Windows 8 sparking little more search interest than Vista

Barry Collins
15 Apr 2013

There's a lot of debate over the popularity of Windows 8. Microsoft claims Windows 8 is outselling Windows 7; British desktop PC makers have told us that up to 93% of new PC buyers still want Windows 7.

Google provides us with another means of divining the popularity of different products. The Google Trends website allows you to compare the search volumes of different terms, and it doesn't make particularly pleasant reading for Microsoft when you start comparing recent versions of Windows.

We compared the search volumes for the past four editions of Windows, from 2004 until the present day, and this is the result (click graph to enlarge):

As you can see, Windows 8 is following a very similar trend line to Windows Vista, briefly bursting past the incumbent version of Windows at the time of launch, before settling down at a level that's well below its predecessor. While the post-launch drop-off isn't quite as severe for Windows 8 as it was for Vista, it's still pretty grim viewing for Microsoft.

If there are crumbs of comfort for Microsoft, searches for OS X appear to be in long-term decline -- although we suspect more people search for the particular version number than "OS X":

Indeed, when you throw the search term "Mac" into the comparison, it paints an entirely different picture:

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