Tech insiders may have been anxiously awaiting the release of Windows 8, but it appears the general public wasn't nearly as interested. A new poll found that that a majority of consumers surveyed weren't aware of the new operating system, and those who had heard of it weren't very interested in purchasing a new Windows 8 system.
According to the AP report, "The phone survey of nearly 1,200 adults in the US by The Associated Press and GfK found 52% had not even heard of Windows 8, leading up to Friday's release of the redesigned software. Among the people who knew something about the new operating system, 61% had little or no interest in buying a new laptop or desktop computer running on Windows 8, according to the poll. And only about a third - 35% - of the people who had heard about the new system believed it would be an improvement."
CNET's Charlie Osborne added, "This consumer ambivalence was also reflected when asked about Microsoft's just-launched tablet, the Surface. Sixty-nine percent of respondents expressed no interest in buying one of the tablets, which has been touted as a potential competitor for Apple's iPad and Google's Nexus 7."
But SlashGear's Eric Abent questioned the methodology of the poll. "It’s true that Windows 8 signals a pretty radical departure from previous Windows installments, but we’re not entirely sure this poll is asking all of the questions it should," he wrote. "The fact that 52% of respondents hadn’t even heard of Windows 8 is definitely surprising, but where’s the question about the intent to upgrade? We know that a significant percentage of those polled have no interest in buying a new computer running Windows 8, but is that disinterest still present when far cheaper upgrades are brought into the equation?"
PCMag's Chloe Albanesius noted, "Microsoft has said repeatedly that Windows 8 is a 're-imagining' of the Windows operating system. Specifically, it splits the OS between the traditional desktop mode with which most Windows users are familiar and a tiled, touch-centric interface similar to the Windows Phone interface. That interface, previously known as Metro, is a bit more useful when you have a touch-based laptop or tablet. As a result, it might not make sense for people to upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7. Microsoft, however, is pushing a rather Apple-like vision of connected devices; the same interface across PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Until then, though, there will likely be a learning curve when it comes to Windows 8."