What Should Microsoft Do To Sell Windows 8 To The Masses? [You Told Us]

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Have you got Windows 8 installed on your PC or tablet yet? Millions have, by either upgrading their existing computer or buying a new device powered by Microsoft’s latest operating system. Perhaps they’ve even shelled out and bought the Microsoft Surface, though I haven’t seen much evidence as yet.

I very much doubt that many mainstream consumers have made the switch to Windows 8 at this early stage. Something tells me that those who have upgraded or knowingly purchased a Windows 8 device consider themselves as geeks. The average consumer likely isn’t even aware Windows 8 exists, let alone knowing anything about it. Which led to last week’s subject for the We Ask You column.

What Should Microsoft Do To Sell Windows 8 To The Masses?

We asked you, What Should Microsoft Do To Sell Windows 8 To The Masses? The response was phenomenal, with dozens of you offering solutions to the tricky position Microsoft finds itself in.

Opinions on what Microsoft should do varied wildly, running the full gamut from “absolutely nothing” to “make wholesale changes to the OS.” Suggestions that kept cropping up included not forcing such an overhauled UI on people, lowering the price, improving the licensing situation, changing the tone of the commercials, and focusing more on the hardware (in a similar vein to Apple).

Microsoft is clearly keen to see as many people as possible make the switch to Windows 8. Not only is it good for its bottom line, the more people who are running Windows 8, the more apps that will flood the Windows Store. Microsoft needed to do something at this stage with people relying less on home computers and more on mobile devices. But it remains to be seen whether Windows will be the answer.

Comment Of The Week

There were some cracking responses to the question, with Triavalon, Raymond Beets, Michael Leitch, and Lisa Santika Onggrid amongst those contributing considered opinions on the subject. Comment Of The Week goes to Alan Wade, who, as well as the respect of myself and hopefully everybody reading this, receives 150 MakeUseOf points to use for Rewards or Giveaways. He offered:

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I was anti Windows 8 right up to the release then I got an email offering me an upgrade for 139 kroner which is about £12:40. At that point my mind changed extremely fast about it as I could always re-install Windows 7 and keep it for a later date should I want to without a great payout.

I found that once you customise it to your taste, pin a few shortcuts to the taskbar etc. Delete the tiles that you are never likely to use and customise the rest with your own icons etc then it became less of a problem to me. The more I customise it the more I am getting use to it.

To answer your question, just give it time, like Se7en, Vista and even XP when it was first released, it just needs a little time to grow on people and there is nothing better than word of mouth.

This comment not only answers the question in a sensible manner — Microsoft should wait and see, relying on word of mouth above all else — but also adds two crucial points to the debate. Firstly that Microsoft isn’t overcharging for upgrades to Windows 8, meaning people may be easily tempted to give it a try. Secondly, that once adapted and learned, Windows 8 isn’t as bad as it may at first appear to be.

We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.

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Comments (15)
  • Somaiya Ebrahim

    doesnt need to do anything..windows 8 is so beautiful people will buy it anyway

  • Compuuter Geak

    “Have you got Windows 8 installed on your PC or tablet yet?”

    I don’t know … Windows 8 seems like a pretty big jump from Win98 … maybe I’ll just wait a few more years to see how that one pans out …

  • Lee B

    Windows has ALWAYS been about CHOICE. Choice of hardware, software and configuration. That’s why it’s the most successful, most used, most popular desktop OS in the world. Locking down it’s users to a walled garden for the purpose of selling some apps will backfire.

    For a tablet or touch I can understand Metro UI and think it’s pretty good. For desktop it’s just no good.

    The risk is microsoft alienates it’s long term core and business users who actually LIKE the start menu and DON’T LIKE the Metro UI/new start screen malarky. I’m disappointed MS removed the Start Menu and replaced it with a shoe-horned Tablet interface. It stinks of pushy strong arm tactic desperation to me and I think they have shot themselves in the foot because of it which is a shame because I think Windows 8 could have been a great follow on from Windows 7.

    Bottom line MS needs to give users and admins the choice to enable/disable the Start Screen and Start Menu and Charm Menu as to their personal preference and the type of user base they are supporting.

  • Boni Oloff

    Congrats to the Winner. I hope can get the free points next time.

  • RG

    I have been seeing Windows 8 ads that are actually not too dissimilar from the Mac ads (music, presentation of the screenshots, etc.). I think MS think that’s the way to sell Windows 8, I am not so sure myself. I would try more differentiation and make the case for familiarity even though metro is different.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.