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Windows 7 still being sold on up to 93% of British PCs

The vast majority of British-assembled PCs are being sold with Windows 7, not Windows 8, according to several system builders contacted by PC Pro.

One company told PC Pro it was still selling 93% of its machines with Windows 7 installed.

Paul Redford, chairman of Manchester-based Computer Planet, has sold more than 500 systems in January, with only 20% of them running Windows 8. It?s a far cry from the sales figures he expected after the release of the touch-friendly OS.

"When Windows 8 was first released, as per Microsoft?s requests, we sold our systems with Windows 8," said Redford, who thought it would "soon become the standard".

His customers quickly began to specify systems with Windows 7, and said Windows 8 customers "took delivery and wanted to change back to Windows 7" ? a process Redford described as a "nightmare".

Redford changed the default installation from Windows 8 to Windows 7 and now offers both systems on all of his machines. Redford is also "considering offering an open source Start menu [for Windows 8] with an option to disable the Start screen" as a free option for his customers.

Further concerns

Redford's Computer Planet isn't the only British firm struggling with the launch of Windows 8. One company told us that of the 1,459 machines it's sold so far in 2013, only 7% have left the factory with Windows 8 installed. A spokesman said that "Windows 7 fulfils the requirements" of its customers, and that driver issues and the unfamiliarity of the new OS was putting people off.

Another system builder said that only 26% of systems sold since the release of Windows 8 have used the new OS, and a spokesman delivered a damning assessment of the software. "Customers struggle to find their way around," he said. "I've had a few people ask why Microsoft didn't include a tutorial. Some have problems with driver and peripheral compatibility, and others find that simple things no longer work because Microsoft has changed something ?under the hood?."

The spokesman also told us he?s had "positive feedback about the general look of the desktop UI", but added "customers want these basic improvements in a Windows 7-style system. We know of people who have returned to Windows 7 ? I don?t remember this with people upgrading from Windows XP."

Three other companies told us that Windows 7 was still being included with the majority of their machines, with up to 80% of systems still shipping with the older OS installed.

"Sales in 2013 are 65% in favour of Windows 7," said one, explaining that "initial reactions after launch were negative thanks to media reviews influencing consumers".

Two firms also spoke about a lack of support from Microsoft. "A 'Windows 7' mode would be hugely beneficial," said one. "But it's [Microsoft's] way or the highway."

Another said: "[Microsoft] has blamed system builders ? but it's out of touch, and doesn't understand that our customers are savvy" with regards to the new OS.

Positive future?

Peter George, sales director of Wired2Fire, says that PC sales at his firm are split evenly between the two operating systems, although he puts that down to "including [start menu tool] Classic Shell because the interface has been badly received by desktop users".

George hasn't seen a drop in sales because of Windows 8, and he reckons that customers simply need to get used to the OS. "Every OS launch we've been involved in has been received negatively, but that's the nature of something new. I believe the lion's share of customers are happy with Windows 8 once they've become used to the differences."

Another PC builder shared Wired2Fire?s optimism, telling us that "when customers take the time to use Windows 8 they love it, and wouldn't have anything else". However, the source added that "if Microsoft included a guide or walkthrough, customers would learn how to use Windows 8 to its maximum potential."

A Microsoft spokesman said: "Windows 8 has sold 60 million licences to date, and this represents the cumulative sales of Windows 8 including upgrades and sales to OEMs for new devices."

The spokesman added that Windows 8 is following "a similar sales trajectory" to Windows 7.

Source: pcpro.co.uk

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When you go to Alienware and build a PC / Laptop it gives you 7 by default, there is an option for 8 which is free.

Maybe people still love 7.

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His customers quickly began to specify systems with Windows 7, and said Windows 8 customers "took delivery and wanted to change back to Windows 7"

"We know of people who have returned to Windows 7 ? I don?t remember this with people upgrading from Windows XP."

Coolness :D

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Maybe people still love 7.

