Has Windows 8 Failed in the Market, or Only in Your Mind?

Chris Hoffman 03-06-2013

has windows 8 failedHas Windows 8 failed? People who dislike Windows 8 generally say it is. But has Windows 8 really failed in the marketplace, or do we just think Windows 8 has failed? We’ll try to look at some actual metrics and see whether Windows 8 has failed or not.


One thing’s for sure: Windows 8 definitely hasn’t succeeded in the short term. However, Microsoft is playing the long game with Windows 8 — they’re laying the groundwork for future success. Whether they’ll succeed is unclear, but Windows 8 hasn’t failed yet — it’s preparing for the battle to come.

Windows Sales

Microsoft sold over 100 million Windows 8 licenses in the first six months. That’s actually just as many as the popular Windows 7 sold over its first six months, which seems like a good start.

However, Windows 7 eventually managed to sell 20 million licenses per month. As Paul Thurrot notes, 100 million Windows 8 licenses in the first six months is only 16.7 million licenses per month.

Windows 8 license sales were artificially propped up by the super-cheap upgrade offer How To Get Windows 8 For The Lowest Possible Price Whether the mixed reviews of the preview releases of Windows 8 have influenced pricing or Microsoft are simply taking a leaf out of Apple’s book isn’t quite clear, but the price of a new copy... Read More — $40 a copy for everyone or $15 a copy for people who recently bought a PC. After that offer ended, Windows 8 sales declined even further to 13.3 million per month. Windows 8 sales are below Windows 7 sales on average. However, Windows 8 isn’t just for PCs — as Microsoft tells us, Windows 8 is a “touch-first” operating system designed for tablets. Considering Windows 8 targets both tablets and traditional PCs, such low Windows license sales are definitely not a sign of success. Don’t forget, you can learn a lot more about Windows 8 with our Windows 8 guide The Windows 8 Guide This Windows 8 guide outlines everything new about Windows 8, from the tablet-like start screen to the new "app" concept to the familiar desktop mode. Read More .

Still, by any metric, equaling Windows 7’s success in the first six months is pretty good — even if they had to use a limited-time offer and target both PCs and tablets to do it. Nevertheless, declining sales are not a good sign.


Also note that this statistic counts “Windows 8 licenses.” A business that buys new Windows 8 computers and immediately downgrades them to Windows 7 will have their purchase count as a “Windows 8 license.”

has windows 8 failed

PC Sales

But what about Windows 8’s effect on the overall PC market? IDC reported that worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter of 2013 decline by 13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012. This is the steepest decline ever in a single quarter. PC sales have now declined for four quarters — an entire year.

Is this Windows 8’s fault? Everyone has their own opinion on this one. What is clear is that Windows 8 has failed to stop or even slow the decline — for whatever reason, the decline of PC sales is accelerating. IDC’s report states that “At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market.” They note that the “radical” user interface changes Upgrading to Windows 8? Get Settled In Faster with these Tips If it's about time you purchase a new computer, that computer is probably going to come with Windows 8. Microsoft hasn't included a tutorial with Windows 8 -- aside from the cryptic "move your mouse... Read More have made PCs less attractive.


PC sales were already slowing in the run-up to Windows 8, so it’s clear that PC sales would continue to decline as people are happy with their old  PCs — which are more than good enough — and are spending more money and time on additional gadgets like tablets. However, Windows 8 was supposed to take those tablet-buying urges and redirect them to hybrid Windows 8 devices that were a mix of PC and tablet. This hasn’t happened in very large numbers — most people are buying iOS and Android tablets.

windows 8 has failed now what

Tablet Sales

But forget PCs, how are Windows 8 tablets like the Microsoft Surface Microsoft Surface Tablet Review and Giveaway Read More competing in the market against other tablets?

Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets Windows RT - What You Can & Can't Do Windows RT edition was discreetly launched about a month and a half ago with the flagship Microsoft Surface RT tablet device. Though visually indistinguishable from Windows 8, there are some key differences as to what... Read More became 7.5% of the global tablet market in the first quarter of 2013, according to Strategy Analytics. Microsoft and its partners shipped 3.4 million tablets worldwide.


With iPads at 48.2% of shipments and Android tablets at 43.4% of the market, Windows’ showing at 7.5% is actually not too bad. Restricted Windows tablet shipments, trouble competing on price, no mini tablets Nexus 7 vs. iPad Mini: A Comparative Review If you're shopping for a 7-inch tablet, there's absolutely no shortage of options. It's undeniable, however, that the leading choices are Apple's iPad mini and Google's Nexus 7. We've reviewed both of these devices individually,... Read More , and limited tablet app selection hurt Windows in this category, but 7.5% is respectable and is something for Microsoft to build on. Windows 8 is certainly doing better on tablets than Windows 7 or “Windows XP Tablet PC Edition” did.

windows 8 has failed now what

Windows 8’s Vision and Windows Blue

But is Windows 8’s vision a success? Steven Sinofsky, who drove the controversial decisions made in Windows 8, left Microsoft a few weeks after it was released — it’s unclear if he was just ready to move on or if this was a vote of non-confidence in his leadership.

