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Why hasn’t Windows 8 been adopted more?


Windows 8. These two words have split opinion more than anything I can remember over the last couple of months.  Some people love the new look while others absolutely hate it but whatever you opinion the figures don’t lie – sales are not as strong as Microsoft would have liked. The sales of Windows Vista over the same period after its launch were higher and the public absolutely hated that!! So what are the factors that are affecting Windows 8 adoption? Lets take a look.

The new interface

This is what has caught most peoples attention.  The new UI is completely different to anything which has ever come out of Redmond.  Instead of defaulting to the traditional desktop it now defaults to ‘Metro’ instead and a lot of people don’t like this. Also the removal of the start button has changed the way you load programs (personally I don’t mind this) and people don’t like change.  Both consumers and businesses are going to have to relearn the way you use Windows and this has put off a lot of people.

The hardware wasn’t there

Personally I think this is one of the major factors affecting Windows 8 adoption.  To fully appreciate Windows 8 you need to try it on a touchscreen and to put it blunt the hardware at launch simply wasn’t upto the task and as yet it is still a long way behind.  On a laptop with a keyboard and mouse Windows 8 can feel clunky and not intuitive at all.  Use it on a touchscreen and the experience increases ten fold.

Windows 7

Windows 7 is having a huge effect on how people and businesses view Windows 8 but not in a good way.  People like it and are comfortable using it so why upgrade to a newer and different operating system in which they would have to relearn everyday tasks.  Windows 7 could become the new Windows XP and for Microsoft that could be a disaster.

Different versions of Windows 8

Microsoft has aimed Windows 8 as the operating system that can span multiple devices and architectures.  In my opinion this was a mistake.  Take a look at Apple who have OS X on their Macbooks and iOS on their phones and tablets.  This in my mind is the right approach.  If you try and cover all bases then people will expect programs to work on all the devices.  If they don’t you will receive a backlash (enter stage left Windows RT).  Design an operating system for tablets and touchscreen and design another for the ‘traditional’ laptops and PC’s.  This way consumers are in no doubt you can’t run the same apps / programs on both and everyone understands from day one.  At the moment Microsofts strategy is confusing.

Price of hardware

At the moment the price for Windows 8 tablets are too high.  Windows has always been associated with computing for the masses so trying to position yourself as an alternative to Apple and asking for the same price is just wrong.  Drop the prices and people will start to buy them.

Have I missed anything? If so please let me know!!

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

 

What are the factors affecting mainstream adoption of Linux?


I love Linux.  My business systems are based on it and I try to ‘spread the good word’ whenever possible.  If you speak to the general public though about Linux you usually get the blank looks of ‘whats that?’ The general public doesn’t know about Linux or doesn’t want to know.  This has got me thinking – what are the factors affecting mainstream adoption of Linux?

1. Microsoft Windows

Love it or hate it Windows is the standard when it comes to the desktop.  Users are used to it and don’t want to try anything else.  Those that do want an experience which replicates the one they used to get on their Windows machines.

2. Hardware Support

This is one of the major bugbears with a lot of users (especially new users).  Their printers, wireless adapters etc just worked on Windows but when they switched across to Linux they didn’t.  They have to spend hours scouring forums and the internet in general to find a solution.  Hardware support is generally getting better but there is still a long way to go.

3. The ‘Techie’ Image

There is still an image that Linux is only being used by geeks.  The general public think you must use the command line for everything and that Linux is not user friendly.  Yes it is true you can use the command line if you wish but there are now distributions like Ubuntu or Mint where a user doesn’t have to go near a terminal if they don’t wish to.

4. Elitist Attitude

I have lost count of the number of times I have been on forums where a new user has asked for help with a specific problem and someone has posted back RTFM.  Very helpful hey? Lose the chip people or Linux is never going to become mainstream.  Everyone was a newbie once.

5. Marketing

Microsoft and Apple spend billions on marketing.  Linux?  As far as I know very little is spent on raising the profile.

6. There is little backing from the major hardware manufacturers

Not many of the major manufacturers install Linux by default on their systems.  Nearly all install Windows so there is little incentive for hardware vendors to write Linux software for their devices.

7. There is no standard way to install software on Linux

Windows has its .exe file format.  What do we have on Linux? Well it depends on what distribution you are using!!  You can get deb files for Ubuntu or Debian or rpm files on Fedora, CentOS etc.  What Linux needs is a standardized file format so that software written for one distribution can also be installed on all the major distributions without having to tweak it.

8.There are too many distros

There are too many distributions on the market.  Yes I know that people like choice but you can’t expect hardware manufacturers to write software for all of them as this is not possible.  A new user to Linux is faced with literally hundreds of choices and this can be very daunting.  The community needs to pool resources and get behind one or maybe two distributions.  If this happened then there would be a lot more resources to take on Microsoft and Apple head on and raise the profile of Linux.  At the moment there are a lot of little voices in the wind instead of one big voice.

Do you agree or disagree with my reasons?  Let the battle commence!!

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

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