back to article Windows 8 early-bird users still love Windows 7 more - poll

More than half of Windows 8 users prefer Windows 7 to Microsoft's new operating system, according to a community poll. Forumswindows8, which claims to be the web's largest Windows 8 help and support forum, says it conducted a poll of 50,000 people using Windows 8 and found that 53 per cent voted Windows 7 as their favorite …

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  1. auburnman
    FAIL

    That's gotta hurt

    "Windows 8: Less popular than our previous offering and only marginally beating our 12 year old OS." 7 might turn out to be the new XP, staying around for a decade.

    1. Nigel 11
      Flame

      Re: That's gotta hurt

      And crucially, this is a poll of self-selected early (pre-release) adopters, who you might expect to be of the neophile tendency, and inclined in general to like things merely for being new and different.

      Things will be much, much worse for MS when XP ceases to be supported, and the folks who thought Windows 7 was a downgrade are confronted with Windows 8 (maybe as the only option on a new PC? )

      Apple must be rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation.

      1. badmonkey

        Re: That's gotta hurt

        I don't think so. The stat of the idiots who vote in favor of XP tells you a bit about the opposite tendency. It's fashionable to trash the latest MS OS and has been for a while, so it would appear this sort of feedback has to be taken with a grain of salt.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: That's gotta hurt

          Not only is it fashionable to trash the latest version, it's worth keeping a close eye on these actual statistics. According to the results in this report, only 26% of respondents replied that they had previously used Windows 8. That's a bit of a weird result and suggests that only around a quarter of respondents actually have significant experience actually using Windows 8 day to day.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's gotta hurt

        "Apple must be rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation."

        Hardly... Apple don't care about the Enterprise market, they're pretty much wholly consumer with a few niches of graphic design and a little video editing. Their desktop lineup shows this, their lack of servers, the inability to do onsite support of their hardware, the lack of proper roadmaps, etc. etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ac

          Who said anything about enterprise? This is a poll amongst /early adopters/, that usually does not include enterprise.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ac

            The vast majority of Windows users - outside of enterprise - are on vista or 7, the main OS in enterprise is XP, moving over to 7.

      3. Mark .

        Re: That's gotta hurt

        "People like one MS better than another - therefore Apple are best"

        We heard this Apple fanatic logic with Vista, and it didn't make sense then, even with Vista being awful. It certainly doesn't work for Windows 8. At least move to something like Linux, where you do get choice, rather than dumping one big company for another with less choice.

    2. Chika
      Holmes

      Re: That's gotta hurt

      I wouldn't mind that too much. We're only just getting through the migration to W7 from XP here; we weren't impressed with Vista and it would be an expensive process to shift suddenly to W8 at this point, not to mention all the extra work needed to retrain users, research compatibility and all that.

      As far as my home kit goes, I've often said that I would kick Microsoft out if I could but given that I have no choice thanks to lock-in by certain manufacturers, I have no intention of shifting from a system that does its job to one that I have serious doubts about. So if W7 could last as long as XP has, there'd be no problem here!

    3. Mark .

      I remember 10 or so years ago

      On geek/IT forums like The Register, Slashdot and so on, Windows XP was slagged off all over the place, instead users preferring Windows 2000. There were good arguments too - Windows 2000 had all the good things about XP, and the benefits of XP were more consumer oriented things that geeks would rather turn off anyway.

      So I now find it laughable that on these same places, history has been rewritten to hold up XP as being the best MS OS ever!

      The criticisms of Windows 8 seem to be far more like with XP, rather than say Vista - namely it's not that it's bad, just that users here don't see anything particularly special, and they'll happily stick with the current latest version, at least for now. (Though as the article notes, there are improvements to the OS that are nothing to do with touchscreens. Personally I'd be happy to finally get the damn pause button when copying files!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I remember 10 or so years ago

        If somebody ever figures out how to back port Cleartype to 2000, I'll be happy!

      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: I remember 10 or so years ago

        Who died and made you derpmaster general? Windows XP was a piece of shit when it launched. In fact, it maintained a full-on craptasticness right up until Service Pack 2, which basically introduced an entirely new operating system. Funny how people who like to bang on the "everyone hated XP when it launched" drum tend to forget that opinion of XP changed overnight when the fixed most of the flaws in the operating system.

