iYogi, one of the leaders in the remote tech support industry, today released its first edition of iYogi Insights focused on Windows 8 and Microsoft's strategy targeted at the increasing consumer trend towards using multiple devices. The significance of the Windows 8 launch this year is amplified by the proliferation of tablet devices that are currently dominated by the iOS and Android platforms. Based on the results of the survey, iYogi Insights predicts that Windows 8 will drive new adoption and shipment of tablets from Microsoft's existing PC user base.
Entrenched partnerships with original equipment manufacturers will help Microsoft to galvanize the entire ecosystem into launching new products, some already announced on Windows 8. Some of the new product announcements at the recently held CES 2012 include the Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone, Samsung and AT&T's Windows 8 ready tablets, and Acer's Timeline Ultrabook. These are likely to result in further revision of the projections on shipments of tablets, smartphones, ultrabooks, etc. The buzz is that Windows 8 will help tablets provide a real alternative to Apple's iPad, by getting the community of app developers motivated and delivering, before the launch. Microsoft has already released its developer preview and beta is expected shortly.
Our research shows that the awareness of the upcoming launch of Windows 8, is very high (95 %) and increasing consumer preference for a single user interface can prove a winner. Windows 8 presents another option for Tablets with new features and a dazzling user interface that pieces together your digital life in a singular interface, called Metro. For this edition of Insights, iYogi surveyed more than 1400 customers on the Windows platform.
A significant majority of PC users, 69% would like to have a single interface across multiple devices and not surprisingly, an overwhelming 85% of current tablet users would like their PC and tablet to offer synergy in functionality, look and feel. Given that there is a rising trend towards using multiple devices, this appears to be key to Microsoft's winning strategy for Windows 8, aiming to provide users with an integrated experience across mobiles, tablets and PCs. Already, 2011 saw more mobiles than PCs being shipped. As the tablet market grows, Windows 8 has the potential to become a preferred platform - as a unified operating system across all the three devices - PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Moreover, the tiled Metro interface has been specially designed for touch-screen devices and will play a major role in Windows 8 adoption across tablets and phones.
Currently 15% of the respondents are tablet users. International Data Corporation (IDC), a leading analyst of the technology scene, has also raised its forecast for the number of tablets that will be shipped out this year from 53.5 Million to 62.5 Million, a rise of 17%, which means that the market for Windows 8 tablet is growing already. Current findings indicate that adoption of tablets across the US currently stands at about 13% or approximately 40 million users, and is slated to increase to nearly 30% by 2015. Source: Tech Crunch
Windows 8 has succeeded in conjuring up a sizeable hype factor with near 95% of respondents aware that Windows 8 is soon due to be launched. In comparison, an earlier survey conducted by iYogi before the launch of the much-touted Windows 7 reveals that only about 40% respondents knew about the Windows 7 release. This is in sharp contrast to the awareness built around Windows 8. The 'Building Windows 8' community initiative launched earlier this year has generated its fair share of hype. The community serves to engage both users and developers in an open dialogue to further the development of the Windows 8 platform by incorporating feedback.
The survey reveals that 57% of tablet users like the idea of Windows 8 touch-screen interface. Given an opportunity, they would upgrade their tablets to Windows 8. Interestingly, 19% of users who do not use tablets said that they would like to upgrade.
According to the results of the survey, 85% of tablet owners already use apps and 57% of them would like to use the live Tiles interface for apps in Windows 8. Of the remaining respondents who are yet to convert to tablet usage, 20% felt that the Tiles would make their PC experience better. It is predicted that with increasing tablet sales, the app market will continue to grow. Microsoft is ready to take advantage of this trend through its Windows Store and provide customers a platform with a variety of apps to choose from. The developer preview released by the company has tools for building apps that support the Metro interface of Windows 8. This could give Microsoft a critical edge over Android Market - both, in terms of the quality and reliability of the apps developed for Windows 8. Also this is likely to pose a serious challenge to Apple's current dominance of the app market.
The survey reveals that 53% of tablet users would like to use the Metro interface of Windows 8. Of the remaining respondents, 18% felt that they wanted the single window interface being offered by Windows 8 Metro. A single window interface implies that a program would open in full screen mode when a tile is double clicked. This would mean a cleaner interface that would be more tablet friendly. To open two or more programs side by side, a split screen has to be created.
According to the findings of the survey, a majority of the users are unsure about using apps. However, the appetite for apps continues to grow. Christmas week alone, of 2011, saw a staggering 509 million app downloads in the US, out of a 1.2 billion apps downloaded worldwide. Microsoft plans to launch Windows Store to offer apps to customers to counter the current leadership of Apple and Android. App usage would generally be far higher (near 90%) amongst tablet users than on phones, another aspect that Microsoft would be looking to build on. But till the time the store is launched, users are still unsure whether they will be using any apps on Windows 8 computers, tablets, and phones. However, the "Building Windows 8" community is an attempt on the part of company to dispel such doubts and to introduce to users and developers alike, to the Windows App Store.
The burgeoning market for smartphones, tablets and other newgen devices has the consumer struggling with different operating systems, interfaces and platforms. With Windows 8, Microsoft seems to have come up with a winning strategy to integrate user experience across multiple devices. Also, realizing that apps are the way of the future, it has engaged with the app developer community and created the Windows Store to be able to entice users with a wide range of apps in place before launch. Will this astute marketing gambit work?
This iYogi Insights Consumer Research on Windows 8 - Microsoft's new interface strategy reveals what the current PC and tablet user thinks. Has Microsoft been able to reach out to him or her?
This survey covered iYogi subscribers through an online form following their support sessions. A total of 1400 respondents on the Windows platform filled the online survey form consisting of 9 questions requesting details on PC and tablet usage, app usage, user interface experience and preferences among others, to determine how they see this new development. The data collected was collated, analyzed and compared to identify, assess and quantify trends and patterns.