Steven Sinofsky famously referred to Windows 8 as a “touch-first” operating system and defended his vision against critics. When people trying the prerelease noted that the integration between the new “Modern” environment and the desktop was clunky 6 Ways Microsoft Is Killing The Traditional Desktop In Windows 8 [Opinion] The traditional desktop is still around in Windows 8, and it’s probably the best Windows desktop yet (aside from not having a Start menu.) But Microsoft is setting it up for the kill. The writing... Read More , he refused to make changes. When people began installing third-party Start menus and setting their computers to boot to the desktop, he doubled-down on his vision and tried to block Start menus and boot-to-desktop tricks. For the first time in Windows’ long history, Microsoft began omitting options that let customers use Windows 8 the way they could use the previous version of Windows. Windows generally includes such legacy options — Windows 8 even includes both a new backup system Did You Know Windows 8 Has a Built-In Time Machine Backup? We sometimes forget with all the focus on Windows 8's new "Modern" interface, but Windows 8 has a variety of great desktop improvements. One of them is File History, a built-in backup feature that functions... Read More and the old Windows 7 backup system, just in case you prefer the older backup system and want to stick with it.


Microsoft is now striking a more conciliatory tone under the Windows division’s new leadership, and word has it that Windows 8.1 (also known as Windows Blue) will include a Start button, a tutorial, and a boot-to-desktop feature — all features Steven Sinofsky blocked as unnecessary and contrary to the Windows 8 vision. Microsoft recently released a “Windows 8 End User Training Brochure” that can be downloaded as a PDF file online. Microsoft took over six months from Windows 8’s release date to release this, which just goes to show that they didn’t accept the need for training users when Windows 8 was released.

The Windows 8 vision was clearly for average users to use Modern apps on every type of computer — which is why the Start screen can’t be bypassed without unofficial hacks that Microsoft tried to stop — and the evidence on this front is not very good. A recent study by Soluto revealed that most Windows 8 users don’t use Modern apps. The secret to happiness with Windows 8 on a traditional desktop or laptop  is to avoid all the new Modern stuff and just use the desktop.

windows 8 has failed now what

It’s clear that Windows 8’s uncompromising vision has failed. Microsoft says it’s listing to customers by adding a Start button and boot-to-desktop option, but these same customers were ignored during Windows 8’s development.

Has Windows 8 Failed?

In the first few months, Windows 8 sold as many copies as Windows 7 did — but Windows 8 had a huge promotion, while Windows 7 didn’t. Windows 8 has presided over an accelerating decline in the PC market, but it was sliding anyway — still, Windows 8 didn’t stop or even slow the decline. Microsoft landed a decent little chunk of tablet sales, but they’re still way behind because of their late start. Microsoft is waving the white flag with Windows Blue and will be making changes, but these just amount to some tinkering around the edges.

So has Windows 8 failed? Well, it certainly hasn’t been a rousing success — the best that can be said about the PC market is that it was already in a free fall and Windows 8 just failed to have any impact, which is a backhanded compliment.

Microsoft’s Vision of the Future

Microsoft is playing the long game with Windows 8. Intel’s new Haswell chips will bring more power-efficient laptops with better graphics, allowing Intel-based Windows hybrid PCs to better compete against ARM tablets. Pricing will come down and you’ll be able to purchase a hybrid laptop-plus-tablet for less than the price of an iPad. Microsoft will allow mini tablets to compete with the iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, and Nexus 7. Most PCs will eventually ship with touch features and this will encourage app developers to take Windows more seriously, developing more Modern apps and turning most Windows laptops into Windows tablets, too.

That’s Microsoft’s vision, anyway. They’ll face resistance from Google and Apple — rumors are already going around that Intel will be working on cheap Android laptops, of all things. Apple will likely continue championing their vision of separate devices, but they may introduce some sort of hybrid iPad/Macbook Air if the market appears to be headed in that direction. Sure, Apple says they’ll never do that — but they also said they’d never sell a mini tablet, create an eBook store,  or develop a phone. Apple always says they’ll never do something until they do it.

has windows 8 failed

Windows 8 may appear to have failed in the short term, but in the long term Microsoft may succeed in capturing the tablet market as well as the PC market. Whatever the case, Windows 8 hasn’t failed yet — Microsoft is counting on new hardware to push their vision, so we’ll have to wait and see.

What do you think about Windows 8? Do you think it will succeed in the long term, or will Microsoft fail to gain enough traction?

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Chris
    October 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    How did Microsoft pay you to write this "independent" review, which is clearly biased and counter to the best interest of consumers? You don't reinvent the wheel if all it needs is improvement. There was no need to reinvent the wheel, and Windows 8 accomplished nothing what so ever for the consumer, but for big business is allows opportunities for spammers and telemarketers, The person who "wrote" this propoganda clearly has incentive that's not related to the best interest of the consumer.

  2. Chris
    September 16, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I can not get used, and I don't accept that block design, with cubes that drive you nuts. Plus it is a very communist look; everybody is the same.
    Everybody I know hates it.
    I actually bought two OEM Win 7 Ultimate so I can have it for my future computers.
    I also ordered two new computers from Alienware with Windows 7 Ultimate because I want the old interface.
    I HATE WINDOWS 8 !!!!!

  3. BW022
    August 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    >A business that buys new Windows 8 computers and immediately downgrades
    >them to Windows 7 will have their purchase count as a “Windows 8 license.”

