Windows 8 early-bird users still love Windows 7 more - poll
Fast-boot basics beat fancy
Metro Modern UI
More than half of Windows 8 users prefer Windows 7 to Microsoft's new operating system, according to a community poll.
Forumswindows8, which claims to be the web's largest Windows 8 help and support forum, says it conducted a poll of 50,000 people using Windows 8 and found that 53 per cent voted Windows 7 as their favorite Windows operating system.
Windows 8 came second, with 25 per cent, polling just ahead of Windows XP on 20 per cent.
The vaunted Windows 8 UI – Metro, or Modern – is one of the least appealing features, with just 22 per cent of those surveyed saying they liked Windows 8's touchy rectangles.
The Windows Store also scored poorly, with just 23 per cent liking the feature.
Interestingly, it's the bread-and-butter Windows 8 system features that are scoring well. The most liked feature on the new OS is its fast boot and shut down, with 56 per cent liking this. Second-most-liked was easy installation, at 50 per cent, with Internet Explorer 10 coming in third with 35 per cent.
Windows 8 code is largely still in the hands of partners rather than consumers, as so far it has only be posted to sites such as MSDN as part of the release to manufacturing in August. It is this first wave who will be installing and using Windows 8, which might explain why more under-the-hood features such as boot times were so important to those surveyed. The controversy over Modern UI is already well documented.
Price was cited as Windows 8's biggest single area for improvement, according to 35 per cent, with system requirements and "incompatibility" - presumably with existing apps although the survey wasn't clear – neck and neck, at 26 and 25 per cent respectively.
Full pricing has not yet actually been announced, but Microsoft has said upgrades to Windows 8 Pro - the version of three Windows 8 client editions which target business users - on Windows 7, XP and Vista machines will be priced at $39.99 if purchased online and $69.99 in stores, once Windows 8 is commercially available on 26 October. People buying Windows 7 machines between June 2012 and January 2013 will be entitled to an upgrade priced at $14.99.
Some have reported the Windows 8 Pro price will jump to $199 after the release offer expires, but even this is competitive compared to current upgrades. Moving to Windows 7 Professional costs $222.88.
Microsoft's strongest prospect among today's Windows 8 adopters is the Surface, with more Windows 8 users prepared to buy a Microsoft-built-and-branded tablet than an iPad or Android.
Thirty-five per cent said they'd buy a Surface, unveiled in June, compared to 33 per cent who voted Android and 26 per cent who said they'd buy an iPad from Apple.
That result on Surface was Microsoft's only bright spot on mobile against Google's mobile operating system in the survey. The majority of Windows 8 customers in the group – 42 per cent – said that on smartphones they'd go with Android first. Windows Phone came second on 29 per cent with iPhone third on 22 per cent. ®
That's gotta hurt
"Windows 8: Less popular than our previous offering and only marginally beating our 12 year old OS." 7 might turn out to be the new XP, staying around for a decade.
I have a Windows 7 tablet (exopc), and I've tried the Windows 8 consumer and release previews on it, and both times reverted to Windows 7. Considering tablets are supposed to be where 8 shines most, that's not a good sign. The trouble is, while Metro* works great, Microsoft do not want you to use traditional desktop apps in tablet mode, so they have actually degraded the touch experience for desktop apps. E.g. in Windows 7, when you touch in a text box in an application, a popup appears next to it so you can bring up the on-screen keyboard, but in Windows 8 this is gone - you have to manually tap the icon on the taskbar to bring up the keyboard, then tap back in the text box to return focus, then manually close the keyboard when you're done typing; usability nightmare, and there appears to be no way to get the Windows 7 TIP functionality back. Windows 8 may be fine if you plan to use only Metro* apps, and it may be fine on the Surface and other hybrid devices with an integrated keyboards, but if you plan on using non-Metro* apps on a tablet without a keyboard, personally I'd think twice. And if you're not planning on running traditional desktop apps, then why would you even consider a Windows tablet?
* yes, I know
Re: I remember 10 or so years ago
Who died and made you derpmaster general? Windows XP was a piece of shit when it launched. In fact, it maintained a full-on craptasticness right up until Service Pack 2, which basically introduced an entirely new operating system. Funny how people who like to bang on the "everyone hated XP when it launched" drum tend to forget that opinion of XP changed overnight when the fixed most of the flaws in the operating system.
Vista was the same way. Absolute shit when it launched. Then the fixed all the flaws and called it "Windows 7," (well, except for giving me back my Up Arrow, but Classic Shell fixes that.) As soon as they unborked their craptasm, people loved it.
Windows 8 is a good operating system…under the hood. But there is so much about the OS that is completely fucking broken that we'll need either an XPSP2-esque service pack, or a whole new version to resolve the issues.
For the record, I still love Windows 2000. I refuse to touch XP unless it's SP2 or later, Vista an go [censored] itself, and Windows 7 only became usable on older hardware after SP1. Without Classic Shell, Windows 8 is unusable, and I don't trust Microsoft not to screw us all again a few more times before finding a version we can mostly live with.
Until they screw us again and we go around this loop one more time. But hey, don't let me stand in the way of your blinkered view of history…