Microsoft announced last month that it had sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses. It's pretty obvious that most of those sale went to OEMs who will be putting the software onto computers going out to market. That's good news for Microsoft as OS market penetration is largely driven by hardware sales, not software upgrades. Unfortunately, new PC buyers may be sticking to Windows 7 according to a new report.
PC Pro reports that Windows 7 is still the most popular operating system on PCs sold in the UK. The publication was contacted by several PC system building companies who said consumers are requesting Windows 7 on their machines instead of Windows 8. In fact, one company said that 93 percent of its machines are shipped with Windows 7.
What may be even worse for Microsoft is that customers who buy systems with Windows 8 are returning the PCs and requesting they be changed back to Windows 7. One particular PC vendor - Computer Planet - said that it's now offering Windows 7 as the default OS again after Windows 8 failed to catch on.
So, what's the major beef people are having with Microsoft's new OS? It seems that driver issues and the newness of the Metro UI are turning people off. A common complaint seems to be that people can't figure out how to get around in the new OS. That being said, those same customers like the general look of Windows 8's desktop mode, but wish it was in a Windows 7 environment.
Despite all this, the OEMs say that PC sales haven't been hurt by the general negativity directed towards Windows 8. They feel that most of the complaints are due to the initial shock at the newness of Windows 8, and that most consumers get used to it relatively quickly. The only thing they would suggest is that Microsoft include a guide or tutorial that took consumers through the more intricate features of Windows 8.
That last suggestion has been echoed by major players in the PC manufacturing business. Samsung, in its decision to not release its Windows RT tablet in the U.S., said that Microsoft needs to do a better job of explaining Windows 8 to consumers. The company has been too busy lately focusing on crazy office parties and pinata slaughter instead of showing consumers how the new OS works.
Microsoft needs to slow down, and actually show people how Windows 8 works. Show consumers still on Windows XP or Vista how Windows 8 can improve their computing experience. The rumored relaunch of WIndows 8 and the future launch of Windows Blue may give Microsoft the opportunity to do just that.