        Vista was the same way. Absolute shit when it launched. Then the fixed all the flaws and called it "Windows 7," (well, except for giving me back my Up Arrow, but Classic Shell fixes that.) As soon as they unborked their craptasm, people loved it.

        Windows 8 is a good operating system…under the hood. But there is so much about the OS that is completely fucking broken that we'll need either an XPSP2-esque service pack, or a whole new version to resolve the issues.

        For the record, I still love Windows 2000. I refuse to touch XP unless it's SP2 or later, Vista an go [censored] itself, and Windows 7 only became usable on older hardware after SP1. Without Classic Shell, Windows 8 is unusable, and I don't trust Microsoft not to screw us all again a few more times before finding a version we can mostly live with.

        Until they screw us again and we go around this loop one more time. But hey, don't let me stand in the way of your blinkered view of history…

        1. Mark .

          Re: I remember 10 or so years ago

          Well who died and made you derpmaster general?

          Your points seem to be in agreement to me - that MS OSs are criticised when they come out. Yes, part of it is that MS fixes and improves things, but then, no reason to think this won't happen with Windows 8 too.

          If people were simply saying "I'm steering clear of Windows 8 until they fix up the issues with a service pack, then it'll be great - that's how it is with every other MS release", then fine - but they're not. Instead it's talking as if Windows 8 is fundamentally flawed. People aren't saying that XP was crap until they fixed it - it's hailed as the best MS OS ever.

          There's also talk of Windows 8 being a complete flop because of it. Do the flaws that you yourself say were in XP stop that from being an amazing success? And if you say "No because they improved it", why should we think they won't improve Windows 8 after release?

          We may well see in 10 years' time, people saying "Windows 16 is a bunch of rubbish, stick with the wonderful Windows 8" - yes, it may well be that this is an improved Windows 8 after a service pack, but nonetheless, that's a completely different story to the claims that Windows 8 will flop, and everyone will move to Apple itoys or Linux, or stick with XP.

          "forget that opinion of XP changed overnight"

          I don't agree at all - e.g., many of the criticisms I remember about XP were things like the look and feel of the UI, which exist to this day.

          How is Windows 8 completely broken, OOI?

          "For the record, I still love Windows 2000. I refuse to touch XP unless it's SP2 or later, Vista an go [censored] itself, and Windows 7 only became usable on older hardware after SP1."

          You're missing the point. This isn't about one person's opinion. Sure, that's your opinion. My opinion is that I preferred Windows 2000 to XP, and now I prefer Windows 7 to either. Everyone has different views. I'm just drawing attention to the groupthink of sites like here, where new MS OS are always slagged off, and I'm laughing how XP is now hailed as the best MS OS ever. Like you, I stuck with 2000 during that time. If it was 2000 that was being upheld as the best, then that would be consistent.

          "But hey, don't let me stand in the way of your blinkered view of history"

          I'm not the one claiming that XP was seen as wonderful all along, like some people here. You may have some opinion that changed overnight with SP2, but that doesn't speak for everyone.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            @Mark

            Who - exactly - is claimin Windows XP "has always been good"? Hmm? I've never met such a madman.

            HREF or GTFO

          2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            @Mark2

            Also, regarding the "look at feel of the UI," XP always offered a classic mode. Windows 8 doesn't. Even with Classic Shell, that damned derptastic interface still intrudes from time to time.

            Windows 8 is far more of a blinekred transition - UI wise - than Windows XP was. Though the core OS is in better shape at the outset.

            Unlike XP, Microsoft isn't going to fix it with a service pack.

      3. Synja

        Re: I remember 10 or so years ago

        I still prefer Windows 2000.

      4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: I remember 10 or so years ago

        > Windows XP was slagged off all over the place,

        It was when it was first released. By SP2 it had become stable and useful and the slagging stoppped. It wasn't the people that changed, it was XP.

        > history has been rewritten to hold up XP as being the best MS OS ever!

        No, it was XP that was rewritten, XP-SP3 was what was better. If you understood history better then you may make more useful comments.

        >The criticisms of Windows 8 seem to be far more like with XP, rather than say Vista

        Vista did get better, but was still worse than XP. Windows 8 may well become OK when SP2 or 3 make Metro go away.

