Survey shows Windows 8 early adopters prefer Windows 7, but are they Microsoft’s target audience?

windows 8 desktop pcThere’s just under one month to go before Microsoft puts Windows 8 on sale, and as most already know, it’s a dramatic change over previous editions of the PC operating system.

Radical changes to such an established product will inevitably divide fans, but one would expect Microsoft to still win over its dedicated, hardcore early adopters without too much trouble. This may not be the case though, and what’s more, it may not even want to.

A survey taken by Forumswindows8.com, a large online community offering support for Windows 8 users, shows that out of 50,000 people, 53-percent rank Windows 7 as their favorite Windows OS, while just 25-percent choosing Windows 8. Windows XP followed closely, as it took 20-percent of the vote.

Windows 7’s success was always going to be a thorn in Windows 8’s side, and it’s going to be difficult to lure everyone away from the best-selling version of Windows yet.

So what’s wrong with Windows 8, according to the survey? Strangely, it’s price at the top of the list, with 35-percent saying it’s Windows 8’s biggest weakness. A downloaded Windows 8 upgrade has been given a promotional price of $39 until January 2013, which is reasonable, and no other price has been confirmed yet. Microsoft’s Surface tablets are also price-less, as are many other Windows 8 devices.

The list continues with system requirements, incompatibility and instability all hovering around the 20-percent mark. This is a little concerning, because three of the major complaints leveled at Vista were incompatible software, bugs and hardware not being powerful enough to support it.

Is there any good news? Yes, at least half of those surveyed rank Windows 8’s easy installation and quick startup and shutdown times as major benefits, but Microsoft’s new Metro interface only gains 22-percent approval.

Changing customer base

What’s not clear though is how many are using Windows 8 on a touchscreen, which is not only where Microsoft appear to think the software is at its best, but also the focus of a high percentage of third-party manufacturers hardware. Also, only 26-percent of the 50,000 say they’ve actually used Windows 8, well behind Windows 7 and XP, at 75-percent and 58-percent respectively.

Does Forumswindows8.com’s survey show the effect of Microsoft shifting focus away from the established Windows way of doing things, to the more consumer-friendly approach offered by iOS and Android? Possibly so, as when asked, 35-percent of the surveyed members would buy a Surface tablet, 33-percent an Android and only 26-percent an iPad.

So how much weight does this survey carry? Well, judging by many of the posts, these are knowledgeable and tech-savvy folk, and you get the distinct impression that the respondents represent some of the most dedicated and valued members of Microsoft’s current customer base; but the definition of Microsoft’s most valued customer could change with the introduction of Windows 8, almost as drastically as the software itself.

Computing

Windows 7 support is ending soon, and Microsoft is here to nag you about it

Are you one of the millions of people still running Windows 7? If so, you might soon see a pop-up message from Microsoft appear on your screen, letting you know that the end of Windows 7 support is approaching.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.
Computing

Is 14 inches the perfect size for a laptop? These 4 laptops might convince you

If you're looking for the best 14-inch laptops, there are a number of factors to consider. You want good battery life, an attractive screen, solid performance, and a good build. Our favorites that do all that and more.
Gaming

Get Corsair’s best mechanical keyboard at a decent discount

From March 17 to 23, you can get one of the best mechanical keyboards around at a great price. The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is normally $200, but this week you can pick one up from Amazon for $160.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Need more from your conference white board? The Surface Hub 2 should have it

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Computing

Teens using Google Docs as the modern version of passing notes in class

Google Docs is reportedly being used by teens as a secret communications app. Instead of passing notes, students are now using the software's live chat function or comment boxes to talk with their friends while in the middle of classes.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Computing

Here’s how you can watch today’s Nvidia GTC 2019 keynote live

Nvidia's rumored 7nm Ampere graphics could debut soon. The company will be kicking off its GPU Technology conference at 2 p.m. PT today, Monday, March 18, and you can watch the opening keynote here.
Computing

After fourth attack, hacker puts personal records of 26M people up for sale

A serial hacker going by the name of Gnosticplayers is selling the personal data of 26 million people who have been using the services of six different companies from across the world.
Computing

HP’s Omen Mindframe headset keeps your ears chill, but might leave you lukewarm

The Omen Mindframe headset uses HP's FrostCap technology to keep ears cool during long gaming sections. While it delivers on keeping ears cool, it forgets some of the essentials of a quality gaming headset.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.