Windows 8’s pre-launch adoption beat Vista’s

We’re still waiting for figures comparing Windows 8’s post-launch uptake to that of previous releases. November numbers aren’t out yet, and October data doesn’t tell us a whole lot, since Windows 8 didn’t come out until October 26.

However, one can already find out how Windows 8’s pre-launch popularity stacks up. The folks at ComputerWorld went ahead and did just that, crunching data from Net Applications to see which of the past three Windows releases was most popular just before its retail debut.

Windows 7 wins out by a fairly substantial margin. By the end of October 2010, a whopping 2.33% of users across sites monitored by Net Applications were using that OS. Windows 8 is a distant second, with a usage share of only 0.45% at the end of October 2012. Interestingly, however, Win8 is still well ahead of Vista. By the end of January 2007, only 0.19% of Internet users were running the ill-fated OS.

Now, as ComputerWorld points out, this isn’t a totally fair comparison. Both Win7 and Win8 hit in stores in the second-to-last weeks of their launch months, while Vista came out on January 30, 2007. Win7 and Win8 were also buoyed by pre-holiday sales, unlike Vista. Still, if this information tells us anything, it’s that Windows 8 might prove more popular than Vista.

That’s good to know, considering early information suggests Windows 8 sales aren’t quite as high as some hoped. Rumor has it sales are below Microsoft’s targets, and a Newegg executive commented on retail sales last week, saying Windows 8 "did not explode, as I think you know, coming out of the gate."

Comments closed
    • End User
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft: We’ve sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses to date

    [quote<]Yes, we don't really know exactly what "licenses sold" includes and does not. Sold to consumers? Sold to channel? Includes licenses grandfathered in through volume license agreements. I've asked Microsoft to see if officials will clarify. If they do, I'll add an update here.[/quote<] [quote<]And the official word from a spokesperson: "We have nothing more to share."[/quote<] [url<]http://goo.gl/UNBrU[/url<] The next few quarterly statements are going to be really interesting.

    • Oldtech
    • 7 years ago

    Seems a little bogus. Windows 7 wasn’t installed on phones or tablets.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 7 years ago

    Windows 8 has been sold at the cheapest prices Microsoft has ever offered, it’s out for the holiday, and they’re celebrating an adoption rate that beats Vista, which was their least popular OS to date, had horrendous hardware requirements and buggy drivers, released in January, and Vista cost way more than $40 or $15. Yeah, ok. Great job for beating Vista, because that was such a lofty goal.

    All these numbers really show is that people are willing to beta test a schizophrenic tablet OS at low prices, the holiday encourages impulse buys, but that still isn’t enough to beat 7, which continues to offer a vastly superior and mature desktop experience.

    • Helmore
    • 7 years ago

    “Windows 7 wins out by a fairly substantial margin. By the end of October 2010, a whopping 2.33% of users across sites monitored by Net Applications were using that OS.”

    I hope you mean to say ‘By the end of October 2009’, not 2010. General availability of Windows 7 was on 22 October of 2009.

      • tootercomputer
      • 7 years ago

      I caught that, too, was wondereing if anyone else did. Win 7 was well established by fall, 2010.

    • izmanq
    • 7 years ago

    i don’t see any reason to change win7 to win8 😐 i wonder why would anyone win7 upgrade to win8. for those who buy new unit with win8, good luck working with win8 😀

      • jss21382
      • 7 years ago

      …I upgraded all of my XP machines to win 8, no problems working with it. Pin all of the programs you normally use to the task bar and use desktop view, functionally it’s the same as 7. At work I’m running win 8 stretched across 4 monitors, the only difference I really notice is that it’s faster than XP(largely because development for xp has stopped for the apps we use at work)

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      I had two machines running Win7 Home Premium. Being able to upgrade a machine to the “Pro” version of Win8 for $40 didn’t require a lot of debate for the HTPC, and when the in-place upgrade went perfectly smooth, I decided to upgrade the laptop as well. The memory management is more aggressive and the GUI is simplified a bit, correspondingly it runs fairly snappy on older hardware, and Microsoft added some features that make it easier to see what the OS is doing, such as the expanded Task Manager with resource-type usages itemized by application or process, and the available real-time histogram plot when copying files.

      The Start Screen lives almost exactly where the Start Button was, and although the Start Screen is more intrusive, it is far easier to sort and cull and find applications on the Start Screen compared to the Win7 Start Menu.

