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Notably, more than half of gamers who DO pick the embattled OS downgrade within weeks

Arguably the most important, but relatively underdiscussed single story at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show can be expressed in a single word -- "solidarity".  Whether it was Intel Corp. (INTC) pushing customers towards touch-friendly devices or companies like Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) and Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992) pushing Windows 8 hybrids/laptop designs, everyone was standing firmly behind Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) embattled Windows 8 operating system.

With past releases Microsoft was blasted for not being innovative enough compared to Linux and OS X, in terms of user interface design.  Windows 8 flips the tables innovating wildly -- well beyond what Linux distro makers or Apple, Inc. (AAPL) have dared do.  And now the equation has flipped: Microsoft finds itself under attack for innovating too much.

Whether its DailyTech's readers or online critics, it's important to recognize that much of the criticism is coming from the enthusiast sphere.  Average consumers -- who generally gravitate towards bright, colorful, touchable devices like moths to a light -- tend to react more kindly to Windows 8 when exposed, at least in my anecdotal experience.

But the numbers are troubling.  Despite Microsoft playing an interesting licensing sales game selling a deluge of licenses to OEMs at a rate that would indicate Windows 8 to be outselling Windows 7, the usage numbers indicate that OEMs are only moving a fraction of those licenses.  Windows 8 is only drawing around a tenth of the internet traffic Windows 7 did at a similar point in the adoption cycle; in fact Windows 8 trails Windows Vista in internet traffic.

For obvious reasons I won't name the particular company I heard this from, but during a discussion this week with a company who makes enthusiast laptops and desktops for gamers I heard a somewhat interesting and startling statistic that drives home just how much Windows 8 is indeed struggling.

Windows 8
Less than half oif enthusiasts give Windows 8 a try, and over half that do downgrade to
Windows 7 quickly, according to an industry source. [Image Source: Reuters]

According to the the source:

It's really interesting... what we see is more people selecting Windows 7 [than Windows 8]... because we offer both side by side.  And we actually see more people switching [back] from Windows 8 [to Windows 7] which is interesting.

The source said that over half of the purchasers of enthusiast PCs who do take the Windows 8 drive tend to bail within a couple weeks.

Now bear in mind a couple of qualifiers:
  1. Not all the enthusiasts desktops/laptops sold by this company come with touch monitors (hence limiting the Windows 8 UI).
  2. The target audience is enthusiasts, who as mentioned tend to "hate on 8".
Still, the idea that 3 out of every 4 buyers of new machines are rejecting Windows 8 should be a startling one for Microsoft.  Microsoft should be very thankful for the solidarity shown by its partners at CES 2013, in the face of that kind of sales trend.

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RE: wrong
By Motoman on 1/13/2013 10:53:46 AM , Rating: 2
Nope. Just the interface. If they'd throw away that horrific Metrosexual UI, I'm sure it would be fine.

That is the one and only issue that anyone has with Win8, as far as I have heard.

But it's so catastrophically bad, that that one issue will prevent the vast majority of people from ever even considering it. There's not a single thing wrong with Win7 - and with such a massive flaw in Win8, there's not the slightest argument that will hold any water with the vast majority of people to get them to abandon Win7 for Win8.

RE: wrong
By LRonaldHubbs on 1/14/2013 10:59:13 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with your observation, and I cite it as evidence for my continued assertion that the vast majority of people are idiots.

That said, I agree there's not much reason to switch from 7 to 8. Windows 7 is great. However, if you're upgrading from anything other than 7, it only makes sense to go with 8.

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