Just 0.18 percent of all the computers that went online during June ran one of the previews of Windows 8, statistics Net Applications showed last week. Of those PCs running Windows, 0.2 percent — or 20 out of 10,000 — were powered by Windows 8.
In June 2009, four months before its launch, Windows 7 accounted for 0.75 percent of all computers and 0.80 percent of all Windows machines. In other words, Windows 7’s share was four times that of Windows 8.
Even when the different release dates of the previews for each operating system are taken into account, Windows 8 still comes up short, although the disparity is not as pronounced. In the first full month after each sneak peek’s release, Windows 7’s share of all Windows PCs was two to three times greater than Windows 8’s.
Four months after its Consumer Preview’s debut, Windows 8’s share of all Windows machines was lower than Windows 7’s just seven weeks after the launch of its beta.
Other comparisons also highlight Windows 8’s poor fortunes so far.
Windows 8’s June 2012 share of 0.18 percent, for example, represents about 2.9 million machines of last year’s estimated global installed base of 1.6 billion PCs. Windows 7’s 0.75 percent from June 2009, meanwhile, translates into about 9.4 million systems of that year’s smaller installed base of approximately 1.25 billion.
The operating systems have had an equal opportunity to win fans: Microsoft delivered two early versions of each to the public. They also appear to be on the same shipping schedule. Windows 7 went on sale in October 2009, and although Microsoft has not yet set a release date for Windows 8, most experts expect that it will also launch in October.
Not only does Windows 8 compare unfavorably to Windows 7, but the gap between the two has widened. Two months ago Windows 8’s share was half of Windows 7’s three years before. Since then the difference between the editions has doubled, with Windows 8’s June share only one-fourth of Windows 7’s in that month of 2009.
Unlike post-launch share data, the early returns are not tainted with new PCs that come with an operating system. Rather, users chose to install the previews of Windows 7 and Windows 8, and thus the share figures represent a more accurate picture of customer interest in the upcoming operating system itself, not in the desire — or need — to acquire new hardware.
Microsoft has not told users to stop deploying Windows 7 in favor of Windows 8. As recently as last month, the company again urged enterprises to continue their adoption of Windows 7