Is Windows 8 irrelevant?

Windows 8, which runs on both ARM and x86 (AMD/Intel) chips, is perhaps one of the most hotly anticipated OS upgrades in recent memory.

But IDC analysts expect the operating system to launch with only split success, as they believe Windows 8 “will be largely irrelevant to the users of traditional PCs.”

As such, IDC said it effectively expected “no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor.”

According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, IDC’s skepticism over Windows 8 on the PC front isn’t exactly out of left field, with numerous analysts wondering about the applicability of the Metro tiled interface on anything other than a tablet.

In addition, Foley points out that many enterprise users recently completed migrating to Windows 7, and aren’t going to be overly-enthusiastic about moving to yet another OS in such a short time period.

Meanwhile, IDC is also predicting that Microsoft’s Windows 8 foray into the tablet space will be “disappointing,” at least in 2012, as it struggles to compete with Apple’s wildly popular iPad and a plethora of Android devices. 

“There will be intense scrutiny on Microsoft’s ability to deliver a successful tablet experience aboard both x86-based tablets and on devices running ARM processors,” IDC explained in a new report titled ‘Worldwide System Infrastructure Software 2012: Top 10 Predictions.’ 

“This is a tall order for Microsoft, and while the x86 tablet strategy makes sense as a transitional solution for today’s PC users, it will be the ARM-based devices that need to shine and clear a high bar already set by Apple.”