    Then let's be realistic. Why are you even bothering to quote sales numbers? Just look at usage rates. NetMarketShare shows Windows 8 usage rates at around 3.2% of PCs and has been growly extremely slowly. If we accept MS silly licenses sold numbers... then what happens to all those Window 8 licenses? Simple... the vast majority must have been downgraded.

    By MS numbers 100 million licenses should be what 10%+ of the PC market? So... 70% of these or more got down graded. If you assume even a 75%/25% corporate split... it means virtually every corporate PC with Windows 8 was down graded -- since consumers many not have that option or don't use it. It also means extremely limited upgrades from non-corporate consumers on existing machines and slow PC sales outside of corporations.

    How can you not say it is a fail by numbers if 90% of people, who can down grade, do down grade?

  4. Trey
    August 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Windows 8 is complete garbage for any institutions with many computers. I'm the IT director at a large K12 school and we just finished upgrading from XP to 7 over the summer. We spent about a month with Windows 8 in the lab testing it and seeing exactly what the learning curve would be. Our conculsion was that we were going to have to completely retrain our staff and students to use a new OS that offers virtually no increase in productivity.

    You think the metro start screen looks sexy? I wonder how sexy it looks running 50 sessions via remote desktop services? Our network is mostly thin clients. Microsoft has effectively abandoned the larger business/educational markets in favor of pleasing home users with an OS that has been designed to run on tablets.

    My opinion is metro should have been there, I mean it does look kind of cool. But it should have been an *OPTIONAL* part of the OS that you turned on if you wanted it. Maybe even turned it on by default in the devices sold for home usage with an option to disable it. Saying that "people need to get with the times" is ridiculous.. There's no point in completely reinventing the OS while what we have is serving our needs. Comparing it to moving from DOS to Windows is also stupid... that move brought in multitasking and a huge increase in productivity. This move has nothing to offer business users.

  5. Greg
    July 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I HATE when people say "downgrade to Windows 7". Windows 8 was a giant leap backwards for windows.

  6. Andy Fripp
    June 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I have used Windows 7 phone for over a year now and I'm still a big fan of the Live Tile concept. I've also been using Windows 8 on a laptop for over 6 months. But the truth is that while at first I liked Windows 8, as every month passes I use the Modern UI stuff less and less and resent the loss of the start button more and more.

    Because although the phone or tablet, touch screen, one-app-at-a-time user interface is great for brief emails/messaging, games, quick Internet browsing and in general consuming content, they are very inefficient for creating content. For this, wouldn't it be great to be able to simultaneously have Internet content, emails, word documents and pdfs all open in different windows on the desktop and be able to cut and paste between them?

    Hey, didn't Apple come up with a device with a window based user interface that solved the one-app-at-a-time problem in the 1980s? I think they called it a Mac ... and seem to remember that it was such a good idea that Microsoft came out with a window based OS too ... which they even called Windows.

    Microsoft need to appreciate that we "make do" with one-app-at-a-time on phones and tablets because of the convenience of the device and the fact that - apart from brief emails/messaging - we are usually using them for quick Internet browsing and to consume rather than create content. But when we have work to do - most of us reach for the desktop or laptop - and guess what - the "window" concept, which is a lot like the sheets of of paper I spread around my desk when I'm busy - works really well.

  7. Arunkumar VR
    June 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I have upgraded my PC to windows 8 last December 2012.
    First step that I did after upgrading is installing a Store App to get back my favourite start button and I am regularly using the same.
    In that way I can say that I am regular user of a Metro app.
    I would say most of the Windows 8 users are knowingly or unknowingly isng metro Apps as skype or sky drive etc.
    So microsoft is slowly buiding up the platform.
    Windows 8 might not be an instant success. I would say it is mainly because of the lack of hardware support for the targeted audience. I dont believe it is targeting tablet users. The major target users are PC/lablet hybrid users. Now manufactures are started making these kind of products such as touch enabled ultra book.With out a powerful OS like windows 8, these kind of devices itself will not be a reality. Can you imagine a touch enabled ultra book with android ?
    Even Mac books are not a competition in this segment.
    This is a new market segment. Current notebooks will be slowly moving towards this direction.
    So I would say it will take some more iteration to stabilize an acceptable OS for this segment. Still Windows 8x has future . Coming year will reveal the same.

  8. Don Gilmore
    June 13, 2013 at 6:50 am

    I've used every version of Windows as they came out since 3.0, including the NT and server versions. The arrogance of Microsoft to come out with this 8.0 crap the way they did knows no bounds. They have become like the government. They should have learned their lesson with Vista, but they didn't. However I learned my lesson with Vista. So I'm sticking with 7 until 9 or beyond and skipping so called "upgrades" with Windows for the first time.

  9. Philip Damgaard
    June 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I think they did a good job with the "touch" feature.

  10. anish pandey
    June 7, 2013 at 9:39 am

    In my view Window-8 has not failed but it's facing some competition and changed market conditions which none of the Microsoft product ever faced after their mega success of Windows-95.

  11. Kamille Bidan
    June 6, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Windows 8 sucks and the only reason for its success it's because of the monopoly, because the truth is that people doesn't like it.

  12. Fernando Blanco
    June 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Thats a weird spam question either way, i see a pattern with windows software first they made windows xp wish was really good, then windows vista wish sucks, afterwards it was windows 7 wish was awesome and now windows 8... ( wish i'm going to guess that it sucks.

