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

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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.