Windows 8: slow pre-launch adoption rate

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 2, 2012
Windows, Windows 8

If you want to know how well Windows 8 is doing when it comes to the operating system's adoption rate pre-launch, you best compare it to the adoption rate of previous Microsoft operating system. That's what Computer World did and they discovered that Windows 8's adoption rate pre-launch is a lot weaker than that of Windows 7. Statistics have been taken from Net Applications, a company that is monitoring operating system market shares among other things.

According to the statistics, Windows 8 has a market share of about 0.3% one month before launch. Windows 7's market share on the other hand was five times as high at the same time.

Some may take this as an indicator that the operating system will do rather poorly when it is released, at least when it is compared to Windows 7's performance during its first few years after release.It is likely that Windows 8 won't be as successful as Windows 7, but that does not mean that it won't fulfill a crucial task for Microsoft. The core reason why Windows 8 is what it is is the tablet and mobile computing market which Microsoft has more or less been exempt from due to a lack of capable operating system.

windows 8 market share
via Computer World

If Windows 8 can open the doors to the tablet market wide open for Microsoft, then it has fulfilled what it has been designed to do. The desktop operating system market, the core market for Microsoft, is relatively safe in the company's hands. Customers who do not want Windows 8 can buy Windows 7, a well received operating system and a worthy successor of the company's own Windows XP system for which support will end in 2014.

It is unlikely that the overall Windows market share in the global operating system market will take a huge dip, and even if it does take a dip, gains in the tablet market will make more than up for it.

Another aspect that has not been mentioned yet is that pre-launch conditions are different. Windows 7 came at a time when it became clear that Vista would never match the success of the Windows XP operating system. Many customers wanted a modern operating system and Windows 7 turned out be exactly that. Windows 8 on the other hand is the successor of one of the most popular Microsoft operating systems in history. It is likely that existing Windows 7 users may not be that interested in upgrading their operating system to Windows 8 than Windows XP or Vista users were when Windows 7 started to become available.

In short: Windows 8 may not perform as well as Windows 7, even if you factor the 2014 end of support for Windows XP and the promotional offers to upgrade into the equation.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Gonzo said on October 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    More importantly the interest in new devices will be low.

    – The cheapest Win RT tablet announced is $599.
    – Lack of new Netbooks (a niche that Windows once ruled)
    – Overpriced Ultrabooks that compete directly with a MacBook (they’ll never win this battle).

    These “new” offerings just aren’t attractive. I can’t get excited about Win 8 on my PC, Win RT on a tablet or Ultrabooks/Sleekbooks.

    The netbook was killed in order to sell Ultrabooks, BAD MOVE!!
    Win RT priced above iOS and Android, BAD MOVE!!
    Windows 8 resistance to the traditional desktop experience, BAD MOVE!!

    Unless x86 tablets succeed, Win 8/RT will be a massive failure.

    Martin, Vista/7 marked the beginning of when a dual core CPU and HW acceleration were needed for basic web browsing (h.264 Flash video). It was more about the NEED for new hardware than the desire for a new OS!

    Win 8 hardware will be sold to those who’s current hardware breaks in the next 3 years. Judging from their offerings sales will be steady but declining.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      I’m pretty sure that WindowsRT tablets will start at a lower price than $599. I’m still expecting Microsoft’s Surface RT to start between $299 and $399.

      1. Gonzo said on October 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm

        Acers two RT tablets are listing for $999 and $1199. Lenovo has one listed for $799.

        The Surface hardware is almost identical to the Asus Transformer Prime which is currently selling without a dock for $459 at Amazon. The dock costs an additional $136. I expect a Surface with dock to cost at least $599. I can’t imagine it selling for less than $499.

        What makes you believe otherwise?

  2. Claude LaFrenière said on October 3, 2012 at 5:51 am

    This is not astonishing: the basic condition to appreciate the features of Windows 8 Modern UI is to use it with a Touch Screen and presently very few PC users including corporate users have a PC with such technology.

    The adoption will follow the sales of PC equipped with Touch Screen: in the present economical condition in U.S.A. how many users and corporations are ready to invest money in such technology only to have the opportunity to put their (dirty ;-) ) fingers in the PC screen? :-/

    MS don’t listen users: they removed the Start button, forbid to boot directly to the desktop instead of Modern UI and so on. In the same time developers are starting to offer utilities to enable he features users wants and rejected by MS to push Modern UI in our throat. This is my PC and I would have the opportunity to choose the environment I want: command line, desktop and (eventually) Modern UI …

    I’m a Windows 7 (and Suse Linux) happy user and waiting for Windows 9
    (Hmmm… not so sure now: may be looking for a MAC instead…) :-/

  3. Jasnzl said on October 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Agreed. The new Vista. Plus is looks like a day-glo Fisher Price system.

  4. anony said on October 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Wow, I wonder why.

  5. Raton said on October 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Beeing a natural born msoft hater i must say that w8 is a huge step…there are at least 2 new features wich will render 60% of the pc technicians useless:)
    server 2012+ w8 is a beautifull combination.

    1. JohnMWhite said on October 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      What are these features, then? I’m guessing you mean System Refresh/Restore but I’m not sure. I have my reservations about them – System Restore in XP/Vista/7 tended to do more harm than good, and most users who don’t know how to refresh their system on their own will still be terrified of pressing a button to do it.

  6. Threshold said on October 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    So, in perfect Microsoft tradition, Windows 8 will bomb but Windows 9 will be a smashing success.
    One good operating system, one bad.

  7. Vista8 Sucks said on October 2, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Windows 8 is the new Vista

    Avoid it like the plague

    1. john said on October 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      Vista8 Sucks, thanks for your valuable insight.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.