Why exactly are Windows 8 users not upgrading to Windows 8.1?

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I’ve got great news, I’ve got good news and I’ve got not so good news.

The great news is that Windows 8.1 market share is steadily on the up. The good news is that the Windows 8 slice of the pie is gradually decreasing. The not so good news is that why are people still holding up from upgrading?

What, for the love of technology, keeps them from firing up the Windows Store and upgrading to the Windows 8.1? For free. Quick and easy, for free.

Market fragmentation never benefits anybody.

Just ask the Android users.

But according to Net Applications some 6.41 percent are still using Windows 8 vanilla. This is down from the 8 or so percent from a couple of months back, but it nevertheless is astronomically high.

Astronomically high when you consider that the Windows 8.1 numbers come in at 4.89 percent.

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Microsoft made the right choice in making Update 1 (or, plain Update, if you will) absolutely compulsory for Windows 8.1 users. They will no longer receive security, and feature, updates if they do not deploy this newest refresh to the platform.

They could have done the same for Windows 8 users too.

But the luckily the damage is not severe. And it is lessening as users make the move to Windows 8.1 at their own pace. Important thing is to keep this strategy going, keep OS fragmentation away.

What I am more interested in hearing is the reason why Windows 8 users are shying away from Windows 8.1. If you are still rocking the base version of the platform, then by all means hit the comment box and let your rational behind not upgrading be known.

If you know somebody that is not planning to deploy Windows 8.1, and you know why, be my guest too!

NOTE - If you would like to find out more about the next version of Microsoft Windows - Windows 9, here are some links you should probably check out.

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Comments

  • Mark Smith

    I would say the thing that is stopping them is that they have to fire up the Windows Store! I’m sure a bunch of Windows 8 users have never used it, or even know it’s there, MS should have made the update come through like every windows update before it, silently in the background.

    • Bruce Regael

      Agreed. Them trying to pimp the market store over WU that comes automatic was a huge mistake. I guess putting in the market store a week or two early would have made more sense?

      The average user just leaves things at default which do silent updates in the background. This is a self-created problem by Microsoft that they knew would happen putting it in Windows Store in the first place. I also imagine the controversy over whether it was a free update permanently or temporarily also plays a part. That was just confusing as all hell and no doubt people are probably under the assumption that the “free” 8.1 upgrade is over.

      • Philip Paulson

        Too true, Bruce. There are many that are not as deep into computing technology, it’s easy for them to miss this.

    • Robert Grimm

      I like that they essentially hid it there. That makes it easier to avoid for those who can’t use it yet.

      • Philip Paulson

        Well said, Microsoft should try and place it at a prominent place on the Windows Store. I only saw it for a few days there upon release.

    • Philip Paulson

      That’s a good point, Mark, pushing it through silently was the better option. It’s not exactly a radical change from the base Windows 8, just a bunch of refinements.

      Good thing that they revised this policy with Windows 8.1 Update.

  • Robert Grimm

    I have a client who is just starting to roll out Windows 8 but not 8.1. IE11 and an essential installer that won’t even start on 8.1 is the reason. They have essential web sites that can barely handle IE10 and their most essential application checks the version and won’t allow installation for a similar reason. I’d prefer they used 8.1 but I can’t do anything about it. They’re going to get 8.0 because we buy computers with Windows 7 installed and an 8.0 image in the box. If the image switches to 8.1 before their essential software works with it, I’ll have to go back to Windows 7.

    • Rumin8

      I read through the other postings and I have to say you are the only one to make this interesting point. I had been thinking of things from the home user viewpoint because where I work we only recently gave XP the last rites and went to 7.
      .
      From a business perspective, the 8-to-8.1 transition, as you rightly say, could not have been made automatic (via Windows Updates) like they did for 8.1 Update 1, because of incompatibility issues.
      .
      I too have had problems with software that was picky about 8.1 even on my home machine. The classic example was Juniper Networks, whose remote desktop software, or some custom version of it that I was using, was incompatible with 8.1, and their web site gave the impression that 8.1 fell on them out of the sky while they weren’t looking, as if they didn’t know it was coming, which would surely beggar belief.
      .
      8.1 Update 1 by comparison is a ‘mild’ update, which some have complained about, wondering why it was even billed as anything more than a normal anonymous unsung Windows Update. But even so, minimal though it is, it has some obvious problems, not perhaps ones that will stop an installer, but do cause visual or interaction annoyance, in that, for example, the new Metro caption bars overlap the controls that can appear at the top of Metro apps, controls which betray the original Windows 8 design mistake of assuming that controls at top and bottom would normally be off-screen, a regrettable decision because it adds an extra step to any UI interaction, relative to competition.
      .
      My guess is that Windows 9 will resolve this by simply installing over any of 8, 8.1, or 8.1 Update 1.

      • Philip Paulson

        Yeah, be interesting what kind of a strategy Microsoft puts in place with Windows 9.

    • Philip Paulson

      So true. I’ve run into some custom applications that only worked with IE10 (some were even stuck with IE8 and IE9, but they were orphaned projects). A lot of them were updated eventually.

      I’d imagine this to be a serious concern, software that heavily depends on Internet Explorer to function.

  • John

    The people who have not upgraded dislike metro.

