Even Windows 8 early adopters prefer Windows 7 by two to one

Even Windows 8 early adopters prefer Windows 7 by two to one

Summary: A survey finds that even hard-core Windows 8 fans prefer Windows 7 by a two to one margin.

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Even Windows 8 fans prefer Windows 7 by a two-to-one margin.

Forumswindows8.com, the self-proclaimed largest Windows 8 help and support forum on the Internet, is filled with posts on such subjects as how to try to terminate a process in the Windows 8 task manager when access is denied and the state of Winodws 8 HP printer drivers. These hard-core Windows 8 early adopters group recently polled their users. And, 50,000 votes later, they found that their memberships' favorite Windows operating system was overwhemling Windows 7.

The breakdown for favorite version of Windows, from top to bottom, was Windows 7: 53%; Windows 8: 25%, XP: 20% and Other: 2%. Research house Gartner wouldn't argue. In a Webinar, Gartner analysts Steve Kleynhans and Michael Silver argue that if your company is still using XP you want to upgrade to Windows 7 and not be distracted by Windows 8.

Kleynhans said, "Get Windows 7 done, and then you can start to experiment and dabble with Windows 8, but don't let Windows 8 derail your Windows 7 upgrade project." He continued, “"We really don't think Windows 8 will get significant traction as a PC OS in a corporate environment." Gartner's clients are certainly following that course. Those who plan on upgrading are are moving to Windows 7 and plan to skip Windows 8 for PCs entirely.

According to Kleynhans, “Windows 8 will get 20% to 25% of the corporate user base, at most, before it's replaced with whatever comes next.” In short Windows 8 adoption "will look more like Vista, [and] it won't have the installed base that we've seen with Windows 7 or XP." Why? Because Windows 8 is a “plumbing" upgrade. This is an upgrade that drastically changes the technology without adding significant improvements. In particular, he thinks most users and IT departments will find the interface formerly known as Metro to be too different to find favor and Windows 8's use of two different interfaces to be too confusing for most users.

That's not what the Windows 8 forum survey found though. Their list of weaknesses in Windows 8 started with price: 35% followed by system requirements: 26%; incompatibility 25%; Windows freezes 20%; and only then does the interface show up with 18%.. A close reading of the forum's messages find that their members really do feel that Windows 8 will be over-priced and they're finding lots of hardware driver and software incompatibility problems.

These results aren't surprising. These are users who've already committed to Windows 8. From the start, they've accepted that Metro is not going to be anything like the Windows 7 Aero interface. Gartner's users have no such commitment.

That said, the Windows 8 fans don't love the Metro user interface either. In their ranking of favorite Windows 8 features, Metro came in the lower-end of the pack. In order, their top favorite features were: Fast boot and shutdown, 55%; Easy installation, 50%; Internet Explorer 10, 35%; Restart/Restore capabilities, 28%; Built-in application integration, 26%; Windows Explorer, 25%; App Store, 23%; and then Metro at 22%.

Forumswindows8.com also asked their membership which mobile operating system they'd rather buy. The winner? Android with 42%, followed by Windows Phone 8, 29% and iPhone, 22%. This does not bode well for Microsoft making any progress in the smartphone market.

On the other hand, Microsoft did at least have the support of this Windows 8 fan group when it came to tablets. 35% of them would rather have a Microsoft Surface than an Android tablet, 33%, or the hated Apple rival iPad with 26%.

Windows 8 will arrive for the general public on October 25th. As I predicted before, and I'll predict again, Windows 8 is going to be dead on arrival. Leave aside Gartner's predictions, if even people who are passionate about Windows 8 prefer Windows 7 by two to one, well, what more need be said?

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Topics: Windows, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Smartphones, Software, Tablets, PCs

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292 comments
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  • Ouch

    MS shills, what do you say to this?
    D.T.Long
    • There are no MS shills here. However any sane person can immediately

      recognize the fact that the majority of the poll respondents weren't windows 8 users, or even windows 7 users.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Like

        They go subscribing to an Windows 8 users forum and are not even Windows users? Wow!

