Avast survey reveals consumer skepticism about Windows 8

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Apple pie left to cool on Windows’ sill

Insecurity company Avast asked over 350,000 of its subscribers just how excited they were about Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. The results are in, and the answer is ‘not many’.

Asking users across seven languages – English, French, German, Portugese, Italian, Polish, and Czech – a majority of 56 percent understood Windows 8 was around the corner, but the enthusiasm did not match the awareness.

Just two percent said they would be buying a PC purely for Windows 8. Six percent said they probably would, but the majority – 46 percent – said they definitely wouldn’t be buying new gear to experience the operating system. That was backed up by 32 percent who said they probably wouldn’t, and 14 percent who weren’t sure.

In terms of security, the results were a little more positive. Although those of us with a memory remember Microsoft assuring the world that Vista would be secure – because its top security managers had plenty of experience in Windows – may not be so easily swayed, 36 percent agreed that Windows 8 will probably be safer than Windows 7, while 10 percent were sure it would be. The majority, though, went to the middle ground: 40 percent were unsure either way. Over half could appreciate that Windows has gotten more secure over the years.

Of those polled, a quarter said they were planning to buy a new device soon, but would opt with an iPad or Apple Mac instead.

Despite understandable consumer trepidation, the fact is, Windows 8 is here with us now and new builds will ship with the OS. At a time when people are tightening their belts and carefully considering high value purchases like electronics, the OS will undoubtedly de facto crawl up the usage charts, but this will be the result of an enormous vendor push rather than rabid consumer enthusiasm.

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