People Are Not "Getting Used To" Windows 8

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Dec. 2 2013 2:02 PM

People Still Hate Windows 8

Microsoft Windows 8
A year after its release, Microsoft's new operating system is still flummoxing users.

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Microsoft Windows

You’ll Hate Windows 8,” my former colleague Farhad Manjoo predicted last June. He was right. And this isn’t just a matter of a difficult transition period, in which people initially resist a new interface before ultimately embracing it, as Microsoft's Steve Sinofsky predicted. A year after it was released, Microsoft’s new operating system is a certifiable flop.

Just how bad are the numbers? There are two obviously relevant points of comparison for Windows 8’s adoption figures, and they’re both so bad that it’s very difficult to say which is worse. The first comes from Statista, the Germany-based online statistics portal, which compared the growth in market share for Windows 8 in its first year to that of its predecessor, Windows 7, in the year after its release in October 2009.

Advertisement

Windows 7, which won stellar reviews, took off on a steady upward trajectory, eclipsing 10 percent market share in its first few months and nearing 20 percent at the one-year mark. Windows 8 started slow, continued to be slow, ticked upward a bit this past summer, and—alarmingly—appears to have leveled off again in recent months. It took more than half a year to hit 5 percent adoption, and has still not achieved 10 percent after a full year on the market.

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 market share growth chart

Illustration by Statista.com

Perhaps the most damning statistic, however, was the one The Next Web picked out from Net Application’s latest report on operating-system market share. In the past month, Windows 8’s market-share growth of 0.05 percent was actually significantly lower than that of Windows 7 (0.22 percent). In other words, Windows 8 is actually falling farther behind its own four-year-old predecessor even today.

These estimates aren’t necessarily definitive, and Microsoft is no doubt holding out hope that holiday sales of new devices will drive Windows 8 installations back upward. But as of today, it looks like Microsoft users have seen the future, and they’ve decided it doesn’t work.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

The NFL Should Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status, Which It Never Should Have Had Anyway

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 18 2014 6:52 PM Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters  Colorado Democrats and Republicans are testing theories for reaching women that will resonate far beyond the Rocky Mountains.  
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 3:30 PM How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Trick Women
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.