Windows 8 Adoption Falls Behind Vista

    January 2, 2013
    Zach Walton
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Microsoft needs Windows 8 to be a hit. Steve Ballmer’s job may even depend on it. That’s why the company is going all out to get consumers on board with buying a PC, or a Windows 8 equipped tablet. Adoption is still growing, but it’s looking like it might not be growing fast enough.

Kitguru compared launch data from Net Applications for Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows 8. The picture it paints isn’t pretty as Windows 8, which was actually doing better than Vista, is now starting to fall behind in adoption. It’s a far cry from Windows 7 which was a great success for Microsoft at launch, and finally took over Windows XP’s longheld position as the most popular OS in September of last year.

It’s strange to see adoption slowing down after Microsoft announced only a month after its launch that Windows 8 had already sold through 40 million licenses.It seemed like the company’s momentum would continue into the new year, but that may no longer be the case. Many people have expressed displeasure with the touch-oriented operating system and are sticking with Windows 7 until something better comes out.

That something better may just reveal itself to be Windows Blue, the rumored operating system from Microsoft that will reportedly launch later this year. The rumors point to Microsoft moving to an annual release cycle, much like OS X, and the price of the operating system would dramatically decrease to increase adoption. If they’re smart, the Windows team at Microsoft would also implement more desktop friendly controls into this next iteration of Windows 8 to address many of the complaints enthusiast users have with the OS.

It was unlikely that Windows 8 would outpace Windows 7, but it’s still too early to deem the new OS a failure. It may have hit a snag for now, but adoption rates could increase in 2013 to at least make it more popular than the mostly universally reviled Vista. It might even be considered a success at Microsoft if it can at least do that.

  • Don’t fear the Future

    There was only 800 million active Windows computers when Vista Launched compared to the 1450 million active Windows computers now.

    So which is more, 2.2% of 800 million or 1.6% of 1450 million? Vista had 17.6 million units. Windows 8 has 23.2 million.

    Here’s the numbers.

    Here’s one from Gartner stating 1 billion active users in June of 2008. (can’t find the link where I got my 800 million number)


    “Gartner Says More than 1 Billion PCs In Use Worldwide and Headed to 2 Billion Units by 2014″

    STAMFORD, Conn., June 23, 2008—
    The number of installed PCs worldwide has surpassed 1 billion units, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner analysts estimate the worldwide installed base of PCs is growing just under 12 percent annually. At that pace, it will surpass 2 billion units by early 2014.”

    Remember, this is ALL pc’s. Windows was roughly 90% market share of this 1 billion, making roughly 900 million, but in June of 2008. Beginning in 2007 (when Vista launched) was roughly 800 million active Windows users.


    “PCs In-Use Reached over 1.6B in 2011 USA has nearly 311M PCs In-Use”

    Once again, Windows is roughly 90% of that number. Roughly 1.45 billion active Windows users as of End of 2011 / beginning 2012.

    Percentages mean nothing unless you know the total numbers at the time of these percentages.

    My numbers maybe off slightly, (but not by much) but the point is this comparison between Windows Vista and Windows 8 is flawed.

    • Windows 8 Is a Curse

      The percentage figure is an indication of the market share of a product regardless of the number of units.

      Your numbers (and conclusions) are deeply flawed. You might want to revisit your calculations. To give you a head start, 2.2% is more.

    • Asok Asus

      Nice try, paid MicroShill. I’ve only seen this exact same post of yours about a dozen times now. But all the paid MicroShills in all the world are not going to save Windows 8 from the rightfully harsh reception it’s receiving in the marketplace. And the Windows 8 disaster is just getting started. Microsoft jumped the shark trying to turn all PCs in the world into cellphones. Does Microsoft really expect 100 million CAD/CAM designers, accountants, and other industrial content makers to hold their arms up all day inaccurately poking smudges on their 42″ monitors with their fat fingers, working at 1/100th the speed as before Windows 8 with 1000 times the physical effort? Microsoft management is lost in the wilderness and has utterly lost contact with reality. Steve Ballmer will be fired by the end of 2013 if the Microsoft board of directors wants to save their company.

  • pat

    Sadly for Ms and others, the better a product is, the harder it is to improve it. The only real reason for MS to launch new OSs for ordinary PCs is MSs need to keep generating cash. The classic business model has great difficulty coming to terms with the idea that some things that are made represent the best possible in their field – barring minor tweaks.
    Having tried out 8, I couldn’t see any reason to move up to it from 7, and indeed plenty of reasons for not doing so. MS may want a new OS every year, but customers won’t. The geeks who produce these things may love them because they’re new and even more hi-tec, but 99% of users aren’t geeks, and most of those of us who are over 24 probably prefer the familiar environment of our existing OS, and have no particular wish to “upgrade” to a new OS – let alone every year – just as long as the existing OS does everything we want it to do. Which Seven does.
    I’ll be happy to upgrade to a new OS that has radical new abilities to do new things; but short of an entire rethink of the PC, the shopping list of potential new things that an OS could perhaps do, is dwindling by the year.
    So maybe, MS, seven is the top of the bell curve. The law of diminishing returns is a fact of economic life…. even for MS.