      And frankly, [b<]the desktop experience is [i<]not really different[/i<].[/b<] For the average power user, that's the most important part.

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    Number of Vista upgrade licenses I purchased at $100: 0

    Number of Win8 Pro upgrade licenses I purchased at $40: 2, contemplating a third

    Anyone at Microsoft paying attention?

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    WALT says “Without a Vista there’d have been no Win7”

    and it took a lot of bitching about Vista to make Microsoft come to it’s senses and give us something more user friendly……………………

    • Thresher
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve said my piece on it, but I wonder how many people have gone back to Win 7. I did. I certainly don’t think I am representative of most users, but I found the OS awkward and frustrating. With no real need for it, backing off to Win 7 was logical. I wonder if other early adopters did the same or only use it on a second partition.

      • MarkD
      • 7 years ago

      Start8 made it tolerable for five bucks. I still don’t like it. I got a student deal – free, so it was worth it for me.

        • Kaleid
        • 7 years ago

        Have you compared it to classic shell?

          • MarkD
          • 7 years ago

          No. I paid $5 and made it usable for me. It’s in a HTPC, I’m still waiting on media browser to be ported…

        • ludi
        • 7 years ago

        Serious question: if you’re using Start8 to restore the traditional Start Menu, how is the experience meaningfully different from Win7?

          • MarkD
          • 7 years ago

          I haven’t enough time fiddling with it to give you a good answer. This PC is hooked up to my TV. I can HULU NCIS (which shows at an inconvenient time for me to watch), and torrent my wife’s Japanese TV shows. I added Shark007 codecs so the .mkv files will play, after adding Media Center and 7 Zip and that’s all I’ve done thus far.

          My issue with Windows 8 was basically the very cumbersome metro interface. I just dislike it – it’s like GNOME 3 on Linux, you have to know where to find what you want to use it. It doesn’t matter if it’s theoretically better, it’s a hurdle to me in using a tool to accomplish what I want to do.

          I’d have gone the Linux XBMC route (I’m a unix/linux admin by trade), but I plan to get Netflix soon and didn’t want the kludges necessary to get streaming video working that way.

          My home PC that I use for e-mail, browsing, Turbotax, etc is running Windows 7.

    • travbrad
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]By the end of January 2007, only 0.19% of Internet users were running the ill-fated OS. .... .... Vista came out on January 30, 2007[/quote<] That means Win8 sold at almost exactly the same rate as Vista. Vista got 0.19% in 2 days, whereas Win8 got 0.45% in 5 days.

      • Geistbar
      • 7 years ago

      They’re not comparing first month sales, but pre-release use — things like people using TechNet, RTM builds, or even pirated copies.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    As much as I think the Modern UI is kind of dumb for desktops and laptops my next computer is probably going to have Win8 on it because that’s what’s going to be pre-installed on it. Even on a DIY build, the upgrade is cheap enough to purchase IMO.

      • BIF
      • 7 years ago

      I agree, but the UI is still quite difficult to read and the two dimensional “scrollbar hide-and-seek” game gets tiring.

    • Shambles
    • 7 years ago

    And they only had to sell it for $15 to do it. Bravo Microsoft.

    I recently did a Windows 8 install and was horrified at how they try to strong arm you into their Microsoft store. Not only that but after doing a clean install with a Windows 8 upgrade it now says my paid for serial is not valid. Looking online it seems you can’t do a clean install with an upgrade version. If I have to wipe my drive and re-install Windows 7 to get 8 to work you can bet I’m just going to sit with 7.

      • nanoflower
      • 7 years ago

      You don’t have to do that but you do have to pull a trick to make it work. There is a registry entry that you need to change for it to work (basically switching one value from 0 to 1 or the reverse.) You can do a Google search for it and find it. It looks easy enough so long as you are comfortable using the registry editor.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      You can do a clean install with the upgrade. You just need to do a bit of registry magic?

      [url<]http://www.ghacks.net/2012/10/27/windows-8-upgrade-clean-install-possible/[/url<]

        • Shambles
        • 7 years ago

        +1 to you both, thanks!

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      how are you “strong armed” into their store? it exists? you can still install all the old apps the same as you always did. Why are you “horrified” that you tried to use an installer incorrectly and it said “don’t do that”?

