Windows 8: Microsoft’s Big Bet

Companies will likely be slow to adopt the new operating system, analysts say.

Steve Ballmer of MicrosoftSporting a radical redesign that’s expected to charm some and disappoint others, Microsoft’s new Windows 8 faces a tough slog ahead, including a slow adoption rate, some analysts say.

“The challenges of a new user interface, a complex set of processor choices and a long ramp to a compelling set of app offerings in the Microsoft Store will translate to a slower-than-usual Windows upgrade cycle,” says Frank E. Gillett, an analyst with Forrester.

In addition to facing initial resistance from desktop users, Windows 8 is in need of "cool." Currently, it’s all too fashionable for some consumers to bash anything new from Microsoft while genuflecting at the altar of all things Apple.

An Associated Press/GfK poll conducted prior to the release of Windows 8 last month found 52% of the 1,200 people surveyed were not even aware that Microsoft was releasing a new OS. Moreover, 61% of those who were aware of Windows 8 expressed little or no interest in the software.  And only 35% of those in the know thought Windows 8 would be an improvement over previous versions.

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