Windows 8 Forums, one of the largest Windows help sites on the Web put together a survey of 50,000 Windows users to determine what the new operating system’s strengths and weaknesses are. In addition, the survey takers were asked what their favorite version of Windows is. Of the people surveyed, 53% state that they prefer Windows 7.
What will undoubtedly draw ire from an already skeptical community is the fact that only 25% of those surveyed felt that Windows 8 was the best Windows operating system to date. One one hand, this could be taken as a grim number indicating that Windows 8 is more of a step back than it is forward. Keep in mind, though, that most folks just don’t like change. When it comes to software, there will always be someone who doesn’t like the latest revision. This is especially true in the presence of dramatic user interface changes (such as the new UI in Windows 8), which makes a high approval rating very difficult.
In a world where about a quarter of Windows users are still running the now practically ancient Windows XP, it stands to reason that Windows 8 will incur some initial pushback from users. I’ll be the first to recommend Windows to a friend or family member, though Windows 8 is a tough sell in part because much of it is unfamiliar to the average user. Intuitive it is not — at least not yet.
To me, the most important information gathered during the survey related to the strengths and weaknesses of the operating system.
Here’s a look at some of the strengths outlined by the poll.
- 56% – Fast Boot and Shut Down
- 50% – East Installation
- 35% – Internet Explorer 10
- 28% – Restart / Restore Capabilities
- 26% – More Included Apps (Mail, Calendar, Etc.)
Weaknesses are also important, because they’ll be the pain points that users experience when attempting to actually use the new operating system. If anything, they’ll be what Microsoft should be concentrating the most on changing as Windows 8 is released to the public.
- 26% – System Requirements
- 25% – Incompatibility
- 20% – Freezing and Crashing
- 18% – Two Entirely Different User Interfaces
- 18% – Incomplete Apps
Topping the list of weaknesses is price, but anything that ever costs more than free will always be a matter of contention for users. Microsoft has even gone so far as to offer Windows 8 upgrades at a significantly reduced price compared to previous editions. Still, it’s not the cheapest operating system out there — not by far.
Note: According to the detailed points of the poll: Only 26% of those polled had actually listed Windows 8 as an operating system they’d used.
Data Source: Windows 8 Forums