Analysts say that most businesses won't upgrade to Windows 8 until 2014, and that's probably accurate. But, in a good sign for Microsoft, the new operating system is gaining traction a little sooner than expected.
Microsoft says it's sold "tens of millions" of Windows 8 enterprise licenses since August, when it became to its business customers.
Plus new research is starting to show that enterprises could be quicker to adopt Windows 8 than they did Windows 7.
A whole lot of enterprises still don't use Windows 7. Worldwide, more than 40 percent of all PCs are still running Windows XP, an 11-year-old version of Microsoft's software. Another 5 percent are running Windows Vista. Only 45 percent have upgraded to Windows 7.
A lot of the delay in moving off of XP had to do with how much people disliked Vista. But according to a survey of 500 IT professionals at companies with 500 or more employees by PC Helps, more than half said they liked Windows 8.
About 25% said they are making plans to upgrade, with 17% saying they'll start their upgrade this year.
Of course, that still means that 75% aren't upgrading any time soon.
Business Insider heard from one IT professional who manages 5,000 PCs and is in the process of upgrading to Windows 8.
"A large number of companies have not upgraded to Windows 7, and are still running XP," he said. "These are the prime targets from an enterprise perspective for Win 8. Our refresh cycle will go from XP to Win 8 in the next 12 months."
The thing is, Microsoft has most big business customers on a licensing plan that give them the right to upgrade when they choose—and Microsoft gets paid the same.
These companies know they have plenty of time to make a move to Windows 8.
And if they drag their feet long enough, many of their employees will buy their own Windows 8 PCs, learn the new interface at home, and be fully trained by 2014.
Don't miss: 9 Reasons Why Companies Will Ignore Windows 8 >
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