Windows 8 dev preview use down since launch, says study

The Windows 8 Developers Preview version launched in September to the general public as part of Microsoft's BUILD conference. It let anyone try out the next version of Microsoft's upcoming operating system, particularly the new touch screen Metro interface designed for tablet use. While many of Windows 8's final features were not included in the developers preview build, it certainly generated a lot of interest from the early adopter crowd.

Now News.com reports that a new study ad network Chitika shows that people who have downloaded and used the Windows 8 developers preview have used it far less since then. The study seems to come up with some odd conclusions based on this drop in activity, saying that it believes that Windows 8 actvity among its users should actually be increasing thanks in part to the announcement that the beta version of Windows 8 should launch by the end of February 2012.

The study said, "With these changes just on the horizon, it would seem that the level of anticipation and activity within developer communities should be increasing, although due to low levels we observed, this clearly paints a different picture.."

However, the study might be reaching the wrong conclusions from this activity. The Windows 8 Developer Preview is just that; a preview of what's to come from Microsoft's next Windows version. Much of the features in this OS have been disabled. It's more than possible that the people who downloaded and used it in September decided to move on to other, fully featured operating systems for their normal work.

In other words, we shouldn't read too much into the fact that not as many people are using the Windows 8 Developers Preview. However, you can bet that the full beta version of Windows 8, will be getting a lot more use from the early adopter when it is finally launched.

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Use Developer Preview and request missing features now, before to late.

Once it hits Beta, MS will no longer accept new features added!!

I've been using it since day one. Happy with the metro interface, although I do spend most of my time in desktop apps.
I technically have Win7 available in a dual boot, but it's almost a waste of space. I never use it.
I play Steam games, use Chrome/Firefox, play Minecraft, watch movies in VLC, read PDF ebooks, etc... basic stuff

I have W8Dev on an older HP tablet. However, the reason I don't use it is because it's buggy! For example while using Facebook you can't type in most text boxes without lossing ever other letter. It's very upsetting to type 1 letter at a time to make sure it gets to the screen. There is no way to close most programs so they cont to run regardless if you want them. Say you want to Alt-Tab or flic to another program you have to flip passed each program you've started since you last rebooted. These types of issues make it very hard to work on or use daily.

I used it for 5 minutes. I hate the new start menu and I found it otherwise to be the same as Windows 7. It took longer to download and instal then it did to decide I did not want to use it.

I have to say I have gotten a bit bored with metro now (I think it's a bit nicer looking on wp7 too) but as a developer, coming from WPF, I find WinRT a little disappointing since it has silverlight's more limited feature set (for speed, it's rather nice though). I don't really like fullscreen apps either but maybe that's just me

Also, seeing as they are focusing on the fullscreen metro style, it feels like they may not bother to polish up the desktop, seeing as windows explorer still crashes on me.

somethingelse said,
Also, seeing as they are focusing on the fullscreen metro style, it feels like they may not bother to polish up the desktop, seeing as windows explorer still crashes on me.

If you are getting constant explorer crashes I'd do a memory check - faulty memory and hardware doesn't always result in kernel panics, sometimes they can result in crashing applications for no particular reason at all.

As for desktop applications, it would be interesting to see what changes they've made when it comes to the desktop because it appears to me (at least superficially) that they've moved the GUI to a new widget tool kit (common controls, dialogues etc) - I wonder if it links back into WinRT to take advantage of the improvements the API brings.

It should come as no surprise. Once people realized that the new OS is primarily for tablets and touch-screen uses; and not for keyboard-centric notebook and desktop PCs, interest faded. What are the major improvements for PC users? Maybe, one or two new features?

TsarNikky said,
It should come as no surprise. Once people realized that the new OS is primarily for tablets and touch-screen uses; and not for keyboard-centric notebook and desktop PCs, interest faded. What are the major improvements for PC users? Maybe, one or two new features?

More like it's a pre-beta, as opposed to the UI per se. In fact, other than the UI difference, I found it just as stable, and, in most cases, a bit *faster* running applications (especially non-Metro applications) compared to Windows 7 SP1 (both x64, no less). The reason I'm no longer running it has not a thing to do with the UI (or even the WDP), but due to upcoming *hardware changes*, in addition to Christmas shopping (both will occur during the same timeframe) - I will resume running it post-Christmas (when both the shopping and hardware changes should be finished).

Obviously. People just wanted to try it out, it's far away from being a stable OS. I gave it up due to the numerous bugs I had. I'll try it again with the beta.

I would be more enthusiastic about testing and bug reporting if they committed to acting on specific feedback and fixing obvious bugs. Every thing is uncertain and hush hush, I am not sure I want to continue to help improve such a product even if I find a million bugs.

Did someone pay money for this study to be performed? Aren't these results are to be expected, based on the nature of a "developer preview."

Seems the study missed the most important reason people don't use Windows 8: there are no apps. Without apps, it's just Windows 7, and I don't feel comfortable using Pre-beta software on my main machine.

Give me apps, and I'll use the OS more. Simple as that.

It's not surprising. It's not for random people to try out; it's just for developers. People probably uninstall it when they realise it's not useful for them, at the moment.

Yes, a bit of a stupid report. I play with it every other day, usually to see how it handles different things that I do on my Win7 unit. Once Beta comes out, though, you'll see a huge surge in use because it will essentially be feature-complete.

neufuse said,
its a freaking development preview not a released os sheesh
Everybody is aware of that. But it's perfectly valid to monitor demand and explore how successful it has been. I just wish people would stop with the "it's a beta, duh" nonsense, as it contributes nothing.

