Majority of people won’t upgrade for Windows 8 but do think it is safer than previous Windows, according to massive survey of over 350,000 computer users

Do you use avast!, either the free version or their paid offerings? If so, last month you probably were prompted with popups asking you to take part in a Windows 8 survey Avast was conducting. Well those survey results are in and it is a mixed bag for Microsoft.

Avast asked 1.6 million people to participate in the survey and “over 350,000” computer users across multiple languages (English, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, and Czech) responded. The survey asked six questions:

  • Which Operating System does your computer have?
  • Are you aware that the new Windows 8 will soon be released?
  • Do you think that Windows has actually gotten safer over the years?
  • Do you think Windows 8 will be safer than previous Windows OS?
  • Do you plan to get a new computer sooner to have the new Windows 8?
  • Do you plan to get a new computer soon? If yes, what will it be?

Of the respondents:

  • 65% were on Windows 7, 22% on Windows XP, 8% on Windows Vista, and the remaining were on “other” or didn’t know what they were using
  • 56% knew Windows 8 would soon be released, 37% did not know, and 7% were unsure
  • 64% felt Windows had gotten more safe over the years, 30% didn’t know, and 6% said no it did not get more safe
  • 46% thought Windows 8 is safer than previous Windows, 40% weren’t sure, and 14% said no it is not safer
  • 78% have no plans on buying a new PC early just for Windows 8, 14% are unsure, and 8% said yes they will
  • 72% do intend on buying a new PC soon, 21% would rather buy an iPad, and 7% are going with Mac

The results aren’t that damning for Microsoft. In fact, the results show Microsoft has done a fairly decent job getting the word out about Windows 8 and has done a good job of either improving Windows 8 security or at least making people think Windows security is improving. The issue, however, for Microsoft is Windows 8 clearly isn’t attractive enough to spur PC sales.

Indeed, 78% of the people who responded said they will not purchase a PC sooner than normal just to get Windows 8. Does that mean they won’t upgrade to Windows 8 at all? No, they might upgrade their current PCs; Avast didn’t specifically ask about upgrading to Windows 8, unfortunately. However, it does mean a majority of people won’t shell the money for a new PC just for Windows 8.

It should be noted that while the survey Avast conducted was geographically diverse (roughly a third of the people that responded were in the USA while the remaining lived outside), it is far from a statistically sound survey. Indeed it wouldn’t be fair to make generalized conclusions about Windows 8 using this survey simply because the sample size was limited to people who use Avast products, and these people may have biases or characteristics not found in the general population. For example, many Avast users use their free version. If you know enough about anti-virus programs to know there is a viable free anti-virus out there for you to use (and you aren’t simply grabbing the first anti-virus you find on the shelf of Best Buy), then you probably are more tech-savvy than the average Joe. If you are more tech-savvy, then you aren’t one of those types of people who will purchase a new computer just for an operating system upgrade. Still, however, despite the faults in the survey, it is one of the first Windows 8 surveys conducted on a large scale. We can’t just brush it off.

Are you in the same boat as the people that responded to the survey? Let us know in the comments below!

[via Avast]

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  • Godwin

    @Frank D: What I meant by ”interesting” was that Windows 8 looks quite good in some perspectives (to me).
    The new Task Manager is a good advance that Windows should have made quite earlier. The boot-up time is just impressive; now Windows 8 boots up by around the same time my Ubuntu installation boots up (about 12-14 seconds; first fresh boot was faster ~ 6-8 seconds). Also, I haven’t experienced any significant slow-downs till now.
    The UI is also not so bad as others say, once you get used to it (perspectives are different for different people; so opinions are bound to differ). Actually it might turn out to be more helpful later on, atleast to a part of the population.

  • Frank D

    @Godwin: As a Win7 user, I don’t understand what “interesting” means in regard to an OS. Not meaning to be a troll, but is that a positive “OK” for Windows 8, or might it be just “faint praise”? Are there any notable pluses that the average end-user can appreciate, so as to make me want to go and buy it ASAP? Thanks.

  • Godwin

    I am already running Windows 8 as a dual-boot on my system; and yes, I also did take part in that survey. ;)
    I have found Windows 8 to be pretty interesting, with the probably the only down-side visible to me being that it’s a “bit too much optimized” for touchscreens.

  • Grantwhy

    Upgrade to Windows 8?

    hah – this computer is so old it wasn’t be able to upgrade to Vista, let alone Windows 7 :-p [I’m not joking, I think the BIOS is dated 2005]

    Looks like I’m sticking with XP (SP3) until they stop providing Updates [April 8, 2014] and then will have to look at getting a new system.

  • Tom

    My 5 year old desktop with Vista was flaky and could not pass System File Checker’s scan without a laundry list of inscrutable errors. Win8 was the perfect cheap antidote. Did a clean install and have a very smooth system.

    Downloaded Media Center yesterday… what a useless waste. Probably will uninstall.

    I’m still debating the wisdom of converting my Win7 laptop. Too many apps to re-install there, so I’d probably try the “upgrade” approach, or just leave things be.

  • Bull

    I also have a 2 year old system with windows 7. I have not had any problems with it whatsoever. The “not broken so why fix it?” saying runs true.

    If i were to buy anther computer, it will be the same shop, with a bare bone (no bloat ware crap software installed) system that i can install windows 7 into it.

  • Frank D

    I have a two-year old PC with Windows 7 and am “as happy as a clam” with it. If I were in the market for a new PC (which I’m not) and they were only available with Windows 8 installed, I would look for and only purchase one that could be downgraded to Windows 7. My feeling is, “why mess with success”? I hate what Microsoft did with the introduction of Vista and I believe that Win8 will end up in the same category. I’ll skip 8 and look forward to 9. In the meantime I’ll stick with 7.