  2. tony72
    Alert

    Not surprised

    I have a Windows 7 tablet (exopc), and I've tried the Windows 8 consumer and release previews on it, and both times reverted to Windows 7. Considering tablets are supposed to be where 8 shines most, that's not a good sign. The trouble is, while Metro* works great, Microsoft do not want you to use traditional desktop apps in tablet mode, so they have actually degraded the touch experience for desktop apps. E.g. in Windows 7, when you touch in a text box in an application, a popup appears next to it so you can bring up the on-screen keyboard, but in Windows 8 this is gone - you have to manually tap the icon on the taskbar to bring up the keyboard, then tap back in the text box to return focus, then manually close the keyboard when you're done typing; usability nightmare, and there appears to be no way to get the Windows 7 TIP functionality back. Windows 8 may be fine if you plan to use only Metro* apps, and it may be fine on the Surface and other hybrid devices with an integrated keyboards, but if you plan on using non-Metro* apps on a tablet without a keyboard, personally I'd think twice. And if you're not planning on running traditional desktop apps, then why would you even consider a Windows tablet?

    * yes, I know

    1. dogged
      Meh

      Re: Not surprised

      I too have ExoPC which I've been developing Metro equivalents of desktop utilities for.

      On occassion, I've resorted to a USB mouse (during first install, for example) but otherwise no real issues.

      The result does not surprise me.

      When you poll a group of people who have a problem with a piece of software - remember, those users are only on that forum to get help with something - you have to be pretty damn stupid to expect them to sing its praises.

      Not than anyone else will mention that.

    2. AGuyInEngland

      Re: Not surprised

      "in Windows 8 this is gone - you have to manually tap the icon on the taskbar to bring up the keyboard, then tap back in the text box to return focus, then manually close the keyboard when you're done typing"

      I think this has been sorted in the RTM.

    3. Mark .

      Re: Not surprised

      It's worth noting that most the upcoming "tablets" are hybrids, so it suggests that they think the best situation is to have a keyboard for real computing, but use a touch-optimised new interface when you need the portability. Which I think is the right choice. I don't want to do windowed/"desktop" applications on a touchscreen, and I don't want to do small windowed/"desktop" applications if I'm walking around with a tablet.

      "And if you're not planning on running traditional desktop apps, then why would you even consider a Windows tablet?"

      Some obvious things I can think of off the top of my head: Even though the UI needs to be redone, porting is far easier. Also easier integration, e.g., Windows networking (useful both for business and home).

      Also the question seems odd - even if I couldn't run desktop apps, since you can't do that on any other tablet OSs, it's not a negative. I would still at least consider the available options when buying something.

  3. Mahou Saru

    They finally got it right...

    Build on it, don't kick it down!!!!

  4. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Good luck with WP8 phones if Win 8 tanks

    Customer: "What's the advantage of a WP8 phone?"

    Sales:"It's the same desktop as the new Windows 8".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good luck with WP8 phones if Win 8 tanks

      Followed by..

      Customer: 'Great I can run all my windows apps'

      Sales: 'Umm... about that...'

      Customer: 'And office!'

      Sales: Oh, is that the time? I must be off.. <fast exit>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good luck with WP8 phones if Win 8 tanks

        Well, as my WP7 has office, I suspect that WP8 will also have office. I hardly use it all the time, but when it's useful, it is very useful indeed.

      2. Mark .

        Re: Good luck with WP8 phones if Win 8 tanks

        When the iphone was first released, I remember Apple fans bragging it was running OS X(!) I don't recall Apple ever being criticised that their phone couldn't run OS X software.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Fast boot isn't everything...

      Yep. Domain login has always caused slowdowns.

      That said, that Easy Install is a key plus is odd, this is a one-time action that probably 95% of users will never see... :-S

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Fast boot isn't everything...

        "That said, that Easy Install is a key plus is odd, this is a one-time action that probably 95% of users will never see... :-S"

        This might be explained by the source of the survey. The site is heavily visited by people in support. They probably have to install and re-install Windows many times over what you or I do. Plus Windows 8 has a kind of built-in restore to clean install feature, like on a phone where you can just restore it to factory defaults. They might be thinking about that as it's a big time saver if you do have to re-install Windows.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: a big time saver if you do have to re-install

          Professional support guys will mostly be using a standard image for re-installation, so they don't much care how the attended installation routine behaves.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fast boot isn't everything...