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        MMM Cherry Kool-Aid. Thanks Mr. Jones. Cough COUGH ACK!!!!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    You mean by October 2009 not 2010, right? Windows 7 came out in 2009.

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    WIn 8 is a more significant change than Vista so it’s normal for more folks to check it out.Preorders could also be decent because some could actually be excited about it so we’ll have to see how it does when the dust settles.

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      I would say the opposite. Windows 7 is the most successful and stable release of Windows ever. It’s likely people has phew reasons to search for an upgrade. However, most of people was tired about Vista and looked forward to move from Windows XP. Windows 7 was fighting an unpopular system and an aged one while Windows 8 is fighting the most popular windows ever.

        • rrr
        • 7 years ago

        And it’s a downgrade from an older, more popular system.

        Go figure.

    • WaltC
    • 7 years ago

    Why do folks keep saying things like…”the ill-fated OS” and so on…;) Nothing ill-fated about it–not only was it a big change for people trained to years of Win XP updates, like dancing bears, but Vista is the foundation of Win 7. In fact, Win7 literally is Vista 2.0.

    What is in a name, really? People pretend that because “Vista” and “Windows 7” have such different names that there is no similarity between the two. That’s just plain wrong. Without a Vista there’d have been no Win7, is the size of it. So the reality is that Vista actually is the most successful OS Microsoft has launched to date, including its “Windows 7” incarnation. Folks get really stuck on names, don’t they? It’s not the name that counts here, it’s the substance of the code.

    (Disclaimer: Just because I bought Vista Ultimate doesn’t mean I had to say this.)

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      Vista post-SP1 was the best damn OS and there was zero reason to upgrade to Windows 7 unless you had an SSD.

        • jessterman21
        • 7 years ago

        Totally agree – after a service pack or two, it was just as good as 7.

        • Geistbar
        • 7 years ago

        I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say [i<]zero[/i<] reason to upgrade, as Win7 was still a solid improvement in many ways (I love the new taskbar). I do completely agree that Vista wasn't the flawed OS people make it out to be though. As I've said before and will keep saying, Vista's poor reception is due almost entirely to the condition of 3rd party drivers and software when it was released. The driver situation was awful, even after all the time MS had given companies to prepare -- [url=http://origin.arstechnica.com/news.media/vistacrash-1.jpg<]video drivers made up over a third of all Vista crashes in 2007[/url<]. Windows 7 would have been received just as poorly as Vista was if it had been forced to contend with the same driver and software market.

        • Game_boy
        • 7 years ago

        I use a desktop with Vista and a laptop with 7 on a daily basis, and I honestly see no difference and sometimes forget which one is which. They’re both fine.

        • achaycock
        • 7 years ago

        I don’t quite agree with that. Even Vista SP2 had network performance issues that just weren’t there in Windows 7.

        Whatever the deal is with Windows 8, I suspect a lot of people may not be in the mood to relearn how to use their computer when Windows 7 does the job fine.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        I agree, but the initial problems screwed up sales, and 7 came out quick enough that people who were waiting just skipped over Vista. I’m actually still using Vista, but will switch to 7 whenever I get time to migrate to my SSD.

      • eofpi
      • 7 years ago

      Yes, 7 could’ve easily been a Vista service pack, and part of what made 7 so good was that Vista forced the painful driver transition to occur, which was mostly done by the time 7 came out.

      But if you remember the feature lists for Longhorn, there was a lot of stuff that didn’t make the cut for Vista simply because MS decided they needed an OS out the door immediately. That made it feel like a disappointment, because it really was a half-done job. Some of those got added with 7, while others (e.g. database-style filesystem WinFS) were canned entirely. 7 really did feel like a more finished product, for that reason.

      • sircharles32
      • 7 years ago

      With that train of thought, then Windows NT must be the most successful OS Microsoft has launched to date……..

      • rwburnham
      • 7 years ago

      I use a full version of Vista and a Windows 7 upgrade disc to install Windows on my computer at home. Recently, I ran through the process, but I decided to hold off on the Windows 7 upgrade and just run a fully-patched Vista. I have to admit that I found myself enjoying it more than Windows 7.

      Two things that stood out:

      1. Windows stayed where I left them. If I closed a windows that was showing Documents, when I click Documents, the window opens in the last place it was.
      2. Networking was simple. You just had the Network area and that’s it. No Homegroup to mess around with. An operating system should have one way of networking in my opinion. Just give us one or the other.

