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Windows 7 had more than 10 times the usage at this point in its lifecycle

Three weeks after its 2009 launch, Windows 7 had seized 4 percent of the operating system (OS) market, and would go on to become the fastest selling OS in Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) history.  Three years later and Microsoft has another release -- Windows 8.  But some signs point to the operating system as being a sales bust, early on.

Microsoft had bragged weeks ago that it had sold 40 million licenses, a number that it said surpassed sales of Windows 7 for an equivalent period in 2009.  But some complained that license sales were not actual device sales; they cite reports of Windows 8 computers languishing on store shelves.

Now the critics have ammo to back those claims. Market research group Net Applications, a research service that tracks traffic across 8,000 affiliates' sites and 3 million registered users, reports that Windows 8 at the end of December accounted for a mere 1.72 percent of traffic.  

In other words, after two months Windows 8 appears to have about a third of market share Windows 7 garnered in less than one month.  By two months into its lifecycle, Windows 7 has soared to 21 percent of the market's traffic (Windows 7 is now the top PC OS with 45 percent of traffic).
 
Windows 8 Surface
Windows 8's adoption pace appears to be more sluggish than Windows Vista's.
[Image Source: Microsoft]

Windows 8's numbers look more like those of Windows Vista -- but even a bit worse.  Vista posted about 2.2 percent of the total traffic at the same 2-month point, about a third more than Windows 8's percentage [source].

Merle McIntosh, a product manager SVP at top online computer retailer Newegg, was cautious in his criticism, confirming that Windows 8 "did not explode" onto the market. But he remains hopeful, noting that sales have been slowly creeping upward.

Windows 8 is an incredibly bold redesign on the part on Microsoft.  While, the move to a more touch-friendlygraphically rich operating system certainly mirrors the general direction of the device market, but that has done little to shield Microsoft from loads of criticism. Many have wondered whether it went too far with the graphical gloss, whether it was disrespecting developers with its shift to a walled-garden "Windows Store" app distribution model, and whether it was forsaking traditional desktop power users.

So will Windows 8 be the next Vista sales wise?  The critics certainly would say so.  But at this point it's kind of early to say; about all that's safe to say is that the picture might not be as rosy as Microsoft wanted you to believe.

Sources: Net Applications, ComputerWorld, ReadWriteWeb



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The silent majority has spoken.
By 91TTZ on 1/4/2013 2:14:16 PM , Rating: 2
This should really come as no surprise. The fact is that most people do not like the new tablet interface on their desktops and laptops. They made an informed decision based on their own needs, just like I did.

Instead of blindly hating Windows 8, I downloaded the release candidate and tried it out. Some features I liked, some features I didn't. I kind of like the fonts, the leaner OS graphics, and the general look of the US. It seems lean and clean. But the dealbreaker was the optimizations for tablets. It serves no useful purpose on a desktop or laptop and just gets in the way. It was also a departure from the established usability methods used in all previous Windows releases since 95. It makes everyday tasks slightly more awkward on a desktop/laptop. Since the vast majority of systems running Windows 8 are desktops/laptops and not tablets, those optimizations tend to detract from the user experience.

I think that Microsoft could have easily averted this controversy by simply giving consumers the choice at install to use desktop or tablet mode. Why not include an option for a Start button? It was obvious that removing it was a controversial decision- why alienate a large chunk of potential buyers by trying to force a controversial decision?

It was this bold decision to take away choice from the consumer that doomed Windows 8.




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