A new poll suggests that Windows 8 may be hampered by scant consumer interest.
Microsoft bills Windows 8 -- a world away from the familiar surroundings of Windows 7 -- as a "reimagining" of the PC operating system. It may indeed be that, considering Windows 8's touch capabilities and app ecosphere