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Win 8's Slow Start

When Apple introduces a new product, people camp out for hours  -- perhaps mistaking a line for a new iPhone for the Superbowl queue. Even Steve Wozniak waited his turn for an iPad.

Microsoft only gets these crowds on rare occasion, like with Windows 95 (I once saw a long line for Zune -- but that was at the returns desk!).

Now an esteemed research house is dumping cold water on the Windows 8 heat. IDC, in its most recent collection of predictions, believes Win 8 will ship next year, but too few will apparently care.

On the enterprise side, IDC sees little IT interest in moving from Windows 7 to the classic "Desktop" version of Windows 8. Maybe that is because Win 8 won't look and feel much different than its predecessor. "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," IDC says.

There is also bad news on the tablet front for when the Win 8 "Metro" interface squares up against Android and iPad, both of which are already mature. The analysts feel that success or failure rests on whether Metro can generate developer excitement, i.e. will it run revolutionary new apps and can I get Angry Birds?

Windows Server 8 has a much brighter near-term future, IDC says. Those looking at private clouds may turn in droves to Windows 8 and the built-in Hyper-V.

Which do you care more about, Win 8 or Win 8 Server? You tell me at

Posted by Doug Barney on 12/07/2011 at 1:18 PM

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 Bruce DeLand, FL

Irrelevant. That's the best word I've seen used for Win8 so far. Don't get me wrong. I've been a Microsoft developer since DOS 1.1. I personally just don't see my development interest going toward Metro any time soon unless the company I work for somehow comes at me and asks me to do it or something. (I.E. Not likely). I played with the DEV preview for awhile, used VS2011 Express and saw how Metro apps are developed. Looks competent all right, I just don't know how quickly it will be mainstream, particularly since W7 isn't all that old yet. I won't be using Metro on any of my development boxes, that's for sure. As for tablets - I can't even convince myself I need an iPad since my iPhone4 takes care of all my portable device needs. My 2-cents.

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 Vic

I think it will likely see a slow start. I work in a university where only about half of everyone is even using 7, the rest are still on XP. We only get upgraded as our pc rotation comes around, so it may be 2-3 years before we are done with XP. Financially a lot of places can't afford another upgrade. If you can't go straight from XP to 7 as an upgrade, I can't I making 8 will be Nymore helpful

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 Randy US

I think there's too many articles devoted to a product that hasn't even hit beta. I also don't think the market is ready for yet another version of Windows - especially considering how many people/businesses are perfectly happy with their beloved XP that still does everything they need today. Enterprises certainly are not going to be looking at upgrading to Windows 8 so soon after making the move to Windows 7. On top of all this, typical users don't like change - the leap from XP to Vista/7 was a challenge for many, and now that they're getting comfortable with Vista/7, MS introduces the Metro style GUI (and don't get me started on their Ribbon Interface) - I think it'll be a tough sell...

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 Dan Iowa

It's fine to make predicions, but keep in mind the predictions are for a product that has not even reached beta yet. On the other hand, it's a pretty safe bet to say there won't be huge lines for Windows 8. It's an OS. Many of us have contracts with Microsoft, so we'll get the ability to download it long before it becomes available to the consumer. When Apple released the Ipad, there was one Ipad. You either got that one or not. When Microsoft releases Windows 8, there will be a Dell, HP, Sony, Asus, Toshiba, and on and on. Furthermore if you go after the first one available, you won't be able to afford that newer model released by company X that came out a week later. People have to consider choice that simply is not available with Apple. Because of this environment, when Windows 8 hits the shelves of Best Buy, if sales are 10 times that of the Ipad when it was released, there will still not be lines at a store.

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 Ken McAvoy Melbourne , Australia

I am still using XP and will only use 7 when I am 6 foot under so not much chance for 8 I would say.There is zero reason for me to change. XP does everything I need cheaper , faster (because I know the OS) and already have a solid library of software that does not need new investment or training . No-one has proven to me I absolutely must use Windows 7 - in fact there are many reasons for me anyway to suggest it would be the worst move I ever made when problems arise.

Wed, Dec 7, 2011

Unfortunately Microsoft under Steve Balmer is losing sight of who their customer base is and designing products for the consumer/home market and forgetting about the enterprise not listening to its core base if we wanted a MAC we would buy a MAC there is a reason we have chosen this platform.

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 John Canberra Australia

I don't care about "revolutionary new apps" or "Angry Birds". I want compatability with Windows in mainstream tools (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.) with local storage and processing, and that only seems to be possible (with any degree of reliability) with other Windows systems. So given Android and Apple have excluded themselves from that market then they are not an option.

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 EVVJSK

Microsoft must make sure not to alienate any existing Windows Customers. Windows 8 had better have an upgrade path from Windows Vista and Windows 7 (to keep business users happy). Don't want to have to reinstall all the applications that we just dealt with migrating from XP to Windows 7.

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