ComTech: IT Support Stirling

Is Windows 8 really struggling that bad?

ComTech: IT Support Stirling

I have been reading quite a few articles this week from zdnet regarding the failure of Windows 8.  Windows 9 is even apparently being brought forward for a release in April 2015. Is it really a failure though or is this something drummed up by the media?

Lets take a look at the numbers.  As of the end of December 2013 Windows 8 and 8.1 combined has a market share of 10.46%.  Windows 7 is still way out in front with 47.52%.  The installed PC base globally is estimated to be approx 1.6 billion which means at the moment Windows 8 (and 8.1) are installed on approximately 167 million PC’s (and laptops).  To me that is a very large number of installed systems.

While talking to a lot of my clients regarding Windows 8 there is a very noticeable split of opinion between the younger generation and the older one.  The older generation was quite happy on XP (and in some cases Windows 7) so when they see how different Windows 8 is they hate it.  Compare that to the younger generation with their smartphones and tablets who seam to gell with the “Metro” interface.  Personally I don’t mind it (I used to hate it) but I still disagree with Microsofts vision of one interface for all systems.

For a long time wherever Microsoft led the market followed (UEFI anyone?) but times have changed.  Microsoft is no longer the leader of the pack as the market has been turned on its head by tablets and smartphones.  In the enterprise things are chugging along as normal as Microsoft has a very strong grip with the likes of Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V but the poor PC and laptop are taking a battering.  The PC is not going anywhere anytime soon but the market will reach a point where it can’t shrink anymore and stabilize leaving Microsoft as the big fish in a very small pond.

Microsoft knows this and that is why we have Windows 8.  Would it not have been better though to continue to develop Windows along the same lines as Windows 7 and have a brand new operating system developed specifically for tablets rather than the one interface across everything.  Something along the lines of iOS and OS X perhaps?

I don’t think that Windows 8 is struggling as bad as the media is suggesting but I do agree that it isn’t doing as well as Microsoft had hoped.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in Stirling and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter



3 thoughts on “Is Windows 8 really struggling that bad?

  1. Sorry Brad but I will have to disagree with you on this. Speaking to a lot of my clients they don’t want the same interface on a tablet, laptop, PC and phone. They want a desktop OS on a laptop or PC with a mobile OS on a tablet and smartphone. I do agree that supporting multiple interfaces would be a challenge but how is that any different to a company supporting Windows 7, Vista, 8, 8.1 and a phone OS (whether that is Android, iOS or Windows Phone) at the same time? I have a number of clients who have different OS’es throughout their company so I know that this does happen.

  2. Going with a unified OS makes more sense to me. Windows 8.1 allows me to have the same profile on my laptop and my tablet so my experience is the same & support for the one OS is simplified regardless if the device is a laptop, tablet or 8″ device. What is the most surprising is to read that that a couple of highly experienced IT Support guys think that going the Apple route and creating multiple OSs would have been better. That approach would force IT to support and manage multiple OSs with multiple management tools which is one reason many IT shops are testing 8.1 tablets – to remove iOS entirely.

  3. I’m one of those “older” generation folks who hates 8 / 8.1. I wasn’t a fan of 7, or more specifically all the “ribbons” it seemed to spawn in MS’s products. I still hate those. The idea of one OS for all tools is ridiculous. I use a laptop because my business keeps me mobile – I need a lot of computing power with me wherever I travel, internet connectivity and a human sized keyboard for typing fast creating sometimes lengthy documents. I use multiple tools at the same time: Word, Excel and PowerPoint are often in use together and sometimes with multiple files in one or more of them. At my home base office I have the laptop plugged into a large screen monitor on my desk.

    The single OS concept doesn’t permit that. If only one “app” is open on my screen I have no idea what’s on the others. When I saw Windows 8 I was horrified. My immediate reaction was to delay upgrading as long as possible. Sadly, my year old laptop with a solid state hard drive was simply too light on storage and I was forced to upgrade. With the new machine came the new OS and horrors. Worse than being a whole new way to work it doesn’t work well. I’ve found two work-arounds – Stardock Start8 gives me back the start button and easy access to all the programs in a familiar easy to navigate format and ModernMix gives me back resizable multiple windows. Sadly the mouse instability problems are still there and my only fix, after trying many tips from friends and getting no help from MS, is to keep my laptop lid open and the touch pad activated (even though I never use it and find it intrusive).

    Is MS in trouble? No idea. I actually hope so. They deserve to learn a lesson about ignoring customer preferences. They seem to program with a bunch of kids who only understand smart phones and “apps”. They are trying to copy Apple and Android and doing a shitty job of it.

    Is a separate OS needed? Absolutely. If they don’t do it soon, then I know just little enough about the industry to do it myself. Maybe they need some competition that cares about business applications and user friendly desktop and laptop human interfaces.

    I can’t speak to whether or not MS

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