Survey: Lots of people unaware of Windows 8 before last week

Microsoft is reportedly spending lots of money to promote Windows 8. The company's formal marketing campaign began earlier this month. However, a new survey shows that lots of people were unaware that Windows 8 was on its way before Friday's official launch

Yahoo reports that, according to the survey conducted by the Associated Press and GfK, 52 percent of the 1,200 US citizens who were polled had not even heard about Windows 8. The survey was conducted before the launch of the OS last week.

Even among those people who had heard of Windows 8, the survey said that 61 percent of them had "little or no interest" in buying a new PC that had Windows 8 running inside. Only 35 percent of the people who were polled felt that Windows 8 would be an improvement.

The survey also claims that 69 percent of the people who were polled expressed little to no interest in buying the new Surface tablet from Microsoft. Those people were apparently not among those who caused online sellouts of the Surface tablet.

However, Microsoft is going all out to let people know that Windows 8 exists and to show off the "Modern" UI. The reviews, such as ours, have been positive so far and we suspect that the general public will quickly become used to the new touch screen interface.

Source: Yahoo

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28 Comments

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Think "expensive toy," and a whole lot of the hyperbole surrounding Windows-8 and Surface makes a lot of sense. Remember "Furby" or "Cabbage Patch Doll" a few years ago? Same thing.

This article sucks,i remember when windows 7 got released it was the same.A few people knew about windows 7.After a year or so windows 7 was everywere,not in a week after it's release.

pirajoc said,
This article sucks,i remember when windows 7 got released it was the same.A few people knew about windows 7.After a year or so windows 7 was everywere,not in a week after it's release.

The release of Windows 7 compared to the release of Windows 8 are completely different.

I can understand MS not going nuts though. They need people to use the OS, not judge it based on pictures.

Low knowledge of Windows 8 isn't suprising . Why should anyone know about it? Rarely did a non-tech site report on it. And when they did it wasn't frontpage news. Only those with a slight interest for tech and gadget would have bothered to read about it.

But I was suprised by the Surface results, interest in the Surface seems higher then I expected. Based on it not being an iPad I figured 80% wouldn't be interested. Relatively high interest means that Surface sales can pick up weeks or months down the line.

the survey said that 61 percent of them had "little or no interest" in buying a new PC that had Windows 8 running inside

Cute. So why isn't anybody asking the obvious questions:

1) Were they actually asked "new Windows 8 PC" or were they asked something more general, like "are you interested in buying a new PC"?

2) If they were asked "new Windows 8 PC", how does that stack up against the percentage of people who would say yes to the aforementioned general question? That is to say, what percentage of people interested in buying a new PC are interested in a Windows 8 one, specifically? <--*this is the only way this information can be useful, otherwise it's useless data

3) Of those not interested in buying a new PC, are they interested in upgrading their CURRENT systems to Windows 8? A simple lack of interest in making a new PC purchase doesn't necessarily rule out upgrading, considering upgrades are at very low prices, and this is, by far, the smoothest Windows upgrade process in the history of the OS.

Tell the AP to come back when they learn how to take/report a proper, respectable survey. Sample sizes aren't nearly as important as your average internet commenter / self-proclaimed stats major will insist upon whenever they dislike a survey's findings. But context, however, is the only way survey data can POSSIBLY be useful. Without it, the AP is just being an instigator.

A survey of 1200 people! Is that really scientific?? I work in telecommunications and most of my co-workers are not techies but 7 out of 10 knew about Windows 8 from way back in April. I train Windows 7 and have demonstrated Windows 8 as well. On the most part, they all seem enthusiastic about the new Start Screen; especially the live tiles and the touch features.

If anything, most people who'll be looking to buy new PCs this holiday season will buy one of the newer touch all-in-one PCs from the interest shown by co-workers.

1,200? Yes, it is scientific. That's how a lot of polls (for politics) are shown to people. Usually more (like 3k-10k) but yup, that's how it's done. Statistics.

PoohGQ said,
A survey of 1200 people! Is that really scientific??

Yes it is. Is based on pure probability and statistics.

There's something called determination of the sample size.
(I just made a quick lookup)
http://www.statisticssolutions...ication/sample-size-formula

There's much more to it. Such as an error interval, which will vary depending on the sample you chose to test, and the already defined values which can be found on probability and statistic books.

Edit: To add up, they do inference mechanisms, which through probability methods, they can estimate, with a very low margin of error, what could be the "real result" if taken the whole country as a sample.

Jose_49 said,

Yes it is. Is based on pure probability and statistics.

There's something called determination of the sample size.
(I just made a quick lookup)
http://www.statisticssolutions...ication/sample-size-formula

There's much more to it. Such as an error interval, which will vary depending on the sample you chose to test, and the already defined values which can be found on probability and statistic books.

Edit: To add up, they do inference mechanisms, which through probability methods, they can estimate, with a very low margin of error, what could be the "real result" if taken the whole country as a sample.

But even then, for a survey in a city like NY City, 1,200 individuals should suffice but for a whole nation of 300 million+ (assuming approx. 120m are PC literate), the margin of error would substantially decrease if a large sample were taken. An appropriate sample size to produce valid results should be 10,000+, IMO.

