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Posted on April 15th, 2013 by Barry Collins

Windows 8 sparking little more search interest than Vista

There’s a lot of debate over the popularity of Windows 8. Microsoft claims Windows 8 is outselling Windows 7; British desktop PC makers have told us that up to 93% of new PC buyers still want Windows 7.

Google provides us with another means of divining the popularity of different products. The Google Trends website allows you to compare the search volumes of different terms, and it doesn’t make particularly pleasant reading for Microsoft when you start comparing recent versions of Windows.

We compared the search volumes for the past four editions of Windows, from 2004 until the present day, and this is the result (click graph to enlarge):

Windows search volume

As you can see, Windows 8 is following a very similar trend line to Windows Vista, briefly bursting past the incumbent version of Windows at the time of launch, before settling down at a level that’s well below its predecessor. While the post-launch drop-off isn’t quite as severe for Windows 8 as it was for Vista, it’s still pretty grim viewing for Microsoft.

If there are crumbs of comfort for Microsoft, searches for OS X appear to be in long-term decline — although we suspect more people search for the particular version number than “OS X”:

Windows vs OS X search volumes

Indeed, when you throw the search term “Mac” into the comparison, it paints an entirely different picture:

Windows vs Mac search volume

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Posted in: Windows 8


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26 Responses to “ Windows 8 sparking little more search interest than Vista ”

  1. russell g Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    The “trendline” for Windows 8 appears to be more similar to that of Win 7 than Vista, but at a lower level. Hardly surprising given the amount of bile that has been spouted in the press about Win 8. Once you get past the daft “lets have two interfaces” with Metro which doesn’t work well on conventional machines for users used to the Win95 and up way of interacting, its fine. The question for Microsoft is, why should people bother getting Win 8 to work the way they want it to when Win 7 exists?

  2. Tim Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Maybe if it was an affordable upgrade there would be more interest. As it is you pay a fortune and get very little over Windows 7. For Pro users it is over £100 for a slightly faster boot. That is a lot of money for a few seconds once a month.

  3. cyteck Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I’m sorry but if windows 8 is a failure in the sense that it hasnt sold in the large volumes MS had hoped for then the blame is squarely at the door of Microsoft for launching a poor product. Great Windows products like Windows 7 sell themselves because quality sells. Further more the most obvious mistakes that MS made with windows 8 was not to create x2 different versions one for PC’s & laptops non touch and a second mobile touch enabled versions. One size fits all is a failure and it shows so, you cannot force this on users. That’s the mistake/gamble that MS took IMO.

  4. milliganp Says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the two most common Windows 8 searches are:-
    Windows 8 start menu
    Fix windows 8

  5. Robert Peterson Says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I don’t understand what this survey reveals. I regularly google windows 8 to see if there is any movement in Microsofts attitude to bringing back the start menu. I took off windows 8 and won’t be reinstalling unless Microsoft capitulates and I am not on my own

  6. David Wright Says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 11:42 am

    What exactly is being searched for Window x good / bad / sucks / how do I?

  7. computer repair preston Says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Most consumers are not interested in the version of windows. They are interested in a device which fulfills their requirements. Now that sales of tablets and smartphones have boomed, less people will want to buy a new laptop/computer. Thus, by default, there will be less interest in windows 8 as a result.

    Oh and you can’t compare the search term as generic as ‘mac’ to a more specific one ‘windows 8′.

  8. David Says:
    April 17th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    @computer repair preston
    Businesses do care though, and most seem keen to avoid Windows 8, as indeed I am on our network. It offers nothing over and above W7, and it would require user training. So what’s the point? Better to stick with W7 for now.

  9. Gary Says:
    April 17th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Easy.. Load Windows 8, Load Classic Shell, Goodbye Metro rubbish

  10. Willem de Leeuw Says:
    April 17th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    @ Robert Peterson: I wouldn’t hold my breath for Microsoft. I downloaded a start button replacement program for five bucks from Stardock and am happy with it. It can also force Windows 8 to load to and stay on the desktop and turn off the hotzones, or whatever those things are called.

  11. JeffTZ Says:
    April 17th, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Firstly, “British PC Makers” make up a teeny tiny fraction of the total number of PC’s shipped in to the UK market, so this is hardly a credible example – Most PC’s are built in factories in Taiwan, China et al. for obvious reasons.

    Secondly, “British PC Makers” can’t produce PC’s that are the right form factor for Windows 8 (ie. Tablets, Convertibles, All in Ones)as most of them buy off the shelf parts (Asus motherboards, WD HDD etc) and assemble a PC to your spec – they simply don’t have the resource to produce these new form factor PC’s; and even if they did, they wouldn’t be competitive , as if they were to be built in the UK, the labour and other associated costs would mean the sell price would be far too high.

    All PC’s will include touch at very little or no cost in the very near future, and that’s when Window 8 will really come into it’s own (IMHO).

    I can’t think of another product that has sold 60+ million units within 3-4 months of launch, and been dubbed as a failure.