  13. Pooky Joralyn
    June 5, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Would like to know if Girls' Generation will endorse Intel Haswell, like Sandy Bridge though LOL

  14. Jitendra Adhikari
    June 5, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Comparing Windows 7 sales vs Windows 8 sales in not just in my opinion. Windows 7, a non-touch based OS, is used on desktops and laptops, total count of which far exceeds the number of tablets. On the other hand, to experience the full power of Windows 8, one has to have a touch-based display, with for desktops and laptops are still very low in number. Once we have more touch-based displays for desktops and laptops, I am sure we will see an impressive rise in Windows 8 usage.

    I have installed Windows 8 under VMWare on my home desktop computer (still using a CRT display :D), and find it amazing even without any touch-screen.

  15. Jimmy
    June 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Seems like only yesterday I would shut down windows 3.0 because who would use a silly mouse and point around at things when you can be efficient and fast and use DOS commands. Actually still use Xcopy *.* all the time for filtered copies, never seemed to learn how to do this in windows.

    • Kevin Williams
      June 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Copy from a Windows Explorer search window to get a lot of the same functionality as xcopy.

  16. Robert Backlund
    June 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    As far as the end user we could care less about what is happening with respect to the Market! and if Windows 8 has failed or not. We only care about our own personal experience or take on their whole failed (in my opinion) approach to an OS. I for one will never use Windows 8 for any reason, why? because there is no traditional desktop! Perhaps that's just me but Windows 7 Ultimate does anything I want and Windows 8 just makes life on a PC painful. One of the things I never hear about in all the Microsuck fan boys with respect to market place metrics is not just how many Windows 8 licenses have been sold but to also mention how many laptop and desktop returns have occurred that probably have everything to do with the poor user experience with Window 8. Why don't you find out this figure and also post it and if it is in a substantial number then subtract it from the licenses sold. Microsoft is hoping that they are going to see success with tablets, well I wish them good luck, as it now stands there are only two types I would ever consider the iPad and Android tablets, as far as I am concerned a Windows 8 tablet is vastly inferior and for the same reasons it fails on the desktop and that is the lame Metro apps look and experience. As far as smart phones are concerned I would never have a Windows phone! If one was given to me I still would not use it. The bottom line; I would not personally use Windows 8 if Microsoft paid me 100 dollars a month to us it.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 5, 2013 at 9:56 am


      The end user -- or at least the sum of them -- is the market!

      What the majority of users decides to buy and use determines how the market develops. There are always users who will be disappointed, either because they don't like that the market is changing or because they think it isn't changing radically enough.

      I had to LOL at the idea of a Microsoft fan boy. Does that really exist? Doesn't everyone criticize Microsoft, while still using their products? I know I have a love&hate relationship with them.

      Regarding returns, I would love to see that number too, analyzed by brands and reasons for return. I'm pretty sure the number of devices returned due to the OS are marginal. It would be more interesting to see how many people downgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 7 on new devices; I suspect that's a bigger number.

      The rest of your comment seems like pure bias. Have you even used Windows 8 for a considerable amount of time to afford so much opinion about it?

      I appreciate that people don't like Windows 8 and where operating systems are headed. But I don't appreciate fan or hate boyism. Passion is great, if it's positive. Solid arguments are better.

      • Kevin Williams
        June 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        I would be really fascinated to see not only the numbers of returns due to an unfamiliar OS, but how many of those potential returns changed their minds if they were properly educated in how to use the new OS. For example, how to turn off the Metro interface. I bet that would DRASTICALLY reduce the numbers of actual returns.

        I know that the Metro-first decision was heavily influenced by the (at the time unannounced) plan to release the new Windows Phone interface (Mango) and there was a very strong desire to make the two look similar because of a look toward how Android was doing in both the phone market and the tablet market as well as the strong feeling that highly mobile tablets were the new PC and PCs were the new servers.

        I think that this is partly based on the mentality of, "I sit at my desk to do the real work, but until I show someone, who cares what I actually DO?" And, the idea that no one cares about the guy who pays the light bill but EVERYONE cares if it doesn't get paid. Tablets provide a possibility for mobility and personal recognition/realization in a way never before seen.

        I also know what the Microsoft big plan for the future involves, and there is a vision of a time with NO keyboards or monitors or mice. Microsoft put out a video about it here:

        Notice that there are almost no keyboards and things are very touch and voice oriented. MS needs to contract with Dragon for voice, though.

