Windows 8 is a complete departure from the norm for Microsoft. The company set out to reinvent the desktop landscape, ditching a bunch of much-loved features of Windows (including the Start button), and adding a ton of new features, including a hefty amount of support for touch screens. Windows 8 is new, and Windows users are taking a while to warm up to the operating system -- not to mention those businesses that just upgraded to Windows 7 not too long ago.
The good news is that Windows 8 market share is progressing. According to NetMarketShare's latest figures (for June 2013), Windows 8 has surpassed Windows Vista for the first time. Windows 8 market share currently sits at 5.1 percent, while Windows Vista accounts for 4.62 percent of the market. This is compared to 4.51 percent for Windows Vista and 4.27 percent for Windows 8 in May.
As far as the rest of the market is concerned, Windows 7 is the biggest market share holder with 44.37 percent. After that comes Windows XP with 37.17 percent. Next is Windows 8 and then Windows Vista. Apple's OS X 10.8 comes in fifth with 3.14 percent, OS X 10.6 has 1.76 percent, while OS X 10.7 has 1.73 percent. The remaining 2.11 percent of the market is comprised of 'other.'
WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT. You're telling me Vista market share went UP?!
At it's current adoption rate, Windows 8.xxxx will be very lucky to have 20% by the time Windows 9 rolls out! Clearly, this is an EXTREMELY poor showing compared to even the execrable Vista when you consider practically the only Windows PCs available to retail consumers for nine months have been Windows 8 machines, not to mention these numbers INCLUDE Windows 8 slabs, a category not available to Vista when it was being adopted.
Bringing back the Start Button that does nothing more than provide yet one more means to take one back to the hated, productivity-killing, single-window, no-taskbar, touchy-feely, flashy-blinky Metro UI screen instead of actually restoring the Start Menu is hardly addressing the issue. It's more like a spit in the face to Microsoft's remaining PC users.
Windows 8.xxxxxxx still doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hades of being adopted by the enterprise and SMB. That well has already poisoned, not to mention the fact that IT folks at these places aren't fooled by nonsense like Ballmer's "refined blend", which sounds like it was lifted from a bad 1970's TV ad for instant coffee crystals or a "premium" motor oil.
The "refined blend" of Windows 8.1 is akin to Coke "refining" New Coke by "blending" half original Coke and half New Coke and putting it in new cans and telling their customers that they were "listening" to them! Microsoft's users can tell the difference between a kick in the teeth and actually being listened to. This "refined blend" is being NOT listened to and it is NOT going to go well at all for Microsoft.
The enterprise and SMB are still going to skip Windows 8.xxxxxxxx just like they did with Vista and hope Microsoft comes to their senses with Windows 9 after Ballmer is fired. And if Microsoft still insists on shoveling out cell-phone operating systems on the PC after Windows 8.xxxxxxxxxx, then the enterprise and SMB will start to seriously look at non-Microsoft alternatives.
Yeah, don't expect adoption of THAT for a while...