dominate smartphone and tablet environments.

Survey methodology

The Spiceworks survey was conducted in April and May of 2015 and included more than 500 global respondents across a wide variety of industries.