      • Robert Backlund
        June 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

        Yes I have tried to use Windows 8, my son is currently attending a local college and is studying IT. Because of his course of study he has access to all of the software that Microsoft produces including OS's. We downloaded a legal copy of Windows 8 and installed it on one of our systems. In my opinion trying to do any serious work using this new OS is a pain, we found it very difficult to figure out how to get a new printer installed, configuring anything but the most basic network and the list goes on. I also found that Linux had much better driver compatibility than Windows 8 at least when we tried using it. The main reason that I dislike Windows 8 is I come from the group that feel strongly that the OS should be the under pinning for everything that one needs to do to accomplish the work one intends. It should allow the seamless integration for all the software tools that you use to accomplish what you intend on doing while using your computer. It should not be in your face with such a radical change that it takes you days or weeks just to re learn how to work with your hardware. The biggest mistake Microsoft made is trying to make one OS GUI work with everything in the market. Windows 8 is a tablet, smart phone GUI not a desktop GUI. I am sorry, when I am doing serious work, like using Photoshop, Painter 12, or simply using a word processor like Libre Office I do not need nor want a touch screen. For me a traditional keyboard/mouse combo is much better suited along with my Wacom Intuos 4 drawing tablet. I do not know about you but when working I many times find myself snacking on various forms of junk food and I do not need to be constantly cleaning my monitor because I touched it with greasy potato chip fingers. If they had only released Windows 8 with the touch GUI for the tablets and had more of a traditional GUI for the desktop I would probably consider updating. As it currently stands I will wait and see what Windows 9 brings, it will probably be like Vista and Windows 7 where windows 7 fixed a lot of the faults with Vista. I suspect that the next OS that Microsoft comes out with will be a fix for Windows 8 at least with respect to a more traditional GUI for the desktop. The reason I personally do not own a tablet regardless of what kind or who makes them is because they do not have the horse power to do the things I use my pc and laptop for. I do a lot with Photoshop, digital art, 3D modeling and rendering, and CAD/CAM. These tasks just do not lend themselves to a tablet and touch screen environment.
        Microsoft in my opinion should follow the lead that several companies in the Linux community and offer support contracts instead of always trying to reinvent the OS and trying to convince everyone that this is what we need. I remember seeing an article not too long ago about why Windows XP refused to die, I think the numbers who were still using it was around 35% world wide which is astonishing. I am certain that if instead of killing off all support for this version of Windows they sold support contracts say 35 dollars a year, it would be a better business model and be more sustainable for the company over time. I personally feel that they would be very smart to shift from the traditional windows OS to using the Linux kernel, with their own flavor of Windows GUI running on top. Similar to Googles Chrome OS and Android, doing this would free them from all the security updates associated with the kernel. I am certain that they could figure out how to make existing software work using a different kernel. For me I will just continue to use Windows 7 for my gaming and digital art creation and when they finally kill off support for Window 7 I will just use my Gentoo install for accessing the internet and everything else. And let the younger generation worry about Windows and their Metro GUI.

        • Tina Sieber
          June 6, 2013 at 10:02 am

          Great comeback, Robert!

          I think Microsoft is selling support packages for Windows XP, at least for Enterprise users. And I like the service idea. Everything seems to be headed towards service / subscription vs. owning / buying these days. I like it, but it's a different kind of change that many people struggle with.

          For physical products buying a service rather than the object is more sustainable because the consumer is transferring the responsibility for maintenance and end-of-life to the manufacturer, who will in turn want to provide higher quality products (less work for them). Might be similar for software, i.e. pushing developers to release better quality software and introduce bug fixes and new features faster to retain subscribers.

  17. Sri Vastav Reddy
    June 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    WoW that's an AMAZING review...
    A.K.A - Awesome article...
    Thanks Chris :)

  18. Matt Smith
    June 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Windows 8 has failed in regards to quality of the user experience. Using Windows 8 particularly enjoyable, the interface is too fragmented and the app store laughable.

    But at the same time, Windows 8 was a required step forward. At Computex we're seeing a ton of new Windows hybrid devices announced, and we'll see more this year. None of them would be possible without Windows 8.

  19. julien c
    June 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Windows 8 hasnt failed, its more of the idea that the people are unwilling to accept change. Windows 8 is great, very fast and easy to use. The controversial Start screen has saved me so much time, combine that with live tiles and its great. There is also alot of new computer advances with the definition of Ultra books changing people are getting confused on what to buy. The new ultrabooks w/win 8 and a touchscreen are amazing, people just need to try it for a little while and they will not want to go back to their old pc.

  20. BoloMKXXVIII
    June 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Metro should have been an "addition" instead of a replacement. RT should never have had the desktop. It confuses consumers. RT should not be called "Windows RT". They should have named it "Microsoft Surface" to avoid confusion with regular Windows. Full Windows tablets should boot to desktop when docked or when the keyboard is attached. It should only switch to Metro when it is being used as a tablet or when docked with a separate monitor is showing the desktop.

  21. BiG eViL.......
    June 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    My PC usage mainly involves gaming and as far as gaming is concerned, windows 8 is nowhere near being a success. At least the gaming community hates it. I have used windows 8 for my mundane tasks and i found it difficult to get comfortable with. furthermore, windows 8 does not bring any new Direct X to game developers and gamers, although windows 7 came as damage control for vista it had the attraction of DX11 with it and i must say, games which make good use of the DX11 technology make current gen consoles look like they came from windows xp era. In my opinion windows 8 would have saved a lot of trouble for itself if it only gave the option during installation whether the consumers want the Modern interface or not. THATS IT!

    • Kevin Williams
      June 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Just turn off the Metro interface, then? Not terribly difficult.

  22. Henk van Setten
    June 4, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Dear Chris, you're like a journalist in 1959 who (almost a year after its introduction) writes an article "Has the Ford Edsel Failed in the Market, or Only in Your Mind?"
    I really find it amazing how some journalists keep clutching at every little straw to maintain the illusory thought that Windows 8 might still become a success. Why?
    Now just tell me, and tell me honestly, WHY on earth did you write this totally dumb, reality-denying article?

