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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