Windows 8 snags an early thumbs-up

'Many more positives than negatives' says online trend-tracking firm

Microsoft's long-awaited deeper look at Windows 8 has piqued consumer interest, according to a company that scores online news and social media trends.

Interest in Windows 8 exploded on September 12, the day Microsoft held a two-and-a-half hour demonstration of the new operating system, said NetBase Solutions, a Mountain View, Calif. firm that tracks online coverage and social media comments about brands and products for a wide range of industries, including technology and entertainment.

The percentage of positive mentions about Windows 8 quickly climbed starting Tuesday, said NetBase, ending at above 60% by the close of Wednesday. Negative comments made up about 20 per cent of the total.

"[It] seems like people are impressed with this move, not only because of the actual technology but also the message that Microsoft seems to be sending to their competitors and the marketplace with this release," NetBase said in a statement.

Not surprisingly, the mentions and comments garnered by Windows 8 crystalized around the usual Microsoft versus Apple argument, with many of those applauding the new operating system's "touch-first" approach as a win for users who don't like Apple's iPad.

"Windows 8 will be the death of the iPad!" crowed one of the Twitter messages NetBase called out.

Negative commenters climbed on OS soapboxes as well.

"Remember, the people who think Windows 8 just killed the iPad are the same who thought Windows ME was the best OS ever," said a tweet, referring to the abused Windows Millennium of 2000.

"Dislikes for the Windows 8 tablet focus around how it does not support Adobe Flash and how it's not that easy to use ... but there are many more positives than there are negatives," noted NetBase.

As evidence of Windows 8's popularity, CEO Steve Ballmer boasted yesterday morning that 500,000 copies had been downloaded in the first 16 hours of its availability.

Microsoft posted the preview on its website around 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

It's impossible to compare that number against the download tally of Windows 7's first public beta -- released in early January 2009 -- because while Microsoft initially said it would limit the Windows 7 beta to 2.5 million people, it later ditched that restriction and never cited download stats for the preview.

The Windows 8 developer preview can be downloaded from Microsoft's website.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more articles by Gregg Keizer.

Read more about windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftAppletwitteroperating systemssoftwareWindows

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?