New data suggests that the launch of Windows 8 might have been even weaker than previously thought.
Microsoft launched Windows 8 last month with a huge marketing blitz highlighting its radical new, touch-focused user interface.
But according to a survey shared exclusively with the Huffington Post, less than two in five Windows users have any intention of upgrading.
In all, 38.6% said they were either "very likely" or "quite likely" to upgrade. By contrast, 27.4% said they were either "quite" or "very unlikely" not to upgrade - and 29.4% had no interest either way. Finally, 4.5% said they did not own a Windows PC.
Twice as many users (28%) prefer Windows 7 to Windows 8, according to the survey of 2,000 people by Toluna QuickSurveys.
Other findings from the survey included:
- Only 13.5% of Windows users said they were "very likely" to upgrade to Windows 8.
- Just 11.3% were "very likely" to buy a new PC or tablet running the new OS
- Almost half (48.8%) had no intention to buy a new PC in the next twelve months
The results suggest an overall shrug of the shoulders from surveyed consumers, who are not yet sold on the new interface or the overall need to upgrade.
However, there was some good news for Microsoft. According to the survey, about as many people (12.5%) said their next tablet would run Windows 8, compared to 12.9% for Apple's iOS. That said, only 2% said they would consider a Windows RT device - such as the Surface tablet.
Toluna said the data was weighted for age, gender and education, but that the survey was conducted among those who volunteered for its service and no estimate of sampling error could be made. Without official sales figures from Microsoft beyond its initial report of four million copies shipped, it is difficult to make accurate assessments of its relative success or failure.
But Toluna's findings do chime with other research, which suggests lacklustre sales of the software. Retailers have reported "slow going" and others have reported internal concern at its performance so far.
According to NetApplications, Windows 8 only has a 1% market share of Windows PCs as of 11 November - though it should be noted that figure was double that recorded two weeks previously.
Mark Simon, managing director of global technology practice at Toluna, said:
"It doesn't bode well for the computer giant or the PC market in general. The results indicate that if users are not planning to upgrade now, in or in the near future - a good three or more years after the previous operating system was launched - they are likely to continue to use their current version of Windows.Suggest a correction
"Microsoft need to worker harder than ever to retain their reputation as the market leader and rekindle consumer interest, which is currently in danger of a steady decline in the years to come".