More than 70 percent of Microsoft Windows users won’t be upgrading to Windows 8 in the near future, according to a survey released this week by antivirus software maker Avast.
The survey of 350,000 Avast users, more than 135,000 of them from the United States, showed that only nine percent of U.S. respondents said that Windows 8 was enticing them to buy a new computer.
The survey’s findings, which were published by USA Today on Wednesday, was based on a U.S. sample composed of 65 percent Windows 7 users, 22 percent Windows XP users, and 8 percent Windows Vista users.
Of the 16 percent of U.S. users who said they plan to buy a new computer, 68 percent said they’ll get one running Windows 8 and 12 percent said they intended to buy a Macintosh computer. In addition, 30 percent of Windows users with intentions to buy a new computer said they intended to buy an iPad.
The survey appeared just days after the head of Microsoft’s Windows division, Steven Sinofsky, suddenly resigned his post at the company. The reason for Sinofsky’s departure is still a subject of speculation but one theory is his boss Steve Ballmer was dissatisfied with the number of apps for Windows 8.
The ho-hum response by the trade press and the lack of consumer enthusiasm for the operating system since it was officially rolled out last month may have also contributed to Sinofsky’s exit.
“Windows 8 is an uneven product,” Trip Chowdhry, managing director for equity research for Global Equities Research in Redwood Shores, California wrote in a research note on Tuesday.
“Some things Microsoft did were extremely smart, and some things that Microsoft did were dumb,” he added. “The negatives outweigh the positives.”
One Windows change that many users are finding annoying is the removal of the Windows start button. However, as has been the case since Microsoft began making operating systems, third-party developers are always around to clean up the efficiencies created by Redmond. One such developer has created Win8 StartButton, which not only restores the start button but also reconfigures Windows 8 to boot in the familiar desktop mode that many Windows users know and love.
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John Mello writes on technology and cyber security for a number of online publications and is former managing editor of the Boston Business Journal and Boston Phoenix. Disclosure: He also writes for Hewlett-Packad's marketing website TechBeacon.