“Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to the users of traditional PCs, and we expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor,”
I’m going to ignore my rational side that says these “analysts” aren’t trolling for clicks and pretend they’re just morons.
Have these people watched the keynote? Or even downloaded the DP? Metro Apps are just a layer that won’t interest the masses with traditional PCs? As I mentioned in my last Windows 8 post, Metro scales beautifully across screen sizes and to say it’s only for touch input is naive. Metro apps are better compared to Apple’s Full Screen apps, because that’s really all that’s different about them. You can click or touch or use the keyboard. That’s up to the developer. In fact, the Metro labyrinth game MS includes is played with arrow keys. You can bet Angry Birds will be a metro App. And people will want these metro apps. Why?
Because there will be an App store, and it will not be on Windows 7. App Stores are lowering the IT needed to install things, and if MS can pull it off without multistep wizards it will be huge. But analysts are no longer “impressed” by App Stores as they’ve essentially become a minimum standard due to Apple’s success. So maybe it won’t be impressive, but it’s not there now, and when it’s there a lot of dollars will be moving from consumers to developers whether the press gives a damn or not.
If you’re following Building Windows 8 you’ll see that MS is actually concentrating on a lot of aspects of Windows. To say people won’t be interested is like saying Vista users weren’t interested in Windows 7. Why would people want to shell out money for what was viewed as a mere “fix” of Vista? Maybe it’s because the type of people who upgrade are the type who AWAYS upgrade, and the types who won’t didn’t upgrade to Windows 7 either. Like Windows 7 before it, Windows 8 has a SMALLER footprint than its predecessor and weaker system requirements. That alone is worth it to upgrade if you’re still clinging to a 32bit machine.
Given the short lifespan of modern very cheap PC’s there are a lot of Vista, XP, and even some Windows 7 machines almost ready to blink off of BSOD for the last time and users will get Windows 8 on new “traditional” PC’s whether they like it or not. This probably represents that largest number of “new” users so whether or not MS can convince people to pay for Windows by itself probably doesn’t affect the bottom line too much.