      So I guess I am going to be the oddball that says Vista is better than Windows 7.

        • kvndoom
        • 7 years ago

        No you’re not the oddball… I just upgraded my main rig from XP to 7, and while I love the speed I hate all the stupid inconveniences MS has forced upon us. When I use one of the several Vista computers in the house, I realize that Vista is just more user friendly. MS has this way of forcing unwanted change down people’s throats for the sake of change. It doesn’t make things better or easier, just different… because they SAID so.

        There are just SO many little things that went away and shouldn’t have. My #1 gripe is the regurgitation that is Media Player 12. I’m hoping against hope that the hacks to install WMP11 will work on my system. I can’t stand it, but none of the alternatives out there seem to do what I need.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      And XP is the foundation of Windows Vista. And Windows 2k is the foundation of XP.

      Windows 2k 4.0-ever!

      What is in a name, really? People pretend that because “Vista” and “Windows 7” and “XP” and “Windows 2000” have such different names that there is no similarity between the two. That’s just plain wrong. Without “Windows 2000” and “Windows XP” and “Windows Vista,” there’d have been no Windows 7, is the size of it. So the reality is that Windows 2000 actually is the most successful OS Microsoft has launched to date, including its “Windows 7”, “Windows Vista”, and “Windows XP” incarnations. Folks get really stuck on names, don’t they? It’s not the name that counts here, it’s the substance of the code.

      Disclaimer: Just because I bought Windows ME does not make me a bad person. Just because I had an action shot of Clippy as my background with Windows 95 OSR2, it doesn’t make me a bad person. Just because I paid top dollar for my Microsoft Bob CD to be bronzed, it doesn’t make me a bad person. Just because I ask myself, “What would Steve Ballmer do?” every time I get up from the floor after a good screaming fit, that doesn’t make me a bad person. Just because I broke my wrist with my overpowered old school, pre-USB Force Feedback-enraged Sidewinder Joystick, that doesn’t make me a bad person. Just because I long for the return of Microsoft Works and install my copy of Microsoft Encarta on CD for kicks, it doesn’t make me…

      I suppose I could have used Windows NT instead of Windows 2k, but that’d probably be pushing it A LITTLE BIT. 😉

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    It’s got better early release adoption than than Vista!

    WHAT’S THAT I HEAR? CHAMPAGNE CORKS POPPING IN REDMOND?!

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      But *5* time less than windows7, and microsoft had to sell windows8 at steep discount to even get that. Was it 15$ for a while? now its 25$… its decimated by Windows7.

      Hope MS learned a valuable lesson.

        • theadder
        • 7 years ago

        People don’t take enough note of that.

        Windows 8 is extremely cheap when compared to some of the earlier versions.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          The Yugo was cheap too, doesn’t mean anyone actually considered it a good car.

        • End User
        • 7 years ago

        Exactly!

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        The stupid thing is that they could have avoided this by simply re-enabing the start menu and have an option to go straight to the desktop. Something the early developer versions had.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          The stupid thing is people don’t even try to see if there is in fact a better way of doing things. There is literally one key that does what you say, the Windows Key.

          The only blame Microsoft should take is that they don’t really provide a good set of instructions with their new OSes. I know there are ‘tours’ and help articles, but they are either too simplistic or too unengaging. Using the web to look stuff up works but MS really ought to do more since it’s their software.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]The stupid thing is people don't even try to see if there is in fact a better way of doing things. There is literally one key that does what you say, the Windows Key.[/quote<] Using windows keys and search functions is not "a better way of doing things" especially on a desktop or laptop.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Please explain how, when your hands are probably already on the keyboard anyway, it’s not better than mousing to a specific area on the screen, clicking, then possibly clicking more to go into some submenus if the program isn’t ‘recently used’ or if you want to go into the control panel or other administrative tools? The efficiency is even more notable on laptops. And you can use it for documents or any other files you want as well.

