Windows 8 is more popular than Windows 7, depending on where you look at it.
Windows 8 has more users than its predecessor, but less “downloads” than Windows 7
It’s very interesting to see how consumers are reacting to Windows 8, namely because of the new Metro UI. It represents a big shift from the traditional desktop experience, which last went under a major revision with the launch of Windows Vista. So how does the Consumer Preview compare to Windows 7 at the same time of its development?
Computerworld compared the number of internet-connected computers using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and compared it to Windows 7 at the same period of time. Only half the number of Windows 7 computers connected to the Internet were using Windows 8, though that isn’t the entire story.
Downloads don’t necessarily mean downloaded software is being used, though you can look at it from another angle: high downloads means there is a big interest in Windows 8. Or maybe downloads are completed on the Internet, but are used offline. Or people could be waiting for Windows 8 machines because their PC is outdated, bloated or they just want a new computer. It’s simply difficult to tell.
Though let’s assume the number are accurate: Windows 8 has twice the amount of downloads than the Windows 7 Beta, yes half of the computers are using Windows 8. So does that balance itself out? Who knows, because the figures seems to conflict each other. Though honestly, we can’t really assume the figures are accurate because so many variables come into play.
I don’t think there’s much for Microsoft to worry about until they see the response from the full release. I don’t the majority of consumers who will go out any buy a Windows 8 device will have downloaded the Consumer Preview, and those people are the majority of users. Microsoft will be pushing a range of devices to consumers, from tablets to Windows 8 TVs. So if Microsoft can convince users using Metro on the good is viable, then they could be successful. They should be successful is developers get on board, as I’ve said before. An active ecosystem in Metro is needed to make the UI viable.