Stories of Windows 8’s poor showing in these early weeks following official release are inevitably doing the rounds. One such story which has been propagated across the net claims a Microsoft “insider” has divulged that sales to date have been “disappointing” and “well below projections”. I don’t put much store in any such anonymous third party sources myself. When names aren’t named information purportedly divulged becomes highly dubious, tantamount to rumor rather than fact.
That said, a much more reliable report from NewEgg, one of the world’s largest retailers of computers and components, suggests that sales to date have been ‘slow going’, and I have little doubt that Windows 8 has initially not received the warm welcome Microsoft was hoping for.
What I don’t understand is why everyone seems so surprised by Windows 8’s slow start. Warning… pat on the back coming up: Back in January this year I published Five fearless predictions for 2102, including this fearless prediction regarding Windows 8:
Windows 8 set to flop: Okay, that’s a pretty sweeping statement so let’s narrow it down a little. I predict that Windows 8 acceptance rate among desktop users will be pretty ordinary. For starters, I can’t see too many home PC users, who already have Windows 7 installed, coughing up the cash for an operating system which offers little more extra than an additional interface optimized for mobile devices.
Even less comprehensible are the constant comparisons being made between Windows 7 launch sales and those of Windows 8. Helloooo… Windows 7 was superseding that disastrously unpopular operating system known as Vista. On the other hand, Windows 7 has proved to be a very reliable, stable and popular operating system… the two scenarios are as disparate as chalk and cheese. I often wonder if some of these writers even consider the plain common sense involved or are just maybe chasing a ‘headline’.
So Windows 8 is off to a slow start… shock, horror. Logic dictated all along that this would in fact be the case. The NewEgg representative described Windows 8 sales as “slow and steadily improving“, and that’s exactly what prevailing circumstances indicated would be the most likely outcome.
I don’t recall any new Windows operating system instigating a similar level of opposing opinions as Windows 8. Only going back as far as XP; XP was [mostly] universally loved, Vista was [mostly] universally hated, Windows 7 has been [mostly] very popular. On the other hand, Windows 8 appears to have divided users into two distinct and contrasting camps. I’m almost certain that as more users migrate to Windows 8, and familiarization takes hold, there will be more and more favorable comments.
I have to admit, after installing and trying out Windows 8, I have changed my mind somewhat from those early predictions. Windows 8 desktop is not at all dissimilar to its predecessor, and actually offers a number of useful enhancements. Being a died-in-the-wool desktop user myself, I look at Metro, or whatever they are calling it today, as a nice big, highly configurable start menu… works for me!
In the end, I believe NewEgg’s comment pretty much sums up Windows 8’s immediate future… slow to start, steadily improving.