Ready for Windows 8? We're just starting on Win 7, says Dell

Some big Dell customers are just beginning to migrate to Windows 7 -- an operating system that came out in 2009.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers

Maybe everyone's focused on the wrong Microsoft operating system.

Dell said during its earnings conference call on Thursday that "commercial" customers, meaning corporate customers, are just now transitioning to Windows 7.

"I think you continue to see Win 7 on the commercial side of the business. It's driving a refresh cycle," said Brian T. Gladden, chief financial officer for Dell, during the conference call.

Yeah, you read that write. That's corporate customers switching from, for example, XP or Vista to Windows 7. And that is driving PC and hardware upgrades at Dell.

That makes a Windows 8 upgrade pretty unlikely in the near future for those customers.

Here's what Gladden said about Windows 8. "Windows 8 has been from our standpoint, not necessarily the catalyst to drive accelerated growth that we had hoped it would be."

That's probably understatement, as CFOs are masters of understatement on earnings conference calls.

To be fair, corporations typically are slow at moving to a new operating system because the upgrade has to be orchestrated across thousands, if not tens of thousands, of systems. And they usually wait until after a service pack to make a move.

But what's unusual is that we're not talking about a slow transition to Windows 8. This is to an operating system released three years ago.

[Earnings call transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha ]