Windows 8 may be 'safer', but you're still not buying it

The promise of a more secure operating system may be an enticing lure, but consumers aren't biting.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

If cybersecurity is becoming an urgent issue, surely you would want to upgrade to what you consider to be the most secure operating system?

Avast security survey windows 8 consumer trend buy operating system

According to new research conducted by antivirus firm Avast, apparently not.

Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8, seems a world apart from its predecessors, including Windows 7 and Windows XP. Based on recent reviews from HSN, the jury still appears to be out on how consumers are going to react to such a leap away from the familiar start-menu and the new integration of advert-supported applications and radical hardware changes, but for users of Avast, familiarity may trump security. 

The research team surveyed 350,000 out of 3.1 million active Avast users in a 24-hour period in October this year for their opinions on the Windows 8 operating system, and whether they felt it was an improvement in home network security. Respondents came from a number of English-speaking countries and across seven languages.

Those that completed the survey said that while they expect Microsoft's new operating system to be safer than previous versions, only 8 percent stated they would buy a new computer or upgrade because of it.

Two-third of the 350,000 survey respondents -- mainly Windows rather than Mac users -- are currently running Windows 7, and even though Windows XP is running close to its expiry date, 30 percent are still running this platform or Windows Vista. 

The majority of respondents were aware of Windows 8 and its pending arrival, something that Microsoft still intends to increase in order to promote the Windws 8 operating system, recently-released Surface tablet and Windows Phone.

18 percent believed that Microsoft has improved its security features on operating systems over the years, 46 percent said the firm "probably" has improved, and 30 percent were not sure. 2 percent believed that Microsoft has not improved in the least.

While almost half believe that the new Windows 8 would be the most secure Microsoft operating system to date, 14 percent were skeptical. However, even when so many believe Windows 8 will be secure, 78 percent insisted they would not purchase a new computer or upgrade.

More than a quarter seem to be leaning towards a different system altogether, stating that their next purchase would be an iPad or Mac, products developed by rival firm Apple. 

Editorial standards