            • izmanq
            • 7 years ago

            you need to know and remember the application or the file name to type them. and on tablet we prefer clicking than typing, even with this new interface after you type several letters, sometimes you still need to click it 😀

            if you’re a designer, or when you’re browsing the internet, most of the time one hand is on the mouse (if on PC/notebook)

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            You can do ALL of that in Windows 7 too PLUS you have a menu that most people find easier to use. Take look at the vast majority of users out there. They do not rest their hands on the keyboard, they do however rest their hands on the mouse which is ergonomically designed for that. Watch a person going to wake a machine, most people will shake the mouse instead of clicking a key. The keyboard has never been the preferred way of navigating a computer for most people. They invented Multi-tasking GUIs for a reason. Having to navigate with the keyboard and having only one application in view at the same time is a throw back of 30 years when that’s all you had with DOS.

            Edit:fixed typo

            • Visigoth
            • 7 years ago

            Well f*cking said, Deanjo.

            • cygnus1
            • 7 years ago

            Why do you need to waste screen space with a start button any way? Don’t most people just move the mouse all the way to the bottom left and not even bother hitting the actual button? The functionality is literally the same between 7 and 8 if that’s what you do.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            No most people do move to the bottom left and click the start menu if they do not have a shortcut on the desktop. Just moving the mouse down to the bottom left does nothing. Heaven forbid if I want to start another application without getting a full screen of duplo blocks to start a second application.

            • BIF
            • 7 years ago

            Yes, when using Windows and not “in” a specific application, I have my hand on the mouse, not on the keyboard.

            Reaching for the “Windows key” forces me to take my eyes off the screen and my hand off the mouse. It’s like a mental speed bump. Launching an app should be easier than that, if only because that’s how it has been since Windows XP.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            I love how that no matter how many good things get said about Windows 8, this simple fact always comes back to haunt Microsoft. They made a MISTAKE with this interface and they’re too [i<]fracking[/i<] stubborn to acknowledge or correct it.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Which ironically was the selling point of Vista/7’s search function, which was necessary to use outside of modifying the start menu, since the new start menu was a pita to navigate vs classic, especially if you disabled the quick use program memory. None of those features ever appealed to me, as they only served to further dumb down and obfuscate the OS like XP hiding your tray icons and “personalized” menus. I hate that garbage. Get out of my way and let me manage things, screw wizards and UAC, and don’t ever lock program folders out from being sorted. The start menu has been around for a decade, and it suddenly doesn’t allow you to sort it? I’m sure that was because of early Vista UAC settings, but that should be made adaptable for organization, instead of cheaply locking out the user. Yeah, that’s how MS does things, and they’re quick to abandon any functionality or support, much like the zune got dropped, even as it still could be a decent platform. Win8 is an unfinished product too, and it’ll be dropped for 9 just as quickly as Steve Sinofsky was disposed of. Certain 8 fanboys are in for a hard letdown.

            • rrr
            • 7 years ago

            Maybe you should not be telling others, how they should use their computers and let them decide instead.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah, that’s Microsoft’s job.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            You’re right, I shouldn’t bother sharing a more efficient, simpler, and faster way to do things.

            • rrr
            • 7 years ago

            You forgot to add “…in my opinion”. Others may not share it.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            I agree with your original statement. The users should have the choice, instead of being forced one way or the other. Classic start or Start8 is a beginning, but those are unsupported 3rd party programs with questionable functionality (start8), instead of Microsoft officially letting users opt out of Metro. I’d also like to have the option to completely remove Metro from loading into memory, because I have no intention of ever running a WinRT vendor lock-in program.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t always agree with you, but that comment is absolutely bang-on correct.

        • designerfx
        • 7 years ago

        the only reason people are trying 8 is to check out the interface. it doesn’t translate to actual sales, anyway.

        If they were really comparing they’d use windows 7, as you noted yourself.

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      They crapped twice and one of them doesn’t smell as bad. Who calls that a victory?

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        A mother with a kid in diapers.

          • Geistbar
          • 7 years ago

          Also the digestive tract.

        • Geistbar
        • 7 years ago

        Vista wasn’t at all as bad as its reputation would have us believe, and I haven’t seen any indication that Win8 is bad outside of some rabble rousing over how “start” got changed. Maybe it isn’t excellent, maybe it’s even subpar, but I have seen no reason to believe it’s terrible.

          • BIF
          • 7 years ago

          I agree, Vista was NOT AT ALL BAD. It was the bloatware/junkware that Microsoft allowed the boxmakers to put on it without proper vetting.

          Windows 8 is not at all bad either. Except for the very real UI and visibility shortfalls.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      That’s their new marketing slogan:

      “Hey! At least it’s not Vista!”

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