Technologizer

It’s Too Early to Judge Early Windows 8 Sales

Windows blogger Paul Thurrott is reporting that Microsoft is disappointed by Windows 8 sales to date. It shouldn't obsess over them.

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Three weeks after Windows 8′s launch, Windows guru/newshound Paul Thurrott says that one of his Microsoft sources has confided that the new software isn’t meeting the company’s sales expectations. Thurrott gives several explanations, including:

Windows 8. It’s a floor wax. No, it’s a dessert topping. Microsoft’s new whatever-the-F-it-is operating system is a confusing, Frankenstein’s monster mix of old and new that hides a great desktop upgrade under a crazy Metro front-end. It’s touch-first, as Microsoft says, but really it’s touch whether you want it or not (or have it or not), and the firm’s inability to give its own customers the choice to pick which UI they want is what really makes Windows 8 confounding to users. I actually like Windows 8 quite a bit and can’t imagine switching back. But I do understand the complaints of customers who aren’t getting what they wanted or asked for.

I don’t know if Microsoft anticipated that Windows 8 would be an instant hit. But it’s such a radical departure from any version of Windows before it that I’m not the least bit surprised by the possibility that relatively few consumers are rushing to be early adopters. Even people who are intrigued are going to think this one over. And for most of them, there’s no particular reason to get Windows 8 until there are more Windows 8 applications.

Windows 8 was never (primarily) about driving PC sales for the 2012 holiday season. It’s a long bet on a future in which most PCs have touch capability and many of them are tablets. As such, any current conclusions about how it’s doing are hopelessly premature.

17 comments
sremani
sremani

I have installed Windows 8 on my Desktop, I like metro. But to fully use Windows 8 capabilities one would need a touchscreen. So, I am saving up to buy a touchscreen monitor.

I know re-learning can be a problem, but if people take a few minutes to learn the OS, it will pay dividends and save lot of agony.

WayneBorean
WayneBorean

Harry,

I'm going to disagree with you. The OS itself might be good, or even great.

The issue is that it is the wrong product. Merging the desktop with mobile doesn't make any sense from a design standpoint. They are two different form factors, with different requirements, and need different interfaces.

Using the same basic kernel and basic API set, to give commonality for developers where possible makes sense. Implementing a "One Size Fits All" design means that you end up with something that doesn't fit anything.

Wayne

SactoMan81
SactoMan81

The problem with Windows 8 is that it's TOO radical a change when it comes to the interface. After all, if you put the displays of Windows 95 and Windows 7 side-by-side, you see a surprising amount of common, familiar design elements--especially the Task Bar with its icons and Start button.

But I expect Windows 8 to get better, especially since Microsoft has said they will "slipstream" in a lot of interface improvements without needing a whole new version of the OS.

whvholst
whvholst

@ruudj @Techland Men stond ooit in de rij voor Windows 95...

shameermulji
shameermulji

I agree with John Gruber's viewpoint regarding Windows 8;

"But why put the touch/tablet UI on all PCs? A touch-optimized UI makes nomore sense for a non-touch desktop than a desktop UI makes for a tablet. Applehas it right: a touch UI for touch devices, a pointer UI for pointer (trackpad,mouse) devices. Windows 8 strikes me as driven by dogma — “one Windows,everywhere”."

Not saying he's right or wrong, just that I agree with viewpoint.

outlaw481
outlaw481

Not me i like to be able to point and click. Why waste money on new software when the old software works fine.  I am not in that big of a hurry where I can not wait an extra 30 seconds for something to load up. Just another way for Microsoft to make money, I see no advantage to windows 8.

Taxpayer
Taxpayer

+2.  Just bought a new Win 8 pc and so did my neice.

dovellonsky
dovellonsky

@edbott @harrymccracken @thurrott Although Windows 8 runs fine in older PCs, the new operating system born for the new hardware TOUCH

SagarJacky
SagarJacky

Paul Thurrott just redesigned his site and placed some ads on it. Now he wants some traffic and ad clicks.

lasumbra
lasumbra

You both are sheep. It sucks. Want a real innovative UI that allows for touch? Try Ubuntu.

QrlyRedHed
QrlyRedHed

I switched to Windows 8 as well and am loving it.

My Dell Inspiron 1550 Laptop that's nearing its 3rd year came pre-installed with Windows 7, and it took 1~2 minutes to boot (I kept my computer fairly clean with minimal startup programs). Now, with Windows 8, the longest time I have every seen it take to boot has been about 30 seconds, with it's average time-to-boot 10-20 seconds maximum. Having 2 monitors, it allows me to interact with the Metro UI as well as my old, classic desktop. 

