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Slow uptake of Windows 8 preview hints at lack of interest


Night Hawk

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#1
Slow uptake of Windows 8 preview hints at lack of interest
If usage share equals enthusiasm, new OS half as interesting to users as Windows 7 was in its beta stage

By Gregg Keizer
April 30, 2012 12:09 PM ET

Computerworld - Windows users appear half as interested in trying out the new Windows 8 as they did three years ago when they jumped at the chance to test drive Windows 7, data shows.

According to Web analytics company Net Applications, only 0.11% of the computers that went online last week ran Windows 8. That number -- representing 11 machines out of each 10,000 -- was the same as Windows 8 averaged in March.

And it's significantly less than Windows 7's usage share at the same point in its development history.

At the end of the first two full months after the release of Windows 7 Beta, that operating system was powering 0.26% -- or 26 out of every 10,000 -- of the PCs that browsed the Web.

Microsoft made early versions of both Windows 8 and Windows 7 available to anyone interested enough to download and install the trials. The former, dubbed Windows 8 Consumer Preview, debuted two months ago Sunday. Windows 7 Beta appeared in early January 2009.

It's not possible to compare Windows 8's initial uptake with that of Windows Vista, the 2007 operating system that most users shunned, and which has steadily lost share since Windows 7's October 2009 release: Computerworld's records of Net Applications' data go back only to February 2007, one month after Vista's launch and nine months after the release of that edition's first public beta.

There are several possible explanations for the usage difference of Windows 8's and Windows 7's public previews.
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SIW2

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#2
Yes, that makes sense.

There is a lot less interest in win8 than there was in Win7.
 

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Night Hawk

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#3
For most 7 was the "Big Leap" over Vista from XP to 7! When Vista got a bad rep not entirely a bad OS to begin with people ended up waiting for the next being 7 which saw immediate success!

In other words "everybody" was looking to try out 7 as you can recall just from the discussions over at SF. With the Metro UI seen now 8 while not only that but being the next version not as attractive for those who went for 7 you can see why the initial interest lags. The Metro only added to the hesitation.
 

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SIW2

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#4
It is far too early to extrapolate - but, just for fun....

On those figures win7 is nearly 2.5 times more popular than win8.

Win7 has sold just over 450 m copies, I believe.

That would put win8 sales at 200m if they are lucky.

Vista sold over 300m.
 

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Night Hawk

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#5
I don't see as being a seller as you saw 7 take off with! The bulk of 8 sales will likely be XP and Vista users going for the new version since most 7 users now are satisfied with 7. The geek squad obviously will look at dual boots while the typical 7 users are going to see 8 as questionable!

With 8 now only in it's own beta point you couldn't expect any 100% accurate charts on real interest this soon as you saw with 7 by any means. The long term picture as far as actual use however could only be seen once in retail form and out on the market. You can be sure the portables with 8 will be outselling the 8 desktop pcs!

MS would have been playing it smart by not forcing the Metro on everyone but had seen a two mode type of installer for standard desktop with a new look and a second for Metro/touchscreen rather then placing everything into the Metro to grab the desktop market. But 8 for many is being looked at as the Mobile OS only
 

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lehnerus2000

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#6

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Night Hawk

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#7
Do you think I should link this one here? Windows XP just won't die: Remains most used OS in April | ZDNet :what::roflmao:

Or I could mention the week old thread seen at http://www.eightforums.com/windows-8-news/5840-windows-8-usage-over-twice-windows-7-beta.html

This latest CW article only goes to further show how well the reactions are to the upcoming new version of Windows as far as interest. Since 7 has been out now for 2 1/2yrs. more and more are finally moving up to 7 including businesses that may turn around and frown at 8. This one is bound to generate some large varieties of mixed opinions for sure!
 

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FuturDreamz

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#8
I think the main problem is that most people are perfectly happy with Windows 7. That, and Windows 8 is generally unliked by the professional/enthusiast crowd, which is the people that actually download Windows previews.

the general public, who are sometimes not even aware of the existence of the registry, may absolutely love Windows 8. Except for those who absolutely hate the slightest change, no matter how much better.

Microsoft does need to have a mandatory (or at least hard-to-skip) first-run tutorial that covers basic gestures and shortcuts.
 

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Night Hawk

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#9
The initial reactions by the Pro/business orientated crowds would be the need to buy new hardwares namely touchscreen displays over simply upgrading to the next new version once they were ready for it. Just getting them to upgrade from XP to 7 has been much slower then for the typical home user novice or geek or somewhere in between.

Vista hit the biggest slump when MS understated the minimum system requirements that were actually needed stating things like 512mb of ram minimum when actually 2gb was even better for XP to see the older smaller version run better. For 8 the change of gui is the first thing you see over the option for two types of main desktop.

The other thing as you mentioned people being happy with 7 just happens to be another factor to consider that they are not or would be interested in jumping into the next version that comes along just because it does. The gadget lovers are certainly among those that will be taking a serious look at 8 once out in retail and likely be awed by touchscreen over those would want to remain with a traditional desktop whether Classic or Aero.
 

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Coke Robot

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#11
Well, the stats are that fewer people are running it as more of a main OS than anything. But on the other hand, downloading of preview builds is HUGE!

I would assume that people are either a) installing it and giving a kick of the tires, b) realize that a stable Windows 7/xp that has ALL their user settings and programs installed and it would be a bee sting to reconfigure everything or, c) they don't like it.

I doubt c is the main reason.
 

