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

Microsoft drops Surface Go price to $350 for Black Friday week

The Microsoft Surface Go convertible tablet has seen a large price drop this Black Friday sales season, lowering the base model to $350 and even the upgraded ones have seen $50 knocked off of their asking price.
Computing

Windows Update not working after October 2018 patch? Here’s how to fix it

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

Windows 10 notifications driving you crazy? Here's how to get them under control

Are the notifications on Windows 10 annoying you? Here's our guide on how to turn off notifications in Windows, and how to manage alerts so that the important stuff still gets through.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

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.
Computing

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Computing

Razer takes up to $500 off of its Blade gaming laptops for Black Friday

If you're a fan of Razer's understated aesthetics that earned the Blade comparisons with Apple's laptops, you can score some big savings on Black Friday, as Razer is offering up to $500 discounts off of its gaming notebooks.
Computing

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Buying Guides

Solid-state drives are speedier than hard disk drives. Are they worth it?

As the price of solid-state drives comes down, it's reached a point where it's hard to recommend a system without at least a hybrid solution. In the battle of SSD vs. HDD, a clear winner has emerged.
Computing

Service restored after glitch locks out Microsoft Office 365 business users

Microsoft reported that a problem with its system caused some users to be locked out of their accounts. Because the multifactor authentication system went down globally, some Office 365 and Azure users were unable to log in.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Deals

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…
Computing

Want to game on your Chromebook? Here's where to start

Chromebooks aren't great for gaming, but there are a few titles that most machines can run. There's a surprisingly diverse crowd that includes role-playing games, action side-scrollers, and puzzlers.