Early Adoption Rate: Windows 8 Far Behind Windows 7

Dennis Faas's picture

The official launch of the Windows 8 operating system (OS) is just a few weeks away. However, given early adoption numbers for the OS, Microsoft may be in for a major disappointment.

According to industry research firm Net Applications, in September 2012 only 0.33 per cent of computers running Windows (or about one Windows computer in 300) were using Windows 8.

Initially, this may not appear to be a significant statistic. After all, Windows 8 won't be released to the wider public until October 26.

Windows 8 Early Adoption Rate Hardly Impressive

However, it is currently available in Release to Manufacturing (RTM) form for developers, IT administrators, and businesses with special volume-based licenses.

The same was true for Windows 7 prior to its release three years ago. And in the month leading up to the launch of that OS, Net Applications reported that approximately 1.64 per cent of all Windows PCs were running Windows 7.

Do the math: Windows 8's early adoption rate is almost exactly one-fifth that of Windows 7. (Source: computerworld.com)

Many believe this does not bode well for Microsoft. The software giant is taking a big gamble by releasing Windows 8 so soon after the launch of Windows 7, which has always received extremely positive reviews.

Numbers Support Gartner Prediction

The early adoption numbers also appear to support the view of industry analyst firm Gartner, which recently predicted that Windows 8 would never account for more than 20 to 25 per cent of the enterprise market share.

Windows 8's saving grace may be that it will be installed on a number of new and popular hardware devices, including tablet computers like Microsoft's very own Surface slate.

Other hardware makers, including Asus, Acer, and Lenovo, are also planning to release Windows 8-based tablet PCs around or soon after the new operating system's late October launch.

So far, early reviews of Windows 8 have been mixed.

Computerworld's Preston Gralla says that, when used on tablet PCs, it's "a winner." (Source: computerworld.com)

However, a usability expert some months ago ripped the new OS, saying it was a "cognitive burden" when used on laptop and desktop PCs. (Source: laptopmag.com)

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