IMO 7 is the best Windows OS by miles, the new XP

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Uh, what driver issues? :huh:

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IMO 7 is the best Windows OS by miles, the new XP

I totally agree

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anyone that wants to buy a new windows machine is going to buy a touch friendly one from the big boys. these guys dont and cant integrate touch into their boxes. these "system builders" are dinosaurs that are about to be extinct. Looks to me like PC Pro is fishing for negativity as these guys sell such a small quantity that its insignificant. 500 systems in January?

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Uh, what driver issues? :huh:

+1 what driver issues really?

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anyone that wants to buy a new windows machine is going to buy a touch friendly one from the big boys.

Are there really that many "touch friendly" PCs out there yet and are consumers demanding them? Honest question, since I have no idea, but didn't actually expect that to be the case.

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IMO 7 is the best Windows OS by miles, the new XP

Agree. I would still go with Windows 8 though.

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SK[' timestamp=1361288300' post='595530364]I would still go with Windows 8 though.

I would go with Windows 8 every time - and then install Start8. Easily the best Windows yet, as far as I'm concerned.

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SK[' timestamp=1361288300' post='595530364]

Agree. I would still go with Windows 8 though.

Why go with 8 if you think 7 is better ? :)

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I'm one of those people who understand what 8 is, and as an upgrade it is one, but the interface breaks it for me, and 7 does all I need and then some.

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The way I look at it, Windows 7 is the best operating system in history. OS X, Linux, Windows 8 and previous releases of Windows will never compare.

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What this Paul Redford is saying pretty much reflects what is happening here in the states as well with most major retailers.

We have stacks upon stacks of machines with windows 8 on them that nobody wants to buy, most consumers do not want anything to do with windows 8 at all.

If we still had machines with 7 installed on them they would probably fly off the shelves but consumers don't have a choice anymore.

At the consumer level windows 8 is a colossal failure.

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As a whole Windows 7 works very very well. It's a very complete OS. Windows 8 though has all that and additional changes which make it even better. Of course the one thing that lets it down is the lacking Start screen (note that I said lacking Start screen and not lack of the Start Menu :p). The Start screen just needs time to mature. Regardless of how much people cry over the Start Menu, Microsoft will not be bring it back.

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Are there really that many "touch friendly" PCs out there yet and are consumers demanding them? Honest question, since I have no idea, but didn't actually expect that to be the case.

yes,touch devices are in extremely high demand. PC makers couldn't keep these devices on the shelves,and are having trouble keeping supply up of touch screens to meet this demand. non touch screen devices were in less demand, and PC makers screwed up the windows 8 launch by not being ready with their touch devices,instead unloading their old windows 7 devices stock with windows 8 installed.

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yes,touch devices are in extremely high demand. PC makers couldn't keep these devices on the shelves,and are having trouble keeping supply up of touch screens to meet this demand.

Huh. Do you have a source for that?

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I'm not surprised by this. 8 I'm sure is an excellent OS, but after 2 attempts to like it, I gave up. The old warhorse still has plenty of life yet, which pleases me :)

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8 I'm sure is an excellent OS, but after 2 attempts to like it, I gave up

lol same here, many more times than 2 actually, which brought me to the conclusion that it's not a great OS

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"I don?t remember this with people upgrading from Windows XP."

Strange, because England held onto Windows XP for dear life after the release of Windows Vista and even Windows 7.

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England held onto Windows XP for dear life after the release of Windows Vista and even Windows 7.

?? Source ?

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?? Source ?

I believe I saw that here on Neowin years ago before I signed up. I cannot find it now.

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"I don?t remember this with people upgrading from Windows XP."

Strange, because England held onto Windows XP for dear life after the release of Windows Vista and even Windows 7.

Huge numbers of Americans and other nationalities held on to it too. Hell, huge numbers of Neowin members held on to XP as well. Some are still using it even now!

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I believe I saw that here on Neowin years ago before I signed up. I cannot find it now.

After the disaster that was Vista, I think people had a hard time moving from XP again, but almost everyone I know with a computer now and for quite a while has 7 running on it

A few who were not in the loop about Vista I upgraded to 7 too, but the last person I have seen running XP was my mum about 6 months back on an ancient machine, which I took from her and replaced with a decent Win 8 machine because she is one of the ones that loves the Metro UI and most of what she does on her machine has a Metro app

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