    And if we’re comparing to Mac, check out netmarketshare data… Windows 8 market share is 3.17% _five months_ after launch …. *Total* Mac share is 6.33%

  12. Tim STaffell Says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Got no idea why people are so prejudiced against every subsequent release of Windows; it’s almost as if they’re resentful of having to factor in the effort required to adapt to slightly different interactivity. For me it’s always been worth it. Never had a problem with any release of Windows, not even Vista. I’ve got 8 Pro on all my machines. Great Fun, Great OS. Oh, there’s no Start Button? For Heaven’s sake people.. just adapt…

  13. Confucious Says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Windows 8 is better on my laptop since I downloaded Win 8 drivers for my trackpad – but better than the pile of sh!t it was before isn’t saying much. I wouldn’t install it on a desktop, which is a shame as if they got rid of the stupid start screen and all the things that work well on a touch screen, it’s actually quite good.

  14. Davi Says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Well VISTA stood for Very Insidiously Stupid Technological Ass. As for Windows 8 it is only missing the H, as in Windows H8 (or Windows Hate). There are still companies selling laptops very well with Windows 8 but, a big but, the laptops come with Windows 7 and a Windows 8 installation disc. Hmmm, wonder why their sales are very good. And, I guess, a lot of Windows 8 upgrade discs lying around doing nothing…

  15. Stan Says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Because I don’t have a touch screen I have to use more mouse clicks to get anywhere in win8 eg laptop boots, click to get to password screen, enter password, click to get to interface screen full of garbage i don’t want/need, scroll to find desktop icon, click to open, slash wrists or go to my win7 machine in another room.
    Yes I can “downgrade” as Sony puts it but will lose some of the fuctionality of the laptop. When was Sony taken over by Microsoft?

  16. Marvin Says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    A lot of very big businesses (Capita, Amey & Network Rail to mention three that I’ve worked for) are still using Windows XP. Network Rail still use Office 2003. I got Office 2007 a couple of years before the rest of Capita Symonds only because I needed to use bigger matrices than Excel 2003 could cope with. On the other hand, I can appreciate the rule ‘Never buy any software until SP1 comes out’ too.

  17. Stephen Says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I did’t upgrade Vista machines to Windows 7 because it didn’t seem worth the high cost. The £25 upgrade price for Windows 8 did seem worth it, so 2 Vista and 1 XP upgraded; all booting Windows 8 direct to a desktop with start menu.

    Given that low intro price I was surprised more people didn’t do the same; I guess for many Vista worked well enough and just not worth the hassle.

  18. Jason Says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Be warned, use CHKDSK on your system partition with extreme care… My raid 0 system developed bad clusters and caused Windows 8 to crash eventually. I ran CHKDSK to try and fix it and it turned the system partition holding the OS and my profile contents into a RAW partition! Unfortunately for me I had not had time to back it up before I lost it. Lucky for me my other data was on a separate non raid drive. Microsoft and your less than intelligent boot repair can go jump off a cliff before I put Windows 8 back onto my system again.

  19. Rob Radina Says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    In response to the “upgrade cost” of Win8 being $100. Wasn’t there a sweetheart upgrade deal until last January where you could upgrade for $39?

  20. Marekj Says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Windows 8 has always been readily available for less than £100. Heck, I got a free upgrade code with a £120 Lumia from Carphonewarehouse a couple of weeks ago.

  21. Gary Gemmell Says:
    April 19th, 2013 at 2:10 am

    A question I havetn seen asked is in a corporate environment how easy do you think it will be to support Windows 8 – Eh clikc the start button and…errmm oops move your finger and errrrmmm – Indeed…Not easy…

  22. douglas Says:
    April 19th, 2013 at 5:25 am

    As matter of fact with all sincerity windows 8 will go the way of vista there nothing interesting about windows 8, Microsoft should be themselves and not try copy anybody. Windows 8 is not a professional OS. I will not advise any of client to use it now except MS redesigns it because I see it working like vista.

  23. Dale Williams Says:
    April 19th, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Gary Gemmell, of course it’s really hard to tell a user to press the windows key and start typing to find what you’re looking for, somewhat like spotlight on a mac, I can see how that might confuse some dinasour it support. There are performance advantages that go beyond the GUI, as Tim STaffell says, adapt, it’s new it’s different that doesn’t mean it’s worse, IMHO it’s their best yet.

  24. DaytR Says:
    April 23rd, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Hmm this is interesting, so what Microsoft have done is they have made an OS which has made its predecessor more attractive ! Again !

  25. JohnnyBoy Says:
    April 24th, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I tried and returned Windows 8 via the MS Store at a bargain basement price. It killed two machines dead, both fully patched Win7 OSs, both working normally, both pretty standard. After a rebuild or two, I found out that Metro just stopped, the other interface looked like windows 3xx and no matter how hard I tried, I saw no benefit. Off it went, now happy in a win7 world again.

  26. Manuel Says:
    April 24th, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Paid for Vista. reformatted hard drive and re-installed windows XP.

    Paid for Windows 7 loved it.

    paid for Windows 8.

    Reformatted hard drive and re-installed WIndows 7.


    I guess the next Windows OS should be worth it?

    M$ owe me for 2 pieces of software that were not fit for purpose.


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