        The forum wasn't an ZDNET blog, by the way.
        danbi
        • IT'S A CRANK SURVEY, IDIOTS!

          Sorry for the name calling (not really), but I'm tired of people, who have no idea how to setup polling or conduct a survey, setting up flawed surveys and incorrectly analyzing the results.

          It could be true that win8 users prefer windows 7, but this survey is hardly the one to determine it. For example, which forum thread was this survey on? That makes a difference, in term of the respondents it will attract. A look a number of questions in this survey, seem to suggest that there is a pre-determined outcome. That may not have been the intention of this "study", but that's what happens when you don't know what you are doing.

          As for SJVN quoting Gartner, that recommendation is to businesses; and is fairly obvious. "Upgrade your 3000+ users to a proven OS in Win7, or roll the dice on the still unreleased win8" Duh.

          I know I'm being snippy, but I see these types of poor amateur studies all the time. There is a reason that companies pay professionals to do their studies. It's not just about asking questions.
          NOEEM
          • well

            I don't think it can be discounted so easily. This is a sight with Win8 users. Right now it only exists in the hands of tech savvy people, pundits, etc. Tech blogs and magazines have been saturating the net with stories about Windows 8. And still the most tech savvy prefer something else. It's still quite telling. Unless you believe the dumb masses are going to really like a complete change of their interface, this story has some weight.
            jpolk84
          • Sure it can.

            for all of the reasons I previously stated. :-)

            I understand what you're getting at, but a flawed survey will have flawed results. Being political season in the U.S., there are MANY terrific examples of this.
            NOEEM
          • Who Are The Respondents?

            I think there is plenty of reason to believe that the survey may be less indicative than it appears. As you point out, this is a Win8 site, with early adopters weighing in. The weakness in the survey design is that these are largely IT pros who are heavily vested in having things work they way they currently work. Ease of use for the masses is significantly different than ease of use for these folk. They are good typists, and they understand the most productive way to get from point A to point B in any application or operating system they find themselves in. SJVN says that their posts consist of things like terminating processes in Win8. Not an amateur's site at all.

            So, is anyone surprised that Metro falls way down on their list? Is anyone surprised that they want to stay on Win 7? Remember all the buzz about how awful Win 7 was going to be because Vista was so awful? Now it is their preferred operating system. Heck, they want Android on their phone more than iOS, a pattern we just don't see in the actual sales numbers.

            The list of negatives is headed by five things that are either unknown (price) or are based on qualities of beta software. Is anyone surprised here?

            Meanwhile, four of the top five pluses are things that the general public will consider very significant - fast boot, fast restore, the browser, and application integration - things that people praise in one form or another in iOS. Sounds good to me. Again, it is the wrong audience.

            I agree with NOEEM, but not for the same reasons. You can't predict sales from early adopters. It is coincidence (or an excessively well designed product) when it happens. They aren't your target audience in most cases, and certainly not in this case.
            always-a-geek
          • It not only can. It MUST BE.

            The basic problem some people here are clearly not getting is that once you are dealing with a survey that is flawed, you simply cannot be sure what it really means.

            REALLY.

            It could mean anything from being very close to right to absolutely wrong.

            Anyone who does rely on it is guessing because it actually dosnt support anything factually or statistically correct.

            Its actual purpose is compromised and therefore it MST be discarded or relying on it is nothing but wishful thinking.

            Anyone who actually understands what surveys are supposed to be actually doing and how they do it will quickly tell you that a flawed survey is a dangerous thing to rely on.

            That being said, just thinking about the general population, why would the general population suddenly like a vastly changed Windows 8 over a perfectly good and more commonplace Windows 7???

            What is this tripe SJVN is dragging around like some kind of news?

