Last week we heard that Windows 8 was rumored to be hitting public beta in late February of next year. We're also expecting to see more of the operating system during Steve Ballmer's keynote address at the annual consumer electronics show in Las Vegas this coming January. However, if IDC is to be believed, PC users will find the next iteration of Windows 'largely irrelevant.'
All About Microsoft author Mary Jo Foley reports that one of IDC's "Worldwide System Infrastructure Software 2012 Top 10 Predictions" was that "Windows 8 Will Launch with Split Success." Explaining the prediction, IDC analysts say that Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to those with traditional PCs, adding that they "expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor." As far as tablets are concerned, IDC believes that Microsoft will be too late to the tablet market to make any real impact.
It's not an entirely surprising prediction when you look at how comfortable users are with Windows 7. While the Windows 8's Metro UI smells a lot like Windows Phone 7 and promises a great interface for tablets and PCs with touchscreen displays, Microsoft has said that if you disable Metro, your Windows 8 desktop is going to look and feel a lot like the one in Windows 7. Throw in the fact that, as Foley points out, many businesses have just finished upgrading to Windows 7 from XP/Vista and it doesn't seem like such a crazy prediction. However, even if IDC is right about upgrades from Windows 7, Microsoft is still going ship a lot of copies of the OS with new PCs that sell after the operating system is released, so it's not all bad.
Do you plan on upgrading to Windows 8? Let us know in the comments below!