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The Death of Windows 8?

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According to the latest figures from NetMarketShare, from March 2014 to the end of January 2014 58% of desktop internet users in the UK were still using Internet Explorer (with 22% using V11, the most popular). Meanwhile, Google Chrome has seen the biggest increase (up to nearly 24%) while Firefox has lost some ground, down to 12%.

With regard to operating systems, it is clear that Windows 8 has not proven successful. Indeed, this has reminded us of their last major failure, Vista. Windows 7 is by far the most widely-used operating system globally with around 56% of the market, followed by Windows XP on around 19%.

The popularity of Windows 8 and 8.1 have actually fallen over the past few months, now constituting around 14% market share. This suggests that users are opting for Windows 7, or waiting for Windows 10 – with its refreshed start menu – to be released later this year. With support for Windows 7 running until at least January 2020, it is certainly not going anywhere soon!

So what went wrong for Windows 8? Aside from getting off to a bad start with its lack of start button, it seemed to be too much of a leap from Microsoft. Its’ attempt to suit both tablets devices and personal computers was clearly a failure, despite the emphasis on touchscreens having advantages for many.

Considering that only around 1 in 5 businesses are offering Windows 8 to employees, Microsoft has a lot to do to attract the corporate users to its’ next release, Windows 10. Due out later this year, Windows 10 will again be suited to touchscreen devices and so it will be interesting to see if lessons have been learned.

Windows 8.1 (and likely Windows 8 and even possibly Windows 7 users) will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 within the first year of launch. Although this does not necessarily mean that Windows 10 will be a success, it almost certainly will drive another nail into Windows 8’s coffin!