Microsoft asked 1000+ IT decision makers and Admins about PC upgrade plans: Survey results indicate corporates still holding onto pre-pandemic hardware

PC Upgrade Plans Stalled Microsoft Windows 11
Businesses have stalled their PC Upgrade plans? Pic credit: Gary Chang/Flickr

Microsoft Windows 11 is out, and it needs new hardware. However, the corporate world has apparently paused PC upgrade plans and is still holding onto the same hardware employees had before the pandemic began.

Microsoft is quite concerned about aging hardware in the hands of employees. The company strongly needs businesses to upgrade computers so that they can reliably run Windows 11.

New devices may boost productivity, but older computers still get the job done, preventing mass upgrade?

Businesses aren’t known to rush out and grab the latest hardware for their employees. In fact, the trend is exactly the opposite.

Companies have traditionally held on to aging hardware and old PCs or laptops for as long as they are functional. This pattern is not only hurting productivity but also affecting the adoption of Windows 11, feels Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Surface laptop business reportedly ran a survey. The results indicated two-thirds of the workers with company-owned computers, be it laptops or tablets, were still using the same device they had when the COVID-19 lockdowns started last March.

“More than a third (35 percent) of employees who received new devices since the onset of COVID-19 reported a resulting increase in their productivity. Meanwhile, most employees have “made do” with the same device while working remotely.”

Microsoft claims the finding “raises concerns that the lack of device refreshes is hitting productivity”. This pattern is concerning primarily because businesses are increasingly adopting hybrid working.

“Employees want upgrades that better suit their individual needs, as-remote working arrangements that started as temporary measures have become the norm. Their company’s IT teams, which initially purchased devices to help staff work from home during the pandemic but then shelved routine upgrades, now feel the same way.”

Businesses should release funds for PC upgrade plans as a hybrid work environment needs Windows 11, implies Microsoft:

The survey strongly suggests businesses did release funds to allocate PC upgrades to employees and ensured work continued. However, as the pandemic eases, and so do the restrictions, corporates are extremely reluctant to upgrade computers.

The majority of employees aren’t returning to the office anytime soon. The hybrid work environment is now clearly the norm. Even internet companies are realizing the same and tweaking their products accordingly.

Microsoft is clearly concerned because older hardware, currently running Windows 10, won’t run Windows 11. Stringent System Requirements such as Secure Boot, TPM 2.0, etc. are essentially hurdles that older PCs cannot overcome.

The PC market had surged ahead due to the pandemic. However, the trend could plateau due to businesses tightening their purse strings.

Incidentally, Windows 10 will reach its End of Life on October 14, 2025. In other words, businesses know they have ample time and need not rush to upgrade to Windows 11.

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