    • Tina Sieber
      June 5, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Henk, let's talk again in a year, shall we?

      Many people believe Windows 8 is a failure. And it's true that once tarnished, it's hard to make a product successful. Well, Microsoft did it with Windows Vista. They took in the public reaction and came out with Windows 7, their best operating system yet. In other words, they didn't start from scratch. They stuck to what they believed in at the core and smoothed the edges which consumers objected to. They will do the same with Windows 8. I'm not sure Windows 8.1 is the answer, but they will get there; they have to because the market is evolving.

      The article idea came from myself by the way.

  23. Adrian B
    June 4, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Arg! All that time formatting, and it posted my comment as a single paragraph! Sorry folks; I tried.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 5, 2013 at 9:31 am

      No, your post is formatted into paragraphs just fine. Our comment preview doesn't show the formatting, though.

      • Kevin Williams
        June 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm

        Tina, you should fix that RIGHT NOW or everyone will go back to version 0.98. LOL ;)

  24. Adrian B
    June 4, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I think that what Windows 8 really needs is just more apps -- innovated ones that introduce new and more efficient ways of working. Right now the metro/modern interface tends to be judged on its own, but it's the apps that make the difference. People tend to put effort into inventing ways to make the tablet useful because they're more convenient to carry around, but when you're on a PC the touch interface doesn't offer much advantage over the keyboard and mouse/touchpad (except maybe while you're walking with a hybrid tablet/laptop). However, that could change once developers start making apps that introduce better ways of doing things. I think that people like touch, but I think it's really mostly just because it makes for light and convenient devices.

    Perhaps Microsoft failed to develop a proper vision of how Windows 8 would make something that's better than the sum of its parts (PC and tablet), but I think that Windows 8 is really more of a platform or framework for getting Windows ready for the next step in computing, rather than trying to be the new killer app in itself. Once developers begin to envision new concepts in computing, Windows will be in a better position to take advantage -- at least moreso than anything else currently out there.

    In the meantime, the Windows 8 desktop does offer the same kind of subtle enhancements over Windows 7 that Windows 7 did over Vista. It's also nice that it it performs better, can take advantage of new hardware features, and adds greater security. Unfortunately some of the best enhancements (in my mind) aren't really visible; the security enhancements in the kernel are impressive in no small part because they don't break anything, despite the changes being as big as the ones in Vista that seemed to break everything.

    I think that we're on the verge of doing much more amazing things with technology, and Windows 8 is probably in a better position than others to take advantage and/or help. At the very least it will allow Microsoft to respond more quickly to these changes, and I suspect that that's the real point; even if Windows 8 doesn't sell even one more copy, they still win on that front.

  25. Rajdeepak
    June 4, 2013 at 7:56 am

    At first I was really excited about win 8 but within 30 mins of usage I found it completely useless over 30 people upgraded to win 8 for 699 rupess(INDIAN) or 14.99$ and in first week 27 of them downgraded to win 7 including me,What is metro screen use to user with only a mouse,using mouse as a touch replacement is similar to using arrow keys in apple iphone.Ridiculous.No start button ,Microsoft axed it most recognized and liked feature,Hell metro in no way can a replacement for start button.No aero and flat color system a way of tricking people to think that they improved performance and graphics by actually doing some work but Reality they just removed it and twicked basic version of win 7 to make it look new.

    This was marketing strategy to force people to buy tablet and touch screen enabled pc's thinking people will follows like donkeys.This was the real fucked decision by MICROSOFT .I used to be hard core fan but no longer.Also microsoft can remove any app ao data from your pc without your consent,They claim it is only for App installed from app store but You dont need to be Einstein to guess the truth.

    • Kevin Williams
      June 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      You can disable the Metro interface and there are free add on products that can make it work like W7.

  26. Pooky Joralyn
    June 4, 2013 at 7:53 am

    The biggest problem of all is that people don't like to be out of their comfort zone. They hate to learn new stuff. Just look at Windows Vista, Ubuntu's Unity, GNOME 3, and you'll get the idea.

    • null
      June 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      vista was a failure because it had so many problems. not because it was so much different from windows xp that users. Metro is not for a desktop pc. I have a windows 8 pc and I got used to it once I 'removed metro'. As for tablets/smart phones. why choose windows when you have android where you can customize everything and find many apps that are free?

      • Pooky Joralyn
        June 5, 2013 at 7:37 am

        Man, Metro never really bothers me. In fact, I like it after getting used to it, which took me only a day.

  27. Taha Baba
    June 4, 2013 at 7:53 am

    As developer,
    I can say "YES windows 8 failed for now"

    In order to grow up, Microsoft follows a simple rule "if anyone can develop for windows 8, you'll get more and more users", so Microsoft made the development for windows 8 so easy, everyone can develop an application for windows 8 in 1 day, you can use HTML5 & Jquery, C++, C#, J# etc...

    BUT not everyone can upload his application to Windows store.
    In order to upload an application you should have a developer account and this is the main problem, windows doesn't allow you to get a developer account only if you were from some countries!

    For me as Lebanese developer that's really annoys me, moreover they didn't tell us when it could be available to upload an application from our country.

    In brief:
    I'm able to develop tonnes of applications, but with no users! JUST waste of time for now !

