Amped up for the release of Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 8? If so, then you’re a member of a very exclusive club.
That’s because, with just three weeks to go until Windows 8′s official launch, only 33 in 10,000 people are using Windows 8.
Well, Windows 8 is available right now in Release to Manufacturing (or RTM) form. Many developers, businesses, and IT administrators have been given the chance to use a near-final build of the OS.
The same was true for Windows 7, which launched in 2009.
And here’s how the two match up: in the month before its release, Windows 7 was used on 1.64 per cent of all Windows-based computers. By comparison, Windows 8 is currently running on just 0.33 per cent of all Windows PCs.
What that means is that five times more people were excited enough about Windows 7 to install an early build of the OS.
It also means that Microsoft could be in for a big (and not at all pleasant) surprise when Windows 8 launches on October 26. (The company has a New York City global launch event slated for that day.)
So, what’s the problem?
Windows 8, unlike Windows 7, takes the Windows operating system in a very new direction. Microsoft is introducing a new, tile-based interface (originally known as “Metro”) that optimizes performance on touchscreen devices, like tablets and smartphones.
But the interface-formerly-known-as-Metro is a bit intimidating for people (including home and business users) who prefer to use laptop and desktop PCs.
That’s why analyst firm Gartner recently predicted that Windows 8 will never acquire more than a 20 to 25 per cent share of the lucrative enterprise market.