Is It too Early for a Major Windows Upgrade

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-08-22 Print this article Print

5. Vendor participation

Over the years, Windows' success has relied in large part on vendors. When companies like Lenovo, HP, and Dell play nice with Windows, the operating system succeeds. When they don't (remember Vista?), all kinds of trouble ensues. To a great degree Vendors will determine Windows 8's fate.

6. The market's need for a new Windows

When it's all said and done, Microsoft must consider whether the market–made up of both consumers and enterprise users–really wants a new Windows version. As noted, Windows 7 PCs are still selling well and the vast majority of the latest options are extremely powerful. It's not clear right now why anyone would really need Windows 8. And until that changes, it could hurt its adoption.

7. Current opinions

Don't forget that Windows 8 has already been in use by thousands of people who took a spin in its pre-release versions. In many of those cases, the reviewers were positive, saying that the operating system delivered on Microsoft's promises. That's good news for Microsoft–and even better for Windows 8 adoption.

8. OS X Mountain Lion's appeal

Apple last month launched OS X Mountain Lion, the company's latest desktop operating system version. With Mountain Lion, Apple offered up over 200 improvements and made its Macs all the more attractive. Although Apple still owns a small slice of the PC market, the recent launch of Mountain Lion could hurt Windows 8 adoption just a bit.

9. Microsoft's brand appeal

Microsoft has moved beyond its Evil Empire image of the late-1990s. However, it has also lost much of its brand charisma in the industry. Nowadays, consumers are far more likely to focus on Apple or Google news than anything that might crop up from Redmond. That could hurt Windows 8 to a certain degree.

10. A (potentially) confusing design

One of the biggest problems with Windows 8 could be its design. The operating system doesn't look anything like its predecessor, Windows 7 and could confuse customers at first. Then again, it could impress them and bring in even more people. Either way, Windows 8 comes with a distinct new design that could impact overall adoption.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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