  28. Jerome Indefenzo
    June 4, 2013 at 6:38 am

    personally, I think Win 8 seems to fail only because Win 7 was a big hit. Windows 7 comes with a lot of improvements than XP, but Windows 8 comes with a much fewer improvements than 7. So most XP users would probably think that upgrading to 7 is necessary, but 7 users might think that Windows 8 isn't.

    Since touch features are emphasized on Windows 8, most users who don't use touch devices won't be interested with Windows 8.

    Also, I think Aero and glass attracted a lot of Windows 7 users, so upgrading to Metro wouldn't be necessary.

  29. J Enrique Fernandez
    June 4, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Because we got so used to using windows xp and windows 7, Windows 8 seems to be too complex to our generation... . I believe the new generation will handle Windows 8 as easy as we did with Windows XP or Windows 7... So I believe that in the long term Windows 8 will become as popular as windows xp or windows 7.

  30. Esaure
    June 4, 2013 at 4:23 am

    "Windows Sales

    Microsoft sold over 100 million Windows 8 licenses in the first six months. That’s actually just as many as the popular Windows 7 sold over its first six months, which seems like a good start."


    Just as much as they sold to PC makers "ONLY", should say.

    It seems like an Ad paid by Microsoft, as much as some others articles writed down here, in makeuseof.

    Microsoft surely fired Steven Sinofsky and that is because i deserves.

    Is something like selling airplanes only, to cars drivers who never had seen its internal controls.

    "A flying car is the future" (maybe, in long, long terms).

    • Matt Smith
      June 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Microsoft does not sell a full versions of Window 8 at retail. They do sell OEM and upgrade copies.

      So I'm guessing a lot of those licenses were sold to manufacturers, and that that fact doesn't bother Microsoft, since they didn't think a retail version of Windows 8 worth the bother.

      • Esaure
        June 5, 2013 at 2:16 am

        Who cares wich license type did microsoft sold to who, when they only says how many they have sold without being specific?

        There are many devices getting dust at the shelfs.

        acer and Samsung didn't bother in selling devices (tablets, for being specific) with windows 8, Dell is just starting because microsoft paid some money to own full or partially this corporation (can´t remember wich option is accurate)...

        Windows 8 has failed since it was a pure Metro Concept.

        Windows 8 is not fast but microsoft wants you to think it is, the shutdown is a mix of shutdown + hibernation, if you want to start faster any previous windows OS, enable hibernation and choose hibernate instead of shutdown for a fast start. If you want to know how long windows 8 takes to "really boot" for real, do a restart, where it kills every process.

        I like XP for many things but i use windows 7, when windows 7 comes to its end, i'll use Kubuntu or Linux Mint if windows keeps coming useless.

        By the way, i just purchase an acer iconia tablet with Android 4.1 (which includes unneeded GPS), for my kid.

        • Kevin Williams
          June 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm

          W8 boots a lot faster that W7 on the same machine. That's not just a reboot, but a shut down, remove the battery, and restart (not the same thing since shut down actually completely shuts down the hardware instead of just resetting it).

          I tested this with my W500 (Acer Iconia Windows). I LOVE my Iconia, even though it's heavier than most tablets, it lets me float around the building and still access my server remotely no matter where I am, yet I can still type on a regular sized keyboard (it feels like one, anyway), and it doesn't even get too upset if I drop it from a foot or two (not recommended).

          But, W8 isn't a pure Metro concept. There is always the desktop (that great BIG icon in the bottom left corner) that works just like Windows 7 and which I use all of the time. All of the regular W7 software works fine with W8. So, it is misleading to suggest that it's "pure Metro." It isn't.

          Also, Samsung has a vested interest in selling Android products (both because Android is expected to completely dominate the handheld and tablet markets by mid 2014 and because it is in a war with Apple in the courts to be able to sell those Android devices). But, it DOES offer some decent W8 products such as the ATIVsmart PC Pro.

          I gave up XP for W7 because it has too many security risks to deal with on a regular basis (I'm a C++ developer first, as well as a DBA/website builder/sys admin), not to mention that I wanted to move into the 21st century and stop running a nearly 20 year old OS. But, I run Windows 2008 R2 Server Data Center for my main servers and W7 on the workstations, W8 on my tablet and Android on my handheld. However, there is a new Android app that allows me to remote desktop to a Windows box, so I may switch to Android for my future devices as there are many more features not offered or supported by Windows (and, they don't really apply to Windows, I think, such as NFC which I'd think would be only of limited use).

        • Esaure
          June 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm

          When you shutdown, it does not really shuts down it does a kind of hibernation and tricks you out letting you know that you are "shutting down" your system (with all respects, you are being "fooled" by microsoft).
          With hibernation, you can run out of power without battery and when you turn it on, it comes back to its previous state (do the hibernation test closing all your apps in windows 7). Windows 8 shuts down only a few apps.
          When you restart, windows takes longer than a shutdown because a restart shuts down completely any background app/service.
          Windows 8 shows 6 hours battery runtime (it fools me) while Windows 7 or XP shows me 4 hours and it lasts about 3:30 to 4 hours but it drains faster in windows 8.
          If you gave up XP for windows 7, letme tell you that, there are several malware that if they run in XP, they shows an error or just it doen't run because the cybercriminals doesn't want to mess with "outdated" OS's and such malware becomes "incompatible".
          For a long time, there has been Teamviewer (,com) that works in Android, iOS, Linux and windows for remote desktop.
          Have you seen the lastest Windows 8.1 official video?
          Is crap!!!
          It only shows the metro start screen behavior mainly, is more like a "Guide to windows 8":