    • Philip Paulson

      Probably. :P

  • Brandon James

    I have, myself upgraded to the newest Windows on all three of my devices (tablet, laptop, desktop). But this isn’t about me. I know that some of my tech savvy friends tried to update, but couldn’t because the install failed for some reason or another. Therefore, they’re still on 8, just because they can’t do it and retain their data. The others I know of just don’t even know it’s available because they don’t open the store. They live in the desktop. The store is of no concern to them so they won’t look. I am not going to tell them there’s an update available when I see they are running an older Windows unless, of course, I plan to do it for them. I updated my father’s machine to 8.1 and that’s about it because I was allowed to have some time with it.

    • Philip Paulson

      Yeah, that’s another reason. There have even been reports about installation errors for Windows 8.1 Update, but Windows 8.1 upon release failed at installation for a lot of chaps.

      Then again, some people that have not upgraded might actually be a little scared of losing their data or installed software. It’s a seamless process, as is upgrading to Windows 8.1 Update.

  • Andy Liu

    A lot of people I know didn’t even know there was an 8.1 update. Microsoft should have made it an automatic update in Windows Update, instead of hiding it in the store.

    • Philip Paulson

      Agreed, it was the most logical way.

  • Rumin8

    People who ignore Metro and go direct to the desktop will not see the point in upgrading from 8 to 8.1 or even know about it.
    It was a mistake on the part of Microsoft to make it available via the Windows Store because it only appears there if you have done all your Windows Updates otherwise you never see it. I had enough trouble finding it, and I was looking from the 1st day it became available!
    I am sure there are plenty of people who have never installed any Windows Updates and don’t even know what they are. They won’t ever see 8.1.
    The way 8.1 Update 1 has been done is better in that it is wrapped in with the Windows Updates and happens as a matter of course, but as I said, that won’t help people who don’t know what an update is.
    Incidentally, with Update 1, Update & Recovery in Settings told me there was nothing to download and therefore nothing to do. Only when I clicked to view the update history did I find a big fat 900 MB package (the Update 1) sitting there, already downloaded but not yet installed. How daft is that? By the time I found it, it had been there for hours, and I had been scouring web sites trying to find out whether it had been delayed in the UK.
    Going back from 8.1 to 8 would be tragic. I would be tearing my hair out. Which is so sad. All those folks with 8 who don’t know what they are missing. Some of them no doubt complaining about stuff that has already been fixed.

    • Ray C

      Was bout to Desktop originally in 8 or was it part of 8.1. I think the start button list by itself is worth upgrading to 8.1

    • Philip Paulson

      Exactly, Windows 8.1 takes care of a lot of issues that people had with Windows 8, and if they are missing out due to not knowing, well, what can one say.

      Appreciate the comment, pal.

  • Rumin8

    Any way to find out what proportion of Windows 8 users actually know about 8.1? (Asking people on this web site obviously won’t help as we all know.)

    • Philip Paulson

      Boy, that’s quiet a task there, pal. A scientific survey of some sorts with a few thousand users would just about provide us with some hints.

      But my concern is that if these users do not actually know about 8.1, then they could well get left behind. Even a couple of percent in the coming years would mean Microsoft (and other hardware vendors) will have to set aside resources for updates, fixes and drivers.

  • JackD3ath

    I have not updated for a few reasons, none of which are the ones being spouted from others. Many friends updated when it was first available and had lots of problems with audio. Specifically Asus onboard audio.
    After research I found that MS had changed the way Windows polls for mouse and keyboard info, making gameplay horrible if at all possible. Because I play a few games, some of which are fps games, I decided to wait to see if anything changed. Now I figure it works and that is fine by me. No real compelling reason to change at this time, and dont want to deal with hassle of reinstall if it isnt acceptable.

    • Philip Paulson

      Great comment, and exactly the response I was looking for. But at least you are aware of the path to upgrade, and might do so in the coming months. That’s all good.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Ray C

    I don’t know anyone who hasn’t upgraded other than people who are on volume license installs and their company hasn’t made 8.1 ISOs or people who just feel like the update took too long for others. The people who have upgraded, I can’t think of anyone who has had a single technical issue. Heck I downloaded the Update 1 files when they came out the first time, installed them for a couple problem, and there were no problems for them. People not upgrading because of IE should at least test drive Enterprise Mode

  • hooksie

    I’m on 8.1 Update so I can inform anyone holding off on upgrading from 8.0 that MS have fixed the things they broke in 8.1 To me MS did far too much to try to appease tech journalists rather than listening to the actual users. Search on 8.0 with the per app search possibility was far more powerful than the change to Everywhere universal search – a merge of the two would have been best. Also, simple things like the “stop correcting this word” option were removed and you had to either switch off autocorrect or just continually have to fix sentences. They’ve sorted that again in 8.1
    So yes, I think MS had it spot on with Windows 8 and I think they went too far back with 8.1. They are trying to appease tech journalists but the reality is that Windows 8 vanilla is a fantastic OS so I’m guessing that most people who got to know and love it simply don’t want the more Desktopified version :)

  • Joshua Baecker

    The better question might be why fully a quarter of computers are still running such an ancient operating system as Windows XP (or Xtra leaky)? Or that somehow 3% of users still use Vista?