There is no doubt that Windows 8 is perhaps the biggest launch for the Windows OS family since, well Windows 95 nearly 17 years ago. Now, there's a claim that there is less interest in Windows 8 than there was of Windows 7 in the days prior to the launch of both operating systems.
Computerworld.com reports that, according to the latest stats from Net Applications, 0.18 percent of PCs around the world now have Windows 8 installed. Of that number, just 0.2 percent of Windows-based PCs had Windows 8 running on their hard drives. The site says that in June 2009, four months prior to the launch of Windows 7, the pre-release version was installed on 0.75 percent of all PCs and 0.8 percent of all Windows-based PCs.
While the numbers may be correct, they may not tell the whole story; perhaps the biggest issue is Windows Vista. Launched for consumers in January 2007, it's considered to be one of the worst, if not the worst, Windows version released by Microsoft. Lots of bugs and hardware driver issues kept many people from updating their Windows XP PCs or buying new PCs with Windows Vista.
When the pre-release versions of Windows 7 came out, it was clear that it was such a big improvement over Vista that many PC owners decided to jump ship quickly. Windows 7 quickly surpassed that of Vista and is either ahead of, or very close to, Windows XP (depending on which stat service you believe).
Now Windows 7 is such a success, it may be keeping many PCs owners from downloading and installing the pre-release versions of Windows 8, even if it is a solid OS. With Microsoft offering a $39.99 price for early Windows 8 adopters, it may take off pretty quickly once it is officially released.