IDC isn't optimistic about Windows 8's success

— 4:40 PM on December 5, 2011

Microsoft is betting on tablets and touch input big-time with Windows 8, but how will users of conventional PCs respond to the new operating system? Not so well, according to IDC predictions quoted by ZDNet. Take a look:

IDC analysts didn’t mince words about Windows client. “Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to the users of traditional PCs, and we expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor,” according to IDC’s prediction document. (IDC is predicting Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing in time for new Windows 8 PCs to emerge by August 2012, at the latest. And they are very bullish about Windows Server 8’s prospects, for what it’s worth.)

IDC doesn't expect Windows 8 to be a runaway success in the tablet market, either. The market research firm predicts "disappointing" results for 2012.

It's certainly true that Windows 8 tablet vendors will enter a crowded field next year. In a way, Windows 8 reminds me of Windows Phone 7, which also shipped long after Apple's and Google's next-gen smartphone platforms. Windows Phone 7 certainly isn't a bad product—in fact, it's much less fragmented than Android, and users are having an easier time getting software updates. Nevertheless, recent ComScore data posted by Engadget suggests Microsoft is a distant fourth behind Google, Apple, and RIM in smartphone usage share.

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