With less than a month to go until the official launch of Windows 8, consumers don’t appear to be jumping on the Metro… oops, Modern bandwagon with as much enthusiasm as they had making the switch from Vista to Windows 7.
Only 0.33 percent — or 33 out of every 10,000 PCs — currently run a Preview version or RTM trial of Windows 8, Computerworld reports, citing statistics from metrics firm Net Applications. At the same point to the release of Windows 7, 1.64 percent of all Windows PCs were running the upcoming operating system. That’s a full five times more than Windows 8 adoptees — and the gap between early Windows 7 adoption and early Windows 8 adoption is actually increasing as October 26th draws closer.
Windows 8’s current adoption number stand at the same percentage Windows 7 held six months before that operating systems launch. At that point, the Windows 7 Release Candidate wasn’t even available yet and the final RTM version was a far-off milestone.
Microsoft hopes to stimulate sales of the new operating system with an aggressive pricing structure out of the gate for early buyers, highlighted by a Windows 8 Pro upgrade that costs just $40 for current Windows users.
Simple customer satisfaction may be part of the reason for consumer hesitation; Windows 7 was the follow up to the widely panned Windows Vista. Many people consider Windows 7 to be the best version of Windows ever released, while early reaction to Windows 8’s tiled, touch-focused interface has been decidedly mixed, with one expert going so far as to call the Modern/Desktop switching “a cognitive burden.”
The new UI is sure to be a stumbling point for adoption rates. The question is whether the mass mainstream market will be willing take the time to get used to a completely new design.