Report: Windows 8 Doomed; Win9 Beta Preview in Fall

Brandon Dimmel's picture

A new report suggests that when it comes to Windows 8, consumers continue to be very hesitant about upgrading to Microsoft's latest operating system - even two years after its release. That has led some experts to suggest that there's no hope left for Windows 8, leaving Windows 9 to carry the slack (reportedly due in the spring of 2015).

Windows 8 was released amid some controversy in the summer and fall of 2012. Perhaps the most debatable part of the operating system was its tile-based Metro user interface (now called "Modern"), which embraces touchscreen technology. It was part of Microsoft's attempt to expand its presence in the mobile market, but left many long-time Windows users very upset.

Windows 8's Market Share Dips: Report

Those frustrations have apparently left many consumers unsure about upgrading to Windows 8, and it shows in the operating system's market presence. According to a new report from market research firm Net Applications (which released a similar report on Internet Explorer's popularity last week), as of June 2014, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 account for just 12.5 per cent of the total desktop and notebook market. That's down from 12.6 per cent in May 2014.

Meanwhile, more than half (50.55 per cent) of all desktop and notebook users continue to use Windows 7, Windows 8's predecessor. Incredibly, one in four users still employ the decade-old Windows XP, which Microsoft no longer supports, despite major security risks.

But it's not all bad news for Microsoft, which continues to dominate the PC operating system market. That's especially true, considering that Apple's Mac OS X operating system currently accounts for just under 4 per cent of the market. (Source:

Corporations Reticent to Embrace Windows 8

Still, the market share decline of Windows 8 is reason for concern. Computerworld editor Preston Gralla points to the widespread refusal of corporations to buy computers equipped with Windows 8 as the major reason for its continuing struggles. In fact, many enterprise users continue to buy machines running Windows 7.

"There's no hope that Windows 8 will ever be a success ... even Microsoft recognizes that," Gralla says. "So as things stand now, Windows 8 seems to be the worst operating system Microsoft has ever released. Few will miss it when it's gone." (Source:

Windows 9 Beta Preview Due This Fall

Reports suggest that Microsoft is to release Windows 9 Preview in the fall of 2014 and is due to be available to consumers sometime in the spring of 2015. It's speculated that the preview release will come shortly after Windows 8.1 Update 2 is delivered to existing Windows 8 machines.

It's also said that Microsoft will not be bringing the Start Menu back with Windows 8.1 Update 2, but is instead planning to deliver that change with Threshold, otherwise known as Windows 9. In short, Threshold will bridge the gap between Windows 7 and 8 by bringing many new features tailored toward desktop PC users that primarily use mouse and keyboard, and optionally touch-based technology. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Are you surprised that Windows 8's market share is actually declining, even after Microsoft terminated security support for Windows XP? Have you been satisfied with the changes offered in Windows 8.1? What do you think Microsoft needs to do with its next operating system (codenamed "Threshold") to win consumers back?

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Comments's picture

I tried Windows 8 and hated it. I looked forward to 8.1 and that brought more problems. I finally went back to Windows 7 and it works perfectly. From the description of Windows 9 it looks like MS woke up.
A lot of us like regular desktop computers.

colgarcia57_2623's picture

I agree that win 8 was a shocker, but my major shock was in having to change what I was use to doing on my pc. Lenova provided me a start button of sorts which helped. I did think that 8 was a very stable system. Win 8.1 is easier to use than 8, but maintains and even strengthens the enhanced stability. I don't necessarily like the tiles "a-la"
mobile devices, but what was MS to do, just wait for a new generation of finger sliders?

I'm also awaiting what I feel sure will be improvements in Win 9.


doulosg's picture

I absolutely detest Windows 7. (I call it's circular arrow cursor "the flying a$$hole.") If Win 8 is worse, that's got to be a pile of garbage!

It's actually not surprising that so many people continue to use XP. Microsoft finally got Windows right (as right as Windows can be gotten) with SP 3. It's been downhill from there. If I wasn't tied to a corporate upgrade program, I'd probably still be using it myself.

And other than Win 7's (non-)performance, my biggest complaint about the OS is that it has changed the locations of output file storage to places that only bear some relationship to the Win XP folder structure. It isn't that I don't want to use the new structure; it's just not worth the effort to move years' worth of working files going back to Windows NT. Some of us have been around a long time and use Windows as a front end and/or repository for a lot of other systems.

delinwales_2690's picture

I cannot understand the vehemence with which some people attack Windows 8. Certainly I loved Windows XP and thought at the time that it was the best operating system there was. I didn't like Windows 7 mainly I guess because I create and use stationery and the ease with which I could do so with Windows XP was gone. However with Windows 8.1 you have all the safety of the best operating system plus the fact that anybody who knows anything at all can easily install Windows Mail which came with Vista and is virtually the same as Outlook Express to use together with virtually any program that was used previously. It seems to me that so many people are frightened to try anything new and give it a fair chance. I have yet to hear of any comment from any experienced person against Windows 8. Of course nobody liked the metro screen but that was easily removed. If I have any gripes it would be that the operating system is too safe and you have to do something and then always confirm you want to do it before it will let you change anything important to the safety of the system.

Commenter's picture


I have personally used Windows 8 at home for close to 2 years. I also work in an enterprise environment where we support both Windows 7 and Windows 8 users.

You are now hearing from an experienced person who dislikes Windows 8. I sure hope Windows 9 is put together by people who've done some research into what users want. I don't think I can stand dealing with another mess like Windows 8.

grump3_2709's picture

After XP it seems to me that Microsoft decided to dumb down their releases in aid of so-called 'extra security' as well as re-naming & re-locating once familiar features ever deeper in endles sub-menus.
No, we didn't consider Vista's email app an improvement on OE (IMO Thunderbird is a better option) & despite purchasing new W7 & W8 PCs we went back to XP.
Also not 'frightened to try anything new' since the demise of XP support we've switched to Linux Mint, a far more pleasant all round experience than W8.