      What happens when someone plugs a cable between 2 wall ports with portfast enabled?

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Fast boot isn't everything...

        Enter the cluebat.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward 15

          Re: Fast boot isn't everything...

          @Oliver Jones: You seem to assume they're being malicious. Hanlon's Razor applies.

    3. Miek
      Linux

      Re: Fast boot isn't everything...

      "Their Windows 7-based PCs boot up, pant like an enthusiastic puppies ... and then when I enter my username and password at the login screen, report "There are no logon servers available to serve your login request."" -- Something wrong with your network? We have Windows 7 logins to a domain on a known-dodgy network and I have never seen a Windows 7 machine give that error message after a fresh boot unless the Ethernet cable is unplugged.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Fast boot isn't everything...

      What exactly is the point of knocking fast-boot? "You end up waiting anyway" because you have other slower network dependencies isn't really a justification to be negative about a feature that improves the OS. It's hardly the fault of MS if a communications delay is present due to the configuration of an external device.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So

    Win 7 is preferred and Win 8 is just a bit better than XP.

    As they say in the classics: oh oh chongo!

  7. The New Turtle
    Coat

    People seldom like to learn to use new interfaces/desktops when the old familiar way to work is available to them. Remember the pain of migrating from W98 to 2000, of 2000 to XP? Ditto different versions of office etc. If you're a windows user, try working with OSX & vice versa. Very quickly you want to switch back to the old and familiar- the system you've developed workarounds for that are instinctive instead or awkward.

    This isn't like the good old/bad old days where each iteration of OS brought useful new features & functions, nor is it a desperate fix for an OS that's somewhat broken. So to me, if 25% of new users actually favour W8 over W7 I'd say that's a pretty good sign. Hope there aren't a huge pile of screw-ups under the covers, just waiting to crawl out as soon at it gets mass release.

    In my coat pocket, looking for a reason to upgrade.

    1. Nigel 11
      WTF?

      If you have Windows 7 in your coat pocket, you are part of a very small minority (technologically or sartorially or probably both).

      As for the mode of working: I like overlapping windows. Anything that insists that I should only be able to see one app at a time doesn't have a clue about the sort of work I do.

      I wonder what the city dealing rooms will do (four or more monitors per workstation, ALL displaying multiple windows from multipe apps)?

      1. dogged
        Boffin

        Metro only runs on one monitor. Your second (and subsequent) monitors are always in Desktop mode (which makes sense since if you have more than one monitor, you're very unlikely to be using a tablet).

        At work, I have XP with a remote desktop to Server 2K8 R2 and a second Win7 box although I run Win8 on a desktop box with three monitors in my home office. Multi-windows capabilities in Win8 are far, far improved. Just the handling of the taskbar makes the upgrade worthwhile, in my experience.

        I find myself continually going for the new enhancements and continually cursing how poor multi-monitor use is at work now. Clunky, requiring far too much mouse travel - I wouldn't go back.

        Why people think it's all tiles and nothing but the tiles is a mystery to me. The best thing about Win8 is the improved desktop. Pile those windows as high as you like, Nigel.

        1. Daniel Harris 1
          Thumb Up

          I don't get it either. So many people who are making negative comments (Not all of them) talk as if they've never even tried it yet...and maybe they haven't.

          The traditional desktop is still there and it's better than ever. If you hit the Windows Key and start to type, it also seems to find the application you want much quicker than Windows 7 did, one of the things that's always annoyed me about Windows since Vista introduced the useful search bar.

        2. Robert Grant

          @dogged

          While you may have to move your mouse further to click on a tile, it's way easier to click on. That makes life easier.

        3. TraceyC
          Thumb Down

          What, no dual screen on Windows Tablets?

          "Metro only runs on one monitor. Your second (and subsequent) monitors are always in Desktop mode (which makes sense since if you have more than one monitor, you're very unlikely to be using a tablet)."

          So you're saying I wouldn't be able to hook my tablet up via mini-HDMI to a monitor or my beautiful TV and do dual-screen? That's pants.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: What, no dual screen on Windows Tablets?

