Michael Dell's keynote at the Dell World conference on Dec. 12 contained many glowing comments about Windows 8:
With Windows 8 we're on the cusp of the next revolution in hardware and software... [I]n the customer conversations that we've been having, the interest in Windows 8 is quite high, even with commercial customers, who would normally wait a few releases to adopt the new versions. What we're seeing here is really an immediate need, because CIOs are worried about the ramifications of a BYOD world.
Of course, Dell is sitting on a whole lot of Windows 8 computers.
On a less cynical note, I have two reasons to think that Windows 8 may not turn out to be a complete crash-and-burn.
First, the fat lady hasn't yet sung. Surface with Windows 8 is due out in January. Although it may not take the world by storm, Surface Win8 has an easy act to follow. All signs I've seen point to Surface RT going the way of the dodo in short order. A full-on Windows 8 machine with the svelte Surface form factor may have a chance, particularly because netbooks are about to disappear. (According to Business Insider, both Asus and Acer have discontinued manufacturing netbooks, effective Dec. 31.)
Second, if the Net Applications figures represent anything close to reality, people accessing the Internet with Windows 8 machines are only using the touch interface 3 percent of the time. Clearly, Windows 8 customers aren't yet using the Mr. Hyde Metro side of the product. If Microsoft can come up with a compelling reason for everyday consumers to actually use Metro -- yes, that's a big "if" -- there's certainly a lot of room for increased sales. Coming up with an app that everybody wants is one whole heckuvalot easier than coming up with a new Windows, and it looks like very few people have even dipped their toes in the Metro gene pool.
This story, "Windows 8: Down but not out," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
Correction: This article as originally posted misstated Windows 7's initial uptake. The story has been amended.