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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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By overzealot on 1/5/2013 6:08:13 PM , Rating: 5
Nope. I tried using the start screen for a month, then bought Start8.
2 reasons:
- Having to click Desktop on startup to get out of Start Screen (if you could leave it by pressing the Win key I wouldn't have cared).
- I still find it much easier to click things on the Start menu when searching. Dragging the cursor to the bottom left completely (no aim required) then a slight readjustment is a massive gain for mouse users on high resolution desktops. And far less distracting animated tiles to worry about as well.

I used the metro PDF reader for a while, but like all metro apps, it's great until you want to close them. The best way to dismiss them is to just go back to desktop (top left charm) but I really just want to close it. That leaves me with Alt-F4 or dragging from top to bottom - which once again, doesn't work well with a mouse on a high-res desktop, and both of these choices still drops you back at Start Screen.

There's plenty I like about Windows 8, but its insistence on pushing Metro on me is not one of them.

By Sta5h on 1/7/2013 7:11:10 AM , Rating: 2
(if you could leave it by pressing the Win key I wouldn't have cared).
Err, well I can :D

I completely agree that removing the Start button was a mistake for most users, but really, about 30 seconds training from me has made several over fifties "MS Office" style users completely happy with Windows 8 and commenting on how their desktop/laptop feels faster. This is from in-place *upgrading* their Windows 7 installations.

Agreed on the Metro PDF and Picture viewer apps though, they're pretty terrible IMO.

Seriously, I'm finding very little to dislike about Windows 8 (the operating system) and a lot to like about it.

By hood6558 on 1/7/2013 8:41:37 PM , Rating: 1
I agree with your assessment; Windows 8 is better in enough ways that I'd feel I was missing something if I went back to 7. The start screen UI is useless on a desktop, but easily avoided with Start8 or a simple registry hack. I have a new Z77/i5/SSD system that runs smoother and faster on Windows 8, which was designed purposefully to take advantage of new memory controllers, fast SSDs, CPU architecture, chipset features, etc. I believe it's really the most "mature"
OS available, under the hood. Too bad all most people see is the teenage girl phone UI and instantly decide that it can't be any good in any way. Maybe it had to be done to stay with changing markets, that I can understand. But to not give the choice to eliminate or bypass the blatantly greed-inspired "Metro" and "Windows Store" aspect was a bad mistake. They could have been a hero had they given the choice, and the stupid store and all it's useless "apps" would have to live or die on it's own merits. I looked through a lot of apps trying to find anything worth using, tried 2 radio apps and a wiki app, all crashed or were so slow to load as to render them useless. But to pay money for these useless things would be utter stupidity. They need to separate the mobile side from the desktop side from the enterprise side, just as they have always done. Don't force the desktop team or the enterprise guys to work with kiddy toys.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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