            "So you're saying I wouldn't be able to hook my tablet up via mini-HDMI to a monitor or my beautiful TV and do dual-screen? That's pants."

            Yes you would. One or both windows would show Desktop or you can have one of them (your choice which - you just drag Metro to the one you want) will show Start Screen or Metro. That's if you want the two screens to work as extensions of each other. You can still set them up to be duplicates if you want - like a laptop and a projector. I know because I am able to do this with Win8 and my own TV.

      2. Mark .

        It's a good thing that Windows 8 doesn't insist that then.

      3. h4rm0ny

        "As for the mode of working: I like overlapping windows. Anything that insists that I should only be able to see one app at a time doesn't have a clue about the sort of work I do. I wonder what the city dealing rooms will do (four or more monitors per workstation, ALL displaying multiple windows from multipe apps)?"

        With respect, you obviously haven't used Windows 8. It actually has better multi-monitor support than Windows 7 and you can have lots of overlapping windows. The Desktop is still there. Only the launching of programs is necessarily different.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      It's true people don't like to learn new UIs. e.g. I think much of the hate directed at metro (or GNOME 3 for that matter) is somewhat irrational.

      But I think Microsoft compound the problem because the new UI for Windows 8 really isn't very good when you have a mouse and keyboard and a desktop PC. It replaces a relatively compact menu arranged in hierarchical way with useful shortcuts and recently user apps list with an entire screen that arranges enormous tiles in a linear horizontal swathe which could span several yards. It simply hasn't been designed with desktop users in mind. On top of that most of the metro "apps" are so dumbed down that there is very little reason that anyone on a desktop would wish to use them.

      I'm quite certain that MS are aware how shit the UI is for desktops but have decided that the stakes are so high they must get to tablet land NOW and desktops can wait until the next release. If that is the reason then it makes sense I guess but it doesn't mean they shouldn't be called out for such a terrible experience.

      1. Mark .

        "It replaces a relatively compact menu arranged in hierarchical way"

        Didn't that version of the Start Menu go out with Windows XP?

        The only way to view all programs in Windows Vista onwards is to see a long scrolly list. So I don't see why the Windows 8 screen is worse - I'd argue it's better, as you now see programs listed by their icon and name, whereas in Windows 7 they're just folders of only the name, and sometimes instead company names.

        Recent applications is still there in Windows 8, I thought?

        And most of the time it's quickest to just launch something by typing the name, which still works in Windows 8.

        I've used Windows 8, and I honestly don't see the problem of using the start screen with mouse and keyboard.

        "could span several yards"

        Yes good, if I'm looking through all my software, I'd rather it use the entire space of my monitor, than having to scroll through some pokey little list that occupies just a fraction of the available space, like in Windows 7.

        "On top of that most of the metro "apps" are so dumbed down that there is very little reason that anyone on a desktop would wish to use them."

        Oh come on, have you ever made much use of the built in Windows apps? How many people here use Windows Mail as their email client? That's the point, they don't expect more experienced people to use them - the built in apps have always been dumbed down, as anyone who knows more can and will go and download their preferred program.

      2. h4rm0ny

        "It replaces a relatively compact menu arranged in hierarchical way with useful shortcuts and recently user apps list with an entire screen that arranges enormous tiles in a linear horizontal swathe which could span several yards."

        On my laptop, the default number of programs that fit on the initial Start Screen is twenty (I can get more in by not using double-width tiles if I choose). On my 24" Desktop monitor, the default is 50 tiles and around a third of them could be reduced to single-width version to free up more space if desired. That's a lot of programs. I counted up how many different programs I use in a month, and it came to twenty. And I'm pretty much a power user. A flat menu is therefore objectively faster for me (and anyone who uses less than me which will be most), than a hierarchical menu.

        Additonally, I'm more used to just hitting the Windows key and typing the first couple of letters of the program that I want to launch in either system and Windows 8 is actually faster in this regard than the Start menu so it's a win-win.

    3. fishman

      <<<People seldom like to learn to use new interfaces/desktops when the old familiar way to work is available to them.>>>

      <<<So to me, if 25% of new users actually favour W8 over W7 I'd say that's a pretty good sign.>>>

      Yes, but most of those who are running W8 right now are not your typical Windows users.

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