Despite what you might read online (it happens on our sites, too), Windows 8 isn’t quite the daring endeavor that most critics make it out to be.
For many, it’s simply the next version of Windows.
For still others, it isn’t even that.
According to a recent poll conducted on behalf of the AP, Microsoft’s newest operating system wasn’t on the minds of many US consumers, with a whopping 52% of respondents admitting that they had never even heard of the operating system. It’s surprising that the number isn’t higher. The Internet can be a substantial echo chamber at times, a fact which is easy to forget.
A further 37% of people had heard “A little” about the new OS, while only 9% knew “A lot”. Perhaps more damning than those numbers was a question that asked for clarification. Individuals who had heard of Windows 8 were then asked how interested in the software they were – a startling 61% of these users were either not too or not interested at all in Windows 8.
Even though the survey respondents didn’t seem to be too interested in Windows 8 specifically, they spoke positively of Windows and Microsoft in general. Seventy-eight percent of people had either a desktop or laptop in the home, and 80% of these machines ran Windows.
Moreover, while Apple scored a ‘total favorable’ response from 59% of people, Microsoft is right there with 58%.HP and Dell were also investigated, with only 44% and 43% of people scoring them at the highest level; Dell also had the dubious honor of garnering the most ‘total unfavorable’ votes with 16% of callers – Apple scored 9%, while Microsoft only 8%.
In the end, it doesn’t matter too much whether people have heard of Windows 8. They’ve heard of Windows, and when they go to pick up a new PC, as they inevitably will, they’ll purchase one with Windows 8.
Among early adopters, at least, Windows 8 seems to be faring better. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced this morning that since the official launch on Friday, more than 4 million users have purchased and downloaded an upgrade for Windows 8. Some of those numbers are helped by the promotional pricing of the new OS: recent purchasers of a Windows 7 computer can trade up for just $15, while anyone running a copy of Windows from XP to 7 can upgrade for just $40.