Douglas Godbey's picture

I'm wondering what Microsoft learned from all this. From my view point, it was a release of technology-dependent OS features before the technology was in general use (ie. TouchScreen). When only a few use it, it seems a slap in the face for the crowds that don't use it. Blue Sky engineering is neat and cool, but they forgot who they were selling to. Attempting to DRIVE the Market Place like that hurts way too many folks. Who? The consumers that have fallen in love with the hologram logo Microsoft stamps the product with. The thought, "If it's from Microsoft, it HAS to be good." has mislead thousands? into thinking things are cool a easy. Then you have the Fanboys who trumpet glowing tales of "lookie, lookie, neat and cool stuff". When you get down to the nuts and bolts types, the horrible truth starts gushing out and the War is over! You also have to consider the losses suffered by the computer makers. They don't make money on systems that don't sell!

In the past, the Redmond Gang came up with some really neat ideas that were dropped because the consumers weren't ready or had no real need for them. Windows 8.X fell into that specific abyss. If the consumer doesn't trust the product, no amount of 'force' is going to change their minds.

Windows 8.X WAS a good idea, it just wasn't executed well, at all. Now we need to be looking towards Windows 9! Will it be a "second verse, same as the first" or will it be a similar step up as XP to Win 7, but a whole lot better? Time alone will tell.

jleach728_2693's picture

I read M$ is to detect the hardware it's being setup on and display desktop or touchy-feely crap-face. About time Linux can teach M$ something, too bad they probably won't get the credit for it.

jcgrande's picture

For me, Win 8 was too much of a change. I never had any problems migrating from one Windows version to another, change were incremental and you could always navigate around and discover the improvements. Some versions were good (XP) and some not so good (Vista), I currently use Win 7 Pro and like it a lot. I tried Win 8 when it first came out, I could not find things and found it hard to navigate and couldn't make, in my mind, a logical sense to it. I won't buy a new PC with Windows 8, if I buy a new PC I'll run it with Win 7, hopefully Win 9 will sort this out. I will wait and see. Also, I am not a casual user, I'm a retired Desktop Support Tech with over 15 years with a large medical institution.

jsalome2003's picture

I will not use windows 8, still have windows xp and am working on getting a computer with windows 7.

cmdrcody5_2699's picture

I purchased Win 8 Pro but hesitated to install it precisely because I did not possess or plan on purchasing a Touch Screen monitor. Reading all the press, I am glad I hesitated and consider my Win 7 adequate until the Win 9 is published. I will just write off my purchase of Win 8 as another bad investment.

kepykay's picture

My mother, who is in her 80s, recently bought a tablet with Win8. It is her first "computer" and she loves it. She likes to swipe and whatnot. She took some lessons and she uses the UI as if there was nothing else. She now emails and looks up the bus timetable on the internet. And she skypes.

I'm a Windows user. From Win98 onwards. I liked the look of XP but not the feel and I am soooo happy with Win7. But I cannot get used to the Win8 interface.

I don't really know what all this is supposed to mean...

Don Cook's picture

Windows 9 should have all the features of Windows 7 + most of the features of Windows 8.1 & any other upgrades worthy of installing. So both older non touch screens & new tablets can use the new system.

ronangel1's picture

Apart from driver problems and no start menu win 8 seems to work about the same as win 7 apart from some programs which is very annoying. All I have had to do is add startisback which is something Microsoft should have done for people using without touch screens. Had to use, as came with new laptop and would have had to pay lot more with win 7. Could not be bothered. Had to disable secure boot to run duel ubuntu/win system on same laptop but no other serious problems. My choice would still be win 7.

grump3_2709's picture

And the demise of XP support we finally made the effort to switch all our PCs over to Linux Mint.
Several months later we couldn't be happier to finally be free of Microsoft & the constant malware patching.

tmcd's picture

I felt like the new UI in Windows 8.0/8.1 was less productive than the UI in Win7 or WinXP. On a tablet it was "ok", but I never felt it was a "must have." I never adopted 8.x for my day to day use.

I have had great success with Windows 7. The 64-bit Pro version on a reasonable dual core machine with 8GB of memory will allow a lot of programs to multitask in a familiar environment.

I wish Microsoft would worry less about adding fancy UI features and just keep whittling away at the bugs and optimizing existing features and operations. I would still happily pay upgrade fees every year or so to get constant improvements.

darylhutchins's picture

This W8 thing is getting so tiresome. There are so many interesting things to discuss in computing.

I honestly don't know what possessed the geniuses at M$ to presume that everyone on the planet was going to run out and buy touch-screens to suit their new toy. But I am presuming that the Marketing Department had far too much to say in it, as they do in all companies these days.

If you have bought a W8 machine, sans touch-screen, then install a Free Start Button program and get on with your life. You'll be back in W7 Land, probably with some improved nuts and bolts you don't even want to know about.

If you feel the need to carry-on about bad M$ operating systems, what about ME and Vista? I'm sure you'll find that most people who have upgraded to W8 came from Vista, which was unbelievably bad. Not many W7 owners would have moved "up" because there is no obvious advantage, and therefore no reason to do so.

Had W8 been a free upgrade (with a Start Button), IT commentators would have had to find something that actually matters to stir the pot with for the past two years.

PS: semi-retired now, but spent many years working in various areas of IT supporting and using a variety of systems (and combinations of) even before the dawn of DOS.

chuck's picture

Call me stupid but why can't Windows bring back windows XP with new updates and support it. All new computers could have the XP system and that would sell. They could call it windows XP.1.