Edited by PoohGQ, Oct 30 2012, 9:32am :

I'd consider myself pretty tech minded and was aware that it was on the horizon, but didn't even realise it was out until a couple of days after it's release. I remember a lot more anticipation for Win 7 and seeing adverts on TV etc but I don't think I've seen a thing for windows 8.

...literally as I was typing this an advert came on TV. It didn't mention that it was Windows 8, just that it was Windows/Microsoft and focused on the touch capabilities. It flashed up one image of a desktop, but everything else was pad related. I think if my parents saw that then they'd just think it was a random tech advert, not the release of a new version of Windows.

Brodel said,
I'd consider myself pretty tech minded and was aware that it was on the horizon, but didn't even realise it was out until a couple of days after it's release. I remember a lot more anticipation for Win 7 and seeing adverts on TV etc but I don't think I've seen a thing for windows 8.

...literally as I was typing this an advert came on TV. It didn't mention that it was Windows 8, just that it was Windows/Microsoft and focused on the touch capabilities. It flashed up one image of a desktop, but everything else was pad related. I think if my parents saw that then they'd just think it was a random tech advert, not the release of a new version of Windows.


What you say makes sense. Windows 7 had another approach. It wanted basically to erase Vista's existence and to implant Microsoft anew into the Market.

Typical end users could care less. I used to be surprised that people at work were unaware of our efforts to upgrade to Win7, IE8 and Office 2010 given the emails, posters and front page announcements across all internal sites... yet they still act surprised.

I say act because I believe they felt it they got a deal on some product they purchased and brought in house. But whenever I hear this I picture some salesman behind them counting their Christmas bonus because of the support contract coming their way.

zeke009 said,
Typical end users could care less. I used to be surprised that people at work were unaware of our efforts to upgrade to Win7, IE8 and Office 2010 given the emails, posters and front page announcements across all internal sites... yet they still act surprised.
I say act because I believe they felt it they got a deal on some product they purchased and brought in house. But whenever I hear this I picture some salesman behind them counting their Christmas bonus because of the support contract coming their way.

It's 'couldn't' care less. If you could care less then you must care somewhat.

Walrush said,
It's 'couldn't' care less. If you could care less then you must care somewhat.

they do care, they care enough to scream "don't change a thing... ever"

This isn't overly surprising, really. How many people knew when Windows 7 came out? Or Vista? The general populace isn't so into the latest and greatest software like most of here who frequent Neowin. Heck, how many people, if you ask them, know which operating system they're running at the moment. Say somebody bought a new computer last year sometime. Is the following not a somewhat typical conversation with a non-techie?

"Hey so, how's your computer working?"
"Oh, great! I love it so much, and my Internet is fast!"
"What operating system are you running on that puppy?"
"Uh, you know, I'm not sure. I got Word on it. Is that like, part of the operating system? Or Windows is. But I'm not sure what version. How would I find out that kind of information?"
"Well, you can right-click on My Computer and from the menu, select Properties."
"Oh really? Huh. Hold on. Okay, a big window opened; where do I find what operating system I'm running?"
"It should be written in large letters on the right hand side of the window."
"Oh! Okay, yeah. It says Windows 7. So I guess I'm running Windows 7, then. So what is Word, then?"
"Microsoft Word is a word processing program that is part of Microsoft Office."
"Oh, okay. I think I always get 'em mixed up 'cause they both kinda sound the same."

Yeah. So, it's no big shock that most people aren't aware of an operating system that effectively just came out 3 days ago.

Ben S said,
Yep, that's pretty much how conversations with non-techies go. Those conversations can be so much fun.

Not really. It so hard not to be mean when talking to technology illiterate people.

Lprd2007 said,

Not really. It so hard not to be mean when talking to technology illiterate people.


Depends on the person, at least on my case.

For example, I have my cousin (11 years old) and her mother (54 years old). My cousin would always blast my aunt for not knowing on how to do things, such as logging in to her mail account using other computer which is not from her work (aunt).
I would always tell my cousin not to insult other people, because others' knowledge (like my aunt) is not very far fetched from the ones, like my cousin, has.

I retaliated a little bit, when last Saturday my aunt was asking to my cousin to see if she could send a word file to her friend (my cousin's friend) due to a group school work needed to be done.

I was astonished when I realized she didn't know how to send an attachment, and to make things worse she never knew the existence of the hotmail page (Yet she chats a lot with MSN messenger) (BTW, Her account was created by my sister >.<). I took that time to make her suffer a little bit and to recognize her mistake for insulting other people for the lack of knowledge of some <i>basic</i> tasks.

I know that my cousin will still insult my aunt due to her nature, but at least I made her recognize her mistake

This article is very informative, because you don't now if these people are in their target audience.And if 31% is interested in the surface that should be a good thing.

Another dumb article from John. Shouldve checked the author before clicking as usual. Was at least expecting comparisons by week.

BoyBoppins said,
Another dumb article from John. Shouldve checked the author before clicking as usual. Was at least expecting comparisons by week.

Reporting the results of surveys in an objective manner suddenly becomes dumb?

You don't have to buy a whole new PC to use Windows 8. People (like me) just upgrade, which is far cheaper than outright buying a new PC all together.