Windows 8 has been downloaded and tried more time than was Windows 7, Microsoft claims - but how many testers will be paying to upgrade?
Microsoft claims to have evidence that Windows 8 is going to prove popular with users, despite using the UI-formerly-known-as-Metro which many believe to be better suited to its original target of touch-screen devices.
According to a post on the Building Windows 8 blog
by Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc, the pre-release versions of Windows 8 have proved popular indeed. 'Windows 8 is the most widely used and tested pre-release product we’ve ever delivered,
' LeBlanc claims of his company's creation.
'Across every audience, Windows 8 has been downloaded and used by more people than Windows 7 during the same period,
' LeBlanc adds, confirming that - if the number of people actually paying to upgrade to Windows 8 is anything like the number of people trying it out for free ahead of its official launch - Microsoft is expecting big things from its next-generation operating system.
Feedback from the trials hasn't been ignored, either: LeBlanc claims that Microsoft has collected around a billion hours of telemetry feedback, a figure collated from all the pre-release editions from the very first previews to the latest Release To Manufacturing (RTM) version.
Quite what the company has done with that telemetry data, however, is unclear. Despite numerous concerns both from the public and industry figures as to its suitability for non-touchscreen devices, Microsoft is ploughing ahead with its plan to make the tile-based interface once known as Metro UI the default user experience under all versions of Windows 8 - including, bizarrely, the server editions.
It's a move that has left the company open to considerable criticism, with even one of Microsoft's own - former - employee were lamenting the system's various drawbacks
. Public opinion on the interface appears to be softening, however, but it still remains to be seen if the dramatic shift will be welcomed by consumers or left on the scrapheap of history alongside Microsoft Bob