On eve of Windows 8 launch, adoption numbers are less than stellar

Microsoft will release the Windows 8 operating system later this month. But it may be having trouble ginning up interest in the OS. 

The Windows 8 operating system is displayed at the Microsoft booth during the 2012 Computex exhibition in Taipei.

Well, things could be worse for Microsoft and its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, but they certainly could be a whole lot better. 

According to the analytics firm Net Applications, a mere 0.33 percent of PCs running Windows in September were running a preview or advance version of Windows 8. As Gregg Keizer of Computerworld points out today, that's a far cry from the 1.67 percent of computers running a beta edition of Windows 7 in the run-up to the release of the last Microsoft OS. 

Some caveats: Windows 8 does not officially launch until Oct. 26. Plenty of folks don't bother to download beta versions of an operating system – they'd rather wait for the real thing. (Windows 8 went into Consumer Preview in February.) Still, Preston Gralla, a columnist at Computerworld, argues that while Windows 8 is a "winner" on tablet computers, the PC version of the operating system is underpowered and difficult to navigate.  

"Microsoft is clearly hoping that pre-launch numbers aren't a harbinger of things to come," Gralla writes. "My guess, though, is that they are."

In related news, early last month, Microsoft and Nokia took the wraps off the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820, a pair of Windows Phone 8-powered smartphones. The Lumia 820, with its less-glitzy camera and display, is a device for budget-minded shoppers; the 920 gets a bigger and better screen and a 8.7-megapixel camera with Nokia PureView advanced optical imaging stabilization.

Downloaded the Windows 8 Consumer Preview? Drop us a line in the comments section. And to receive regular updates on how technology intersects daily life, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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