I installed on the first day when it came out, used for 2-3 days. My problem was the navigation in the Metro UI (side-scrolling). It was pain with a mouse. And it randomly hanged on the logging out screen.

nyolc8 said,
I installed on the first day when it came out, used for 2-3 days. My problem was the navigation in the Metro UI (side-scrolling). It was pain with a mouse. And it randomly hanged on the logging out screen.

That's one of the things that'll be fixed in the beta .
According to many sites, you can now mouse just to the edge of the screen to scroll the Start Screen as well as scroll wheel, and other methods.

Indeed. I probably used it for about 2-3 days but the compatibility issues with the new interface - both the new start menu and the left screen app switching - meant that I couldn't use most games or applications. Definitely worth trying but not for every day usage, as you'd expect.

I think it's okay, it was just a preview and targeted to developers, personally I didn't like the preview:
1) I had a lot of problems with the drivers, most of them didn't work after many tries.
2) I felt the new UI was incomplete, at least to be used in a desktop PC with no touchscreen.
3) I hate the METRO interface of IE, I suppose I need to get used to it

daniel_rh said,

2) I felt the new UI was incomplete, at least to be used in a desktop PC with no touchscreen.
3) I hate the METRO interface of IE, I suppose I need to get used to it

It was incomplete (no shock there considering it's not going ot be out for months), but you realise you don't *have* to get used the the IE metro interface? You could just continue using the desktop Internet Explorer.

This is to be expected. Not very smart to keep using a pre-beta build of Windows day-to-day even more so with the beta coming in a couple months.

Dot Matrix said,
It's a developer's preview.... Developer's. Preview.

Many people should reread this over and over again:
Developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers

Coi said,

Many people should reread this over and over again:
Developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers

What type of preview is this again?

I stopped using it since some features are just unusable for me at the moment. My fingerprint reader, screen brightness, screen-rotate buttons don't work on my tablet pc. Also, Starcraft 2 isn't playable since that popup appears whenever you move your cursor to the left edge of the screen. Once driver support is improved, and it's possible to disable the left-side popup for fullscreen desktop apps I'll be using Windows 8 more often, but right now it's not ready for regular use.

The last two people I know using it have uninstalled it, one had issues with Skype been very buggy and the other simply didn't like it.

thealexweb said,
The last two people I know using it have uninstalled it, one had issues with Skype been very buggy and the other simply didn't like it.

You should have punched in their face that it's a freaking DEVELOPER PREVIEW if you didn't already.. God damn..

Coi said,

You should have punched in their face that it's a freaking DEVELOPER PREVIEW if you didn't already.. God damn..

+1. What is wrong with people? Clearly it's not ready for day to day use...

The features added in the Windows 8 dev preview are not mature enough to justify using it over the more stable Windows 7. I suspect people don't want to get attached to an operating system that they'll have to reformat and replace with the beta/W7 in a few months anyway.

billyea said,
The features added in the Windows 8 dev preview are not mature enough to justify using it over the more stable Windows 7. I suspect people don't want to get attached to an operating system that they'll have to reformat and replace with the beta/W7 in a few months anyway.

This comment

billyea said,
The features added in the Windows 8 dev preview are not mature enough to justify using it over the more stable Windows 7. I suspect people don't want to get attached to an operating system that they'll have to reformat and replace with the beta/W7 in a few months anyway.

This "Developer Preview" was designed for developers to play with anyway - not for general users to use as their main day-to-day stable system. The usage is probably dropping because those users have decided it's not ready for them, whilst the *actual* developers get on with whatever work they have planned.

~Johnny said,
The usage is probably dropping because those users have decided it's not ready for them, whilst the *actual* developers get on with whatever work they have planned.
Indeed. While pre-release versions of Win7 were highly compatible with existing apps and games, the DP of Win8 adds functionality that causes a lot of problems - I experienced issues in the majority of games I tried and many applications refused to work. That's really to be expected.

I look forward to trying out the public beta, as I am looking forward to the time when it can become my default operating system. I did exactly the same with XP, Vista and Win7 so I know the risks. But the DP simply is not suitable for use on a full time basis.

billyea said,
The features added in the Windows 8 dev preview are not mature enough to justify using it over the more stable Windows 7. I suspect people don't want to get attached to an operating system that they'll have to reformat and replace with the beta/W7 in a few months anyway.

I'd also go so far as to ask how many of the downloads were by serious developers and people in the information technology industry. I remember way back when Windows XP and Vista were being tested - the signal to noise ratio was horrible given the number of idiotic people testing it who quite frankly should never have been allowed to go near the software let alone use a computer in the first place.

For me I haven't downloaded it for that very reason - I'm waiting for a release candidate before making an definitive opinion on the matter.

~Johnny said,

This "Developer Preview" was designed for developers to play with anyway - not for general users to use as their main day-to-day stable system. The usage is probably dropping because those users have decided it's not ready for them, whilst the *actual* developers get on with whatever work they have planned.


Exactly. What a bizarre conclusion...

billyea said,
The features added in the Windows 8 dev preview are not mature enough to justify using it over the more stable Windows 7. I suspect people don't want to get attached to an operating system that they'll have to reformat and replace with the beta/W7 in a few months anyway.

egzaaactlyyy

Mr Nom Nom's said,

I'd also go so far as to ask how many of the downloads were by serious developers and people in the information technology industry. I remember way back when Windows XP and Vista were being tested - the signal to noise ratio was horrible given the number of idiotic people testing it who quite frankly should never have been allowed to go near the software let alone use a computer in the first place.

For me I haven't downloaded it for that very reason - I'm waiting for a release candidate before making an definitive opinion on the matter.


Agreed. It's like the "fans" that go to Microsoft Developer Events for the free stuff... It drives me nuts.