If you rushed to download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview the minute it was available, this story probably isn’t for you. If you simply went “meh” when it became available and updated your Windows 7 security definitions, then apparently you’re in the vast majority. According to the analytics firm Net Applications, just about .11% of Internet users connected from a Windows 8 device last week, showing flat growth numbers from March. When compared with the same numbers during Windows 7’s Beta period in 2009, they’re at about the 40% mark.
This implies (but doesn’t assure) that people are less excited for Windows 8 than they were for Windows 7. There are many possible reasons for this. One, all the exciting changes in Windows 8 seems to be centered around the new ARM version called Windows RT. This version of the operating system still hasn’t been made available to the public – Microsoft is keeping it pretty tight between its OEM and design partners, since these machines will be sold more like appliances than computers, at least according to leading developers on the project.
But perhaps the biggest hurdle for pre-release Windows 8 adoption is the fact that Windows 7 is so solid. Even by the time Windows 7 betas and release candidates started popping up, the bad taste of Vista lingered in consumers’ mouths, giving them ample reason to try something that the previous version should have been. Windows 7 is indisputably the most solid, safe and easy to use consumer-facing operating system that Microsoft has ever produced – having a two-year beta named “Vista” will help with that. Could Windows 7 become the Windows XP of this decade, with a majority of desktop users refusing to upgrade for fear of losing their comfortable OS? We’ll see when Windows 8 machines begin hitting shelves this fall.