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Night Hawk

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#12
The ratio around here is two XP users, one likely to upgrade to Vista but won't 7, the other strictly XP forever, one Vista laptop user(novice user), and besides myself one other 7 user. The difference of course being I am the only one who dual or multi-boots OSs.

The decision was already made here to keep 7 as the main OS before the DP came along even. When needing something 7 won't support then 8, 9, 10, ? are likely considerations.

The problem with statistics is that they are based on general assessments not actual looks into each home to see who is running what OS. XP is far from dead with many as well as many Vista users refused to upgrade to 7. And likewise many simply skipped over XP entirely into Vista from 2000.

Here I bypassed ME, 2000 when upgrading out of the Legacy versions into XP until Vista arrived which ended up in a dual boot with the former until 7. For those that skipped XP into Vista and like the sidebar and gadgets they may decide to skip 7 in favor of the Metro and touchscreen in 8 once out and looking to upgrade into a new system as well as OS.

The stats can be way off due to the endless number of reasons why people may rush at or hold off when any new version arrives. Many certainly won't like running a Tablet PC OS on their desktops wondering what happened to the old familiars being the downside for 8 there. Those looking for "something new and blue" as well as the geeks will be the lookers!

The makers and breakers of 8 will how it is received for the most part especially if MS leaves no inbetween traditional desktop and Mobile looking OS options such as auto load to Start screen for desktop users. Until the RP is out in June however we are still looking at the beta renamed "Preview" but may not be seeing the full story as for what MS does have in mind but holding it off in the early stages. We'll just have to see if that's the case or not. :D
 

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jimbo45

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#13
Hi there
Most of these stats are "Little Round Objects". Why should people take up W8 at the moment.

It's probably fun for a lot of people on these Forums who are better technologically prepared than Joe Public.

But why should you "Take up" an OS that is still in "Test Phase" to run your everyday "production" stuff.

Honestly peeps -- please get real.

W8 seems to be doing a grand job in its test mode. The fact that "Joe public" isn't taking it up is hardly surprising as it isn't even an "Official" product yet and the W8 CP version might be totally different from the released version.

Cheers
jimbo.
 

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SIW2

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#14
The point is that Win7 was 2.5 times more popular at this stage than Win8 is.

Not a good sign for MS.

On the other hand, they can learn from that.

They still have time to give the customers what they want
 

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GMan

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#15
I think they're planning on making such a high amount of money in Store and Metro eventually that they're not very concerned with current uptake of Windows 8 or even if enterprise latches on to it. (They're already making their money with 7 in enterprise, and others.)

No matter what people say or think about it, Windows 8 will find its way onto machines - ya know, OEM, friends/family installing for others. Heck, it is even on mine and it's all I use for the past months.

Then the money can be made to overcome any losses from those not migrating to 8. Win/win for them.
 

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Night Hawk

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#16
I remember the comments made about 7 being what Vista should have been! With the slump MS took on Vista people were ready to jump on 7 as soon as some good word from testers came along! It drew notice fast from Everyday User as well as the OS geeks. MS had an instant winner with 7 from the start.

With 8 being a second in line version as well as seeing the Metro changing the way things are it wasn't a followup on the success 7 is seeing but MS going in a different direction. The idea of the loss of the much expected popup Start menu now requiring bringing up a full screen presentation if you need to back to open a second window if not another app is the thing throwing people off.

Adopting any new version of Windows does take time as some are now finally moving up to 7 from XP or Vista. Some simply wanted to stay with Vista when not liking 7. For the people looking at getting into a newer version they simply have to weigh the Pros and Cons of what the next newer version offers.

With 8 MS is mainly focusing on the mobile as well as Tablet PC market bringing the touchscreen orientated OS. Where MS is likely to take a hit and learn from as SIW was saying would be the changes that will effect desktop users more so.

For the average noob shopping in a Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc. they won't be worried about the Start orb button, Start menu, Shutdown-Logoff,-Restart options but what new thrills 8 will be like. They will simply press the on/off button.
 

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#17
Microsoft Attitude to Metro

Has there been any recent softening in MS's attitude towards:

  • An option for direct boot to desktop, thus bypassing Metro?
  • Restoring the traditional start menu?
  • A version specifically for desk top users?
In my own case, I have stopped testing W8 until these features are incorporated, because I won't purchase it until they are. So there's no point in doing any further exploratory work until this is established.
 

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#18
Poppa, sincerely highly doubt MS is going to do any of that, unfortunately.

There are technical reasons as well as the almighty $ reasons.
 

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#19
SIW2 has raised a valid point. Windows 7 beta was actually better than the final version of Vista, while Windows 8 Preview Edition is really not much improvement over Windows 7. Plus, XP users, who still liked their OS, were ready for a change. 7 users are not.
 

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SIW2

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#20
I doubt it.

This is all part of a carefully orchestrated strategy.

You will recall the attempt to prevent other o/s being installed in the draft oem agreement.

You can see the push to get the unsuspecting into the MS clouds via the removal of choice and the metro UI.

Now there are allegations of an attempt to restrict browser competition on ARM machines.

You will have noticed the reduction of free skydrive storage - why do you think that is ?

I expect we will see more same kind of tactics.

It will be interesting to see how much they can get away with.


Has there been any recent softening in MS's attitude towards:

  • An option for direct boot to desktop, thus bypassing Metro?

  • Restoring the traditional start menu?

  • A version specifically for desk top users?
In my own case, I have stopped testing W8 until these features are incorporated, because I won't purchase it until they are. So there's no point in doing any further exploratory work until this is established.
 

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