Windows 8 Proving to be Less Popular than Vista

Posted on January 2, 2013 10:30 AM by Rob Williams

Microsoft’s latest OS has been out for just over two months, and so far, reaction to it has been mixed. While the company had been touting it as being a revolutionary release, many were skeptical about using an OS clearly optimized for touch-devices on their desktops and notebooks – and so far, the adoption rate seems to be reflecting that.

It might be a little hard to believe, but Net Applications has found that Windows 8 is being adopted at a slower rate than Vista was. At this point in time after Vista’s launch (~2 months), it was installed on 2.2% of all Windows PCs. Windows 8, on the other hand, currently sits at 1.6%. There’s still time for Windows 8 to catch up and boast a more impressive result at the 3-month mark, but given the trend, that’s not likely to happen.


What makes this situation scary isn’t how 8 compares to Vista, but how it compares to 7. Windows 7 at the two-month mark sat on over 6% of Windows PCs. That’s a stark contrast to what we’re seeing here with 8. This is a good sign that those who spoke poorly about the OS prior to its launch are sticking to their guns. This, despite Microsoft having offered upgrades to the OS for a mere $40.

As much as I dislike the “Modern UI” and its absolute lack of customization, I’ve been using it and Windows 8 as a whole for about three months. Given the choice, I’d still go with it over 7 as I like many of the other enhancements. I’ll soon be reformatting due to an SSD upgrade, and for this install I’ll finally purge the Start screen and go back to my beloved Start menu. That could change if Microsoft ever decides to allow people to customize the Start screen better.

For those who may have missed it, I recommend checking out all of the things I hate about Windows 8, and for contrast, all of the things I love about it as well.

  • madmatTG

    Surprised? Actually, I am surprised it’s on as many PCs as it is. I wonder how many of those are new PCs with the OS preinstalled.

    • Stetson

      I would guess that PC sales are likely to be individual purchases and only Laptops or mobile devices purchased as Christmas gifts… but they are likely new PCs.

      I read a story the other day about people regretting choosing 8 at purchase though.

      • madmatTG

        My room-mate and I were discussing 8 the other day and we both agree that even at $40 it’s of no value. If it were free it would hold no value for me.

  • Jamie Fletcher

    How to turn those sales around… make the start screen and Modern UI optional. Problem Solved. No silly third-party tools.

    Seriously Microsoft, take a slice of humble pie, swallow that pride, ditch your new-fancy UI, and provide what people want.

    I’m stuck between face-palming, or banging my head against the keyboard, but hey, I can hazard a guess as to Microsoft’s next strategy; lock down OEM sales to Win8 only and stop releasing updates and security patches for Win7. Got to love progress.

  • e550mercedes

    For anyone hoping that Microsoft will turn around, this article is a good read:

  • JD Kane

    The girlfriend bought a laptop with Win8 installed for her father for Christmas. Of course, I find out about it after she had bought it, but I suggested to her that perhaps her father might freak out in trying to figure out 8’s UI.

    She returned the laptop to where she bought it yesterday…

    Needless to say, my prediction came to pass. Her father had a bit of a challenging time navigating 8’s Modern UI. One of his biggest frustrations, apparently, was simply turning the machine off. Too many steps to remember to do something that should be so simple, according to my girlfriend.

    MS committed a major faux pas by trying to take too big an evolutionary step from a product that really has very few flaws insofar as the general public is concerned. People won’t want to change something that just plain works, and Win7 just plain works.

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