The reason it is doing so badly is because it is not NEW. Windows 6.0 (Vista) brought several new things, including tightened security (not just that idiotic UAC) which people found a reason to upgrade to. Windows 7, Windows 6.1, lowered the overhead and generally just polished Vista, the same thing Windows XP SP2 did to Windows XP (many people forget what XP was like before SP2). Microsoft could have released what became Windows 7 as an XP2 level service pack, but they did the same thing they did with Windows 98SE. The lowered requirements helped with the laptop sector more than desktop, since by then the OEMs realized they couldn't get away with putting out 2ghz single core 512MB RAM systems anymore. Windows 8, Windows 6.2, is just another minor revision which doesn't really bring anything new to the table except natively working with disk images. Yes it brought a new UI, which many people do not find useful, and for $100 Windows 8 just doesn't give people a reason to upgrade from Windows 7. Plus with the economy in the crapper, and the PC sector is one place people don't want to spend money.
But remember too that the 3% doesn't take into account the people like me who picked up a copy of Windows 8 for $30 and just tossed the disk into a drawer for later. Also, Windows XP figures are skewed as Windows XP is used on many ATMs and other devices.
I upgraded from Win 7 Home OEM to Win 8 Pro Retail for 2 reasons, the first was that I wanted to be able to upgrade PC without having to buy new copies of the OS each time and the second was cost (Win 8 is significantly cheaper in the UK).
My desktop is virtually identical to Win 7 version and I didn't bother with replacement Start Menu app's as there really isn't any need for them. There are some odd behaviours but none that cause any real problems and tbh I can't see any reason to go back. That said, I'd agree with the view that if you have Win 7 and are happy with it then there is no reason at all to upgrade.
For XP users that are running older hardware neither 7 or 8 is a good move but when they upgrade their machines Win 8 would be the better choice. My old Toshiba laptop (with HD2600) is running very nicely with a 64 bit version of Vista Ultimate and I wouldn't think of putting Win 7 on it.
Well it looks like the majority of windows 8 non-users has won a battle....or Micro$oft finally woke up. Say what you will, as predicted Windows 8 is a flop...and mostly because of the "learning curve". Well read this:
You know, something which hasn't been talked about is the fact that Windows 8.1 (Windows Blue) is NOT a free upgrade, it is NOT a Windows XP2 style service pack, it IS a "new" OS and will cost money. According to IT Pro there is no word on price, but even if it is priced sub $50...Am I the only one pissed at Microsoft for going back to the "pay us for minor changes" structure they had with Windows 98?
""Here's the short version of what I'll write below: Aside from the browser and some interesting touch-based transitions done from the sides of the screen, for me, Windows 8 is pretty much Windows 7. (Albeit a Windows 7 with a lot of the useful stuff stripped out or unnecessarily rejiggered.) ""
""With an upcoming fix for Windows 8, Microsoft finds itself in a strange position: It has to make the faithful happy by shaping the experience to be more like the respected Windows 7. Meanwhile, the company must continue to support the modern "Metro" interface and push the notion that the OS delivers a touch-tablet experience that surpasses iOS and Android.""
I just don't see why Microsoft is so adamant about the Windows 8 UI. If they had made it so that on touch screen devices the new touch based UI was the default and on non touch screen devices the traditional desktop was the default UI, or if on the first boot it went to the Windows 8 UI and a box came up and said "Welcome to the new Windows 8 User Interface! If you would like to try it, click Keep. If you prefer to use our time tested traditional interface as found in Windows 7, click Switch. You may switch default interfaces at any time in the control panel." Options are good things, lack of options and forced choices is not, that's called AppleOS...And Unity...