Windows 8 “an irrelevance” for PC users

Analyst firm IDC claims Windows 8 “will be largely irrelevant” to PC users.

Windows 8

IDC delivers the withering assessment of Windows 8’s prospects in a report stating the firm’s predictions for the year ahead.

In a damning indictment of the new Metro interface, which is being foisted on users of both tablets and traditional PCs, IDC claims that “Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to the users of traditional PCs”.

We expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor

“We expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor,” the firm claims.

The Metro interface – which was first introduced with Windows Phone 7, and is now being deployed across Windows and the Xbox console – was initially designed as a touch interface. However, Microsoft has insisted that Metro will also be the default Windows Start Screen, even on laptops and PCs that don’t have a touchscreen.

That’s led to something of a backlash from those testing the developer preview of Windows 8 on traditional PCs, with PC Pro among those who’ve raised doubts over the effectiveness of Metro when used with a keyboard and mouse.


Windows 8: the game changer

PC Pro’s contributing editor Jon Honeyball describes using Metro on a traditional desktop as “very weird indeed, requiring plenty of learning to discover the necessary keystrokes to make the various panels open and to make screens slide around”.

The traditional Windows desktop does remain in Windows 8, but pressing the Start button sends the user straight back to the Metro interface in the developer build. Microsoft has admitted on its Building Windows 8 blog that work on the Start menu is incomplete, but gave no indication that it’s planning to back down on making Metro the default interface, even for non-touch devices.

At the unveiling of Windows 8 earlier this year, Microsoft’s director of Windows Experience, Jensen Harris, gave an indication of the company’s attitude to the traditional PC desktop, stating that “every screen needs to be touch. A monitor without touch feels dead.”

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