          I would like to have "floating windows", not "resizable metro apps". What i do if i want to have 5 resized apps and part of them out of the screen? and if they are some desktop and some metro apps?
          In windows 8.1 seems like microsoft did an android and apple devices research about what like or dislike to people and they just bring it in to windows 8.1

  31. Zhong J
    June 4, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Windows 8 attempt to bring onto the table, new ideas, combine the like terms and you'll achieve success but one thing they didn't calculate is customer's reactions. Modern people don't have the tendency to learn how the system works, take Gnome 3 for example, many Gnome 2 users were utterly flabbergasted by its new interface and work flow (in addition, added shells to retrieve Gnome 2 lookalike). So it's to no one's surprise that Windows 8 weren't up to expectation because we can't adapt to change this quickly.

  32. Robert
    June 4, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Has windows failed? My direct answer is, yes for now! Like Vista failed but was rejuvenated/ resurrected into the very successful Windows 7. Windows 7 alone sold over 650 million licenses as of my last reading on the matter. Apple fans may get mad at me, but how many combined apple OS has been sold, over 40 mil? 50? Maybe a 100? Of course this is not counting ipad ios, since tech people here can agree that ipads are not really full computers. Now that is windows 7 alone, how about the still popular windows xp, which a lot of people still insist on using. Also, how about the much-maligned vista? Combined, all windows OS run over 90% of the world's computers. Now all apple os could come up with is at most 7% of the world. Going back to windows 8, don't count it out yet! The fight is not over yet, not by a long shot! 8 could resurrect into 8.1. Which might address most of the concerns of current 8 users. By the way, I could be among the few people who actually like my full windows 8 tablet - running on an atom z2760 dual core, on a samsung ativ smart pc, with 9-10 hrs of battery life. Its a tablet, thin, light-weight, with a keyboard dock if I wanted to use it. Otherwise, I type on the screen, on the go, or in a bus, or train, or starbucks somewhere. So yes, I believe windows is here to stay, as it has been these many years....

  33. dragonmouth
    June 4, 2013 at 1:59 am

    "Has Windows 8 failed?"
    In to day's world perception is reality. If the perception is that Win 8 has failed, than it has failed and it's time to move on to the next iteration of Windows.

  34. Kevin Williams
    June 4, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Simply put, customers HATE being told what to do, how to use their computers for their specific needs, and having the familiar interfaces that they use every day literally ripped away from them without so much as a "thank you." It's viewed as arrogant, heavy handed, and very out of touch with user needs, all of the things for which Microsoft has always been accused (and sometimes rightly so).

    My impression of W8 is that it tries to turn your PC into a trimmed down Android with a boat anchor (your desktop/laptop) -- all plugged into a wall outlet.

    I worked for Microsoft when W8 was first released for developers and at that time I had a new netbook/tablet hybrid that I still use and love. Windows 8 was perfect for that even though I still use the desktop almost exclusively.

    "Modern" (i.e., Metro) apps are great for phone gizmos and anything else where you have a single icon and simple "no frills" user interface, but I'm a developer and a very serious power user. Metro is only a vehicle to market new, very simple apps as far as I'm concerned. Great for selling games to kids and making McDonald's style order entry applications. It has no place in my own primary computer use case.

    Does anyone seriously expect to be running a sophisticated accounting package with a Metro interface? Or a development environment? Or a complex network admin system? Or a website builder's machine? Or, oh, I don't know, maybe Microsoft Office? Seriously? I'd hardly expect the flagship operating system from Microsoft to completely abandon and alienate those users who want to run the software that PCs are designed to handle. Particularly at a time when "server in a desktop" seems to be the trend in the desktop arena with multiple virtual machines hosted on one box and 4, 6, and 8 core technology becoming much more common. Let us not forget that Windows is after all a desktop PC operating system.

    My opinion seems to be what everyone else is saying, too. "We like the OPTION of a new simple user interface, but don't force it down our throats!"

    It would probably have been wiser to have offered Windows a 7.5 which included Metro, but didn't try to make it the primary interface, much less try to push it as the only one. Or, better yet, offer a Windows Metro operating system that isn't intended to completely replace Windows 7, perhaps even offering the Metro interface as an add-on for Windows 7.

    • 1hegame
      June 5, 2013 at 6:08 am

      I always thought that. In Windows 8 there should be an option for switching between traditional popular interface (which should make W8 completely traditional ongoing with new features) and new metro interface.

      • Kevin Williams
        June 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm

        This does appear to be what they are doing. They really are listening after the very stinging blow of Vista. As you may know Microsoft offers a perk for full time employees that they can have free or very discounted (not for resale) copies of most of their software products. It is significant that Vista is the lowest downloaded of ALL of their operating systems -- even MS employees didn't like that one. LOL

        The proposed updates include the option to boot to a more traditional Windows interface while still allowing use of Metro as well as completely turning Metro off. We'll see what actually happens, though.

    • Mike
      November 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      The failure was in attempting to make a PC more like a smart phone.