In some ways, Windows 8 is do or die for Microsoft (MSFT). The platform’s failure certainly wouldn’t sink the world’s largest software company, but it would be a huge setback for Microsoft as it transitions to a new world where touch input and real-time information take center stage. Opinions are mixed in these early days and the platform has received a lot of criticism for being confusing to long-time Windows users who are uneasy about ditching Windows’ famous Start menu for the new Windows 8 Start screen. How widespread is this concern? According to a recent survey, Microsoft’s new platform has a very steep hill to climb.
PC security firm Avast recently polled 350,000 users of its PC antivirus software as part of a massive study that sought to investigate the public’s opinion of Windows 8. According to USA Today, 135,329 respondents were Windows users based in the United States. Among these U.S.-based consumers, 65% were Windows 7 users, 22% had Windows XP and 8% used Windows Vista.
According to Avast’s survey, a healthy 60% of respondents were aware of Windows 8 one day ahead of its launch. This indicates that Microsoft was off to a fantastic start in the early days in terms of using marketing and advertising to inform customers about its important new launch. That’s the good news.
The bad news, unfortunately, is that only 9% of U.S. consumers said they wanted to buy a new Windows 8 PC soon after the platform’s release. The overwhelming majority — 70% — said they planned to stick with what they had.
“Windows 7 works just fine,” George Otte, CEO of repair service Geeks on Site, told USA Today. “It’s not a major priority to make a change.”