            The fact is I know people who still will not get off XP because they have seen Windows 7 and it brings insufficient appeal to them to switch. If SJVN wants you to think this survey has some statistical significance I would suggest the only startling thing about it he could point out is that in fact people like Windows 8 better than Windows XP.

            There are some plain facts we do know. For one, SJVN has been pressing the idea that there is some overwhelming negative number of reports on Windows 8 when in fact when you actually take the time to really look, and really read the reports that are out there the only definitively negative ones are coming from writers who do not like Microsoft or Windows in general. One of those I will offer as indisputable proof is SJVN himself. The closest thing he gets to a compliment about Windows or Microsoft is to say that while he accepts Windows 7 as a decent OS he simply likes Linux better. And thats as good as you’re ever going to get from him.

            Secondly the worst you could TRUTHFULLY say about reports on Windows 8 is that there are numerous neutral reports. Admittedly that is not any kind of big win for Windows 8. But one also can see without any doubt that when dealing with unbiased reporting on Windows 8 there are quite a few positive reviews and there is no possible way the majority of all reviews are negative. Its unfortunate, but here you have an actual ZDNet reporter actually purposely misleading readers about the reality of the situation.

            If he dosnt like Windows 8 SJVN is certainly allowed to shout it at the top of his lungs. But, he should always be pointing out the exact reasons why and he should watch his bias because its showing like dirty underwear and its making his reporting on why he hates Windows 8 stink.

            Lets see SJVN pie graph next about how many people prefer Linux over Windows 8. Im sure if he finds one of those he dares to print it will be of an even more dubious nature then the piece of trash he tried to pass off as evidence of something for this article.
            Cayble
          • Cayble, is calling everyone names

            Not doing yourself any favors.... :)
            daikon
          • Im not trying to do myself favors.

            All I am doing is pointing out the bluntly obvious because its time the readers of ZDNet start demanding more from the writers here.

            Predictions based on bias and hope, claims of abject failure of products that are not even properly released when there are numerous evaluations and postings showing that in fact there is no good reason to predict complete failure, at least not yet, are the stuff of tabloid journalism. Not what should be a respected technical website.

            Telling me I am calling everyone names, when I am clearly not calling everyone names does no favors for yourself. But I imagine that you do not post here to do yourself any favors either.

            Just so we are clear; I certainly do not object to writers or posters who say “For me and people like me this product is no good at all, and here is why…”

            What I am against is people who predict the sky is about to fall for some company when its clearly not in any evidence and can only becoming from a biased viewpoint and wishful thinking. Any joker can do that. I don’t think we come to see predictions and evaluations of products that are written about in the same form as any run of the mill hater could write.

            For example, given the evidence we see about RIM, its certainly understandable that many people who have considered RIM’s position in the market as deeply troubled so much so that they may go under in the not too distant future. That’s understandable, there is evidence that supports that and when people talk about RIM maybe going under they talk about that evidence. Its all makes sense and its fair given what everyone knows.

            In recent weeks I have seen many different companies being dragged out for a butt whipping claiming they either have made some catastrophic mistake, or are about to embark on some catastrophic mistake that will be the beginning of the end for them. The history of RIM shows us as a fact that even deeply troubled companies with plenty of evidence to show how deeply troubled they are don’t even go down quickly. Im just saying that its starting to get more than a little sickening around here seeing not just the posters who are clearly haters proclaiming this is the end for the company they hate so dearly, but even some of the writers have decided that such stories make for great click bait and have decided to follow that path.

            Im at the point where I feel more like sticking up for every product and dragging out some of the ludicrous haters for the butt whipping they think these companies need. Its getting impossible to tell when a product is a decent product or not because the haters simply do not understand moderation driven by reality. They simply want to predict the absolute worst outcome thinkable for companies they do not like and do so without considering the plain reality that much of what they are claiming is simply unsupportable.

            So no, Im not here to do myself any favors. Im just pointing out the obvious. And far from calling everyone names, I call nobody names that do not apply as the facts show. I do understand that facts seem to mean little around ZDNet much of late.
            Cayble
          • well

            I'm not a pundit nor a tech geek and I use Windows 8 on a tablet and frankly, as much as I like Windows 7, I'll almost certainly upgrade my laptop to Windows 8 when it's released. Just how accurate can any survey be when there are 700 million Windows 7 computers in use worldwide and Windows 8 isn't even released yet? This is typical SJVN, always trying to find fault with anything Microsoft and anyone who doesn't instantly see this article for what it is (propaganda) doesn't read very much on zdnet. And the "dumb masses" (how nice of you to lump nearly everyone into the catagory of 'dumb') would actually prefer the new interface once having tried it. It's actually extremely simple to use, for those "dumb masses", and this 'story' (which is what it is, a "story") only has the weight that SJVN lends to it, which is to say, nearly zero weight.
            xplorer1959
          • Wow - that is a big boost for Windows 8!

            In that case Windows 8 will at least get one almost certain sale, but what about everybody else?
            Mah
          • Reguardless of the survey's legitimacy...

            This review seems almost predictable..
            Windows 1, 2 & 3 = questionable, then 3.11 = hit,
            Windows 95 = hit then
            Windows 98 and ME ignored until
            Windows 98SE, Windows NT, Windows 2000 = good but largely ignored,
            Windows XP = hit,
            Windows Vista=miss,
            Windows '7'= still growing into a hit,
            Windows '8' = predictions of a miss?
            Microsoft has a poor record for ever getting more than one hit in a row. But, they do keep coming back with more for us to devour!
            Ron_Ellis
          • windows 98

            98 ignored, windows 7 still growing... LOL whatever
            james_linde
          • Ron_Ellis Are you Serious?

            Win2000 and WinNT Largely Ignored? You obvously are not talking about their massive success in the enterprise, right ron? Win2000 pro was made for business, as was winNT, it was the Network client?
            You need to do a little more research. Wow.
            xuniL_z
          • MS Release

            Yes this is pretty accurate. I have always said they release their beta, wait for customer feedback, and then fix all the complaints in the next release. Win 98- Beta, Windows ME - Beta, Vista - Beta, Windows 8 - Beta.
            bsd230
          • Is Win8 Ready? Have you read the blogs?

            The vast majority of respondents to these blogs are overwhelmly saying YES!!
            Win 8 is even more solid and VERY Fast. The only complaint is the switching between desktop and metro UI. MSFT can fix this easily and it's really not a problem once users are used to the new desktop....which is actually easier to use.
            Why does everyone marvel at other new UIs but always find fault when it's MSFT? Because there are ABM shills crawling all over this site. duh.
            I give people more credit than the ABM shills and they will like the new interface and we will see a shift away from teh 1970s icons Apple and Google are still using.
            That's what you are afraid of after all, isn't it? LOL.
            xuniL_z
          • Snippy ?

            Women take medication for bad attitudes, men eventually mouth off at the wrong moment and receive free dental work. Enjoy your free dental work - and be careful about whom you call an idiot. . .
            materva
          • IT'S A CRANK SURVEY, IDIOTS!

            I don't think you're "being snippy", you're simply stating facts (but be careful, or SJVN just may ban you from posting on zdnet!).
            xplorer1959
          • RE: Supporters get your story straight

            One day the anti Windows 8 design is FUD by Microsoft haters. The next day it is desktop luddites who can't accept change. Which is it? In reading hundreds and hundreds of posts by people who dislike Windows 8 design. Of course it's a combination. You do have your Apple fanboys who still think Windows users spend all day fixing "blue screens of death" but most are long time Windows desktop users who don't like the design or fear the learning curve costs and disagree with the widely held belief that all change is good.

            The survey screams this topic needs more study because there are indications there is something to it. Scientifically accurate surveys are still hugely important in Marketing research but pretty much everybody in that field has people looking at online user comments.
            edkollin