Well, they told us to wait until after the holidays, and now here we are. Just over 3 months after its release, Windows 8 only holds a whopping 2.26 percent of the entire OS market, trailing just behind OSX Mountain Lion in the polls. After executing one of the biggest advertising pushes modern advertising has known yet, Windows 8 still hasn’t been able to gain the kind of market share that analysts and hopefuls predicted for it, and may not ever live up to the hype Microsoft had originally laid out.
So what happened? After all is said and done there isn’t one definable reason why the launch failed as spectacularly as it has, but rather a collection of many that speak to the same inherent problem with the OS as a whole. Firstly, there just aren’t that many people around who are lined up to move away from the lightning-fast Windows 7 for a clunkier, heavier, and less reliable desktop that’s based on touch. Secondly, Microsoft is trying to sell tablets in a field that is already packed with enough competition as it is, and as adoption rates slow down, the demand for Windows 8 slates has gone with it.
If Microsoft hopes to recover even a quarter of what they spent on commercials this past Super Bowl, they’ll need to find a way to expand the uses for Windows 8 beyond the consumer market and into the world of enterprise. IBM and Dell have both recently made it clear they see a potential for huge backend support and IT integration of the OS, but Microsoft will need to answer their hardware with an appropriately secure software solution if they hope to be taken seriously by network administrators and technology gurus alike.
To put things in perspective though, the dismal outlook for Windows 8 isn’t a dealbreaker for Microsoft and only represents a tiny a drop in their total 92 percent market share of the bucket. They won’t be going broke as a result of this misstep, but with Bing and now this, they don’t have a lot of room left for more slip ups before it starts to actually affect the margin.