Poor Windows 8 Download Numbers Show People Don’t Want Microsoft’s Toaster-Fridge


Windows 8 running on a notebook (image by Intel)
Windows 8 running on a notebook (image by Intel)

When asked about Microsoft’s attempt to converge its mobile and desktop platforms into a single Windows 8 release, Tim Cook responded with an analogy of trying to converge a toaster and a refrigerator. If interest in Microsoft’s Consumer Preview release of Windows 8 is any guide, it seems that the public might agree with him.

According to Net Applications, a web analytics company, only a very small fraction of devices connecting to the Internet were running the preview – just 0.11% (or 11 out of every 10,000).

According to PCWorld , that’s notably less than the number of devices running Windows 7’s preview release at the same point in Microsoft’s development and release process. While the percentage was still very small for Windows 7 at 0.26% (or 26 out of 10,000) overall, it was more than double the amount of people currently trying out Windows 8.

There are a handful of reasons that may explain why Windows 8 preview hasn’t gotten a lot of interest:

  • Users don’t like the new Metro interface and want to avoid it as long as possible
  • Windows 7 is a much more solid release than Vista – and unlike Vista isn’t something people want to dump as soon as they’re able
  • Microsoft isn’t advising enterprises to skip over the current version of Windows as it told companies still running XP to skip Vista entirely when Windows 7 was close to being released
  • Microsoft hasn’t released a solid launch timeline for Windows 8
  • Windows RT for low-cost ARM-based tablets aimed to compete with the iPad is a different release from Windows 8 for PCs and likely won’t be included in any preview releases before tablets running it ship later this year
  • Users simply don’t like the forced marriage between a touch-oriented mobile OS and a desktop platform that hasn’t had such a dramatic change in well over a decade

Of course, it’s also possible that interest in the iPad and/or Apple’s Mountain Lion release are impacting interest in Windows 8 or RT tablet releases.

Whatever the reasons for the lower interest in Windows 8 compared to Windows 7, it will be interesting to see if initial adoption numbers turn out similar results.

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  • Ben Spear

    don’t get all high and mighty it was found last week that twice as many people use windows 8 than mountain lion preview

  • Ronald Stepp

    The Preview is real confusing if you have been using traditional Windows versions. Having to jump around from metro-style to desktop and remembering how to do it are a pain, plus I myself don’t have a hotmail account so its really annoying to be constantly nagged to create one to use all the tiles.

    I was also looking at it from my mom’s point of view, she is absolutely resistant to change, she has all the programs she uses set up exactly a certain way and asking her to completely relearn how to use Windows is like asking a Republican to vote for Nancy Pelosi for President. She just wants to use her programs, and expects Windows to stay the hell out of her way.

  • blargle

    don’t get all high and mighty it was found last week that twice as many people use windows 8 than mountain lion preview

    …this would be the same Mountain Lion preview that is only available to paid up developers as opposed to the PUBLIC release of Windows 8 Toaster Fridge, right?

  • Toffenuff

    Ever considered the fact that people don’t want to download the preview because it’s a beta? Why would you download an unproven potentially unstable beta release of an operating system when you have a perfectly stable and functioning one. This is especially important given that most people have only one computer and thus their main machine will have all their data on it – something that people would not want to mess with by downloading a “preview.” They would much rather wait for the stable actual release.

    I for one am excited about Windows 8 and, while different, the Metro UI seems pretty cool and useful to me. But I havent downloaded the preview for the reasons I stated above.

  • markrlangston

    don’t get all high and mighty it was found last week that twice as many people use windows 8 than mountain lion preview

    To follow “blargle’s” point, remember that there are still scores more Windows users out there than Mac users. Compound that with the $99 annual Developer fee and you have a some very low numbers for Win8.

    Still, that doesn’t mean that Win8 will be a complete failure. Similar to how the iPad turned the computing industry on its head, it’s within the realm of possibility that Win8 will be a rousing success.

    Tim Cook should be careful what he says. Everyone doubted Steve Jobs time and again and he proved them all wrong. Microsoft could be on the brink of following suit with a breakthrough product that finally gives Apple some real competition.

    On the other hand, it could prove to be such a dynamic shift that it scares people away.

  • nameoda

    This article ignores the most important reason: “Devices connecting to the internet” can be smartphones, MP3 devices and so on. There are literally hundreds of millions more devices connecting to the internet today, than there were 3 years ago when Windows 7 beta was released. Windows 8 cannot be installed on most such devices connecting to the internet.

  • rtggamer
  • 4Tiles

    This headline is false. Windows 8 beta usage is more than twice that of Windows 7 beta:


    And Windows 8 beta has more than double the usage of Mac OS X Lion:


  • Sugadevan

    Windows 8 beta usage is more than twice that of Windows 7 beta!! so, stop trolling :)