While some diehard fans condemn this new OS as a hindrance to multitasking, on the contrary. The snap feature in Metro and the classic, fully compatible desktop makes for triple the multitasking. And if you are a true hater on Metro, you can completely bypass Metro UI and simply stick with the desktop (except for start ups, you'll have to switch upon logging into your machine). And with the desktop, have improved security and tremendously more stable performance.

Also another major complaint is the absence of the Start Menu, but again, on the contrary. You see, the Start Menu has been updated and improved to a much-needed Start Screen. The start menu, while a sort of staple in the Windows world, needed to be improved to ensure the survivability of Microsoft as a world-wide competitor. "Well how do I find my programs/files"? Simple. Right-click the start screen and an option of "Show All Apps" appears, showing all Metro apps as well as desktop apps. In short, the Start Menu was bland, confusing to the untrained eye, and frankly just outdated.

While there is a bit of a learning curve, once you give it a try you will get the hang of it. Windows 8 is an entirely new Operating System in design, while still staying true to it's fundamental, Windows structure. And as Microsoft keeps updating Windows 8, I anticipate it getting better and better; designed and customizable to both Mouse+Keyboard as well as touch. My only major complaints are relating to exactly that. I would like an option to enable the Charms Bar, so it doesn't just disappear after you move your mouse away from it. I would also like an option to permanently display the Start Screen (Metro-UI) on one monitor and desktop on another monitor (essentially signing Monitors to perform in a certain way). That way one is solely for desktop-work and the other is for added performance. My third complaint is the anemic Windows Store. Compared to Google Play and Apple's App Store, Windows Store has little to offer. Also, why would I pay $5.00 to install Angry Birds Space on the Windows Store when I could download it on Google Play for free? Little things like that will drive away consumers. Make apps as free and as accessible as possible and Windows 8 significantly improves. 

Of course, all things with time. We likely won't see Windows 8 SP1 until the summer of 2014, so there is all the time in the world to improve and to stabilize. Especially the app store. As Microsoft continually opens its doors to developers, more and more will develop apps. This is not even a month into launch, we have all the time on our hands. And Windows 8 will be the only thing on laptops for the next 3-4 years, so I suspect consumers will loosen up to it (as long as Microsoft makes its system more customizable to suit consumers' needs. OS's are supposed to work with you, not against you). So while it is a pivotal moment for the longevity of Microsoft, I foresee nothing but improvement in the near future. 

As a final note: Microsoft has invested over 2 Billion dollars on this powerful Operating System, it's development was started before Windows 7 even launched. With that amount of time and money invested in such a program, I would too invest in a copy. Clearly, we haven't seen the full potential of Windows 8. Windows 7 was simply a refurbished, faster-performing Windows XP. Microsoft cannot expect to maintain its worldly status by making "newer" versions of the same operating systems. Windows 8 is truly ingenious, and in my opinion, a step in the right direction. 

aelfwyne
aelfwyne

I switched. Not looking back.

It is lightning fast, even on older hardware like my laptop (Acer 5920 core 2 duo with 2gb ram), and even better on my quad core AMD desktop.

Start Menu? I hardly knew ye! I've been using start search since the Vista pre release. Start menu spam is something I've been avoiding for over half a decade. Good riddance.

Metro UI apps are a bit "wahuh?" on a desktop at times, but you can totally ignore them and you STILL have a great update to Windows. The better and more robust file management is worth it alone to me.

SagarJacky
SagarJacky

@QrlyRedHed 

There are tons of free start menu restoring utilities available for those who can't live without it. These utilities are far more capable than the traditional start menu ever was. Some will let you boot directly into the desktop bypassing metro and even disable the hot corners in desktop mode.

Hitch_Lives
Hitch_Lives

@QrlyRedHed 

Are you Microsoft's mother? Because only a mother could love Windows 8 so much. And let me fix your comparison of Windows versions: "...Windows 8 is simply a refurbished, glossed-up annoyance of Windows 7."

Windows 8 is FAR closer to Win 7 than 7 is to XP. The fact you state the opposite leads to serious credibility problems with the remainder of your arguments.

QrlyRedHed
QrlyRedHed

@Hitch_Lives @QrlyRedHed One could also make the same argument, and I believe some did, that Windows 7 was "simply a refurbished, glossed-up annoyance of Windows XP". The two operating systems in my eyes were essentially the same. But we're all entitled to our own opinions. 

dallapiazzaavery
dallapiazzaavery

@QrlyRedHed @Hitch_Lives If were going to say that then actually Windows hasn't changed since Windows 95.  So since all of you don't like Windows 8 then stay with one of those outdated versions.  ||  As for me I'll go with the new Windows 7.2 Modified GUI.