Web data suggests Windows 8 adoption slower than that of Windows 7

Web data suggests Windows 8 adoption slower than that of Windows 7

Summary: Three weeks following its retail launch, Windows 8's usage share is trailing far behind where Windows 7 was a week after retail release. Is the faltering PC market to blame, or is interest in the new operating system weak?

TOPICS: Microsoft, PCs, Windows

While Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer says the company has sold over 4 million Windows 8 upgrades since launch, data collected by Web analytics firm Net Applications suggests adoption of the new operating system is much slower than that of its Windows 7 predecessor.

Data collected during the week ending November 18 -- three weeks after the operating system's retail release -- puts Windows 8 usage at just 1.19 percent, behind not only Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, but also Mac OS X 10.8, 10.7, and 10.6, and even the underdog of operating systems, Linux.

Compared to Windows 7, the results are disappointingly slow. While Net Applications does not give us access to data going that far back, reports show that within a week of its release, Windows 7 had a market share of 2.15 percent.

Interest in Windows 7 was so strong that it managed an average of 1.91 percent for the part of October prior to its retail release.

The press and pundit reaction to Windows 8 has been mixed (to say the least). While there's no doubt that the operating system is just as fast as Windows 7, and data suggests that it crashes far less than either Windows 7 and Windows XP, severe doubts have been raised about the new user interface that Microsoft has chosen for it, with usability experts branding it "confusing" and "disappointing" for "both novice and power users."

Combine this with the fact that it is hard to come up with a compelling reason for anyone to upgrade to Windows 8 -- at least just yet -- and we get an insight into why adoption might be slower this time around. 

Another problem facing Windows 8 is the stagnant PC market. Microsoft is highly reliant on its hardware partners to get its operating systems into the hands of users, and right now, but with sales faltering as the entire industry feels the pressure from tablets and smartphones, Microsoft is turning to the upgrade market to help bolster sales, offering cut-priced deals to lure people to the new platform.

The research firm uses data captured from the 160 million unique visitors browsing some 40,000 Web sites it monitors for its clients.

Image source: Net Applications.

Topics: Microsoft, PCs, Windows

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  • So Microsoft Has Managed To Alienate About 50% Of Its Customers?

    That sounds about right.
    • Send out Loverock Davidson to round up his other friends

      Oh but they all switched to either Mac or Linux.....oh well....thats life
      Over and Out
      • Hi!

        Hello there!!!
        Loverock Davidson-
    • OMG! Adrian Kingsley-Hughes FAIL!!!

      Perhaps you should wait til the actual numbers come out before getting all uninformed. Your own site is contradicting you. Windows 8 is already outselling Windows 7 when it launched.

      • There's a big difference ...

        Between licenses sold (which includes bulk sales to OEMs) and those actually in use.
      • OMG! pauledl FAIL!!!

        Enough said
  • I hope Microsoft fails hard

    They fight their users with nonsensical interfaces which makes simple operations impossible.
    They prefer marketing over usability, which will make them lose both.

    As a .Net developer, I'll not upgradt to win 8, and hence won't be making apps for winphone 8. (Yes, they're limiting the SDK for win 8 only!).
    I believe there're many more like me, which will make app availability slow and sparse for the phone.

    So here, MS. Fight developers, and you fight yourself.
    Jake Dol
    • Indeed!

      But, just so we're on the same page, what "simple operations" do you find impossible to do on Windows 8?
      • Can't play Chess Titans

        And Spider Solitaire is of lesser quality than in previous two versions of Windows.
        • Also...

          Can't make my windows transparent and can't use Aero flip.
          • ... not to mention virtualization

            I have a dual boot computer that runs perfectly well Windows Virtual PC with XP Mode on Windows 7 and Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012.

            On Windows 8, zero!
          • And cannot watch TV

            was perfectly working with free media center in Windows 7
    • I'm

      also a .NET developer, and not going to Windows 8, and not just Windows 8, I'm not upgrading to Visual Studio 2012.
  • Windows 8 success does not hinge on desktop

    Windows 8 will be judged how well it does on "new" form factors, that is on tablets and phones.

    It's not a catastrophe for MSFT if it sells a more expensive Windows 7 desktop license instead of a Windows 8 license.
    • Yes, it may very well become a "catastrophe"

      W8 is the Trojan to drive adoption of RT and WP8. If Metro bombs on the desktop, it is more likely to also bomb on smaller mobile devices also, because users will not be familiar with Metro, which means MS's future may be at stake.

      The importance of desktops and notebooks is waning. Without a strong mobile presence, MS may be doomed. That is why they are trying to ram this new interface down everyone's throat. MS probably knows full well it is not partivularly suited for the desktop, but they are trying to save the enterprise.
      • strategic mistake

        Microsoft should have invented a new name for their new OS, they should have removed all the win32 cruft and at all costs avoiding calling it "Windows".

        Why? Simple. For many years, people have been migrating from "Windows" to something else. They saw the tablet form factor, Chromebooks etc as an a way to escape "Windows". Those people will be immediately put off seeing "Windows" on any tablet -- there have been enough "Windows" tablets with lots of promise and mediocre delivery for the past decade.
        Unfortunately, those people will simply not care how good, or promising the new "Windows" might be. (in someone's pipe dreams)

        The agony of Microsoft will be interesting show to watch. But by far more interesting will be the agony of those enterprises who blindly believed the "superior" Microsoft technology.
  • What's the Vista number?

    More ZDNet focus on the negative. Some of this negativity about Windows 8 can be self-fulfilling - spread enough negativity about Windows 8, and it will cause folks to question whether to adopt it.

    What was Vista's number for the first 3 weeks? Must be worse than Windows 8, or you would have reported it.

    Nobody with a brain could have thought that Windows 8's adoption would exceed Windows 7's. Windows 7 came on the heels of the highly unpopular Vista. Windows 7 had major productivity enhancements for desktop users. Windows 8 does virtually no benefit for desktop and laptop users. It is an operating system designed to bridge the gap to the tablet world. Nothing about Windows 8 is going to make regular people change their computer upgrade plans. There just aren't enough compelling Metro apps yet.

    As I have said here, Windows 8 adoption will be better than Vista but worse than Windows 7. But the proper measure of the success of Windows 8 is: Does it give Microsoft a foothold in the tablet market? If it does, then it will have done what it needed to do.
    • The real question you should ask is not

      Does it give Microsoft a foothold in the tablet market?
      it is:
      Does W8 gives Joe Average a significant advantage when switching?

      Also, why do you care if MS get a foothold, or not in the tablet market? do you work for them?
    • upgraded my mom's 6 year old vista clunker

      The PC runs so much faster that they don't mind learning the new UI. So far they both love it.
    • You honestly believe those reading here are going to be influenced

      by these articles to adopt or not. Most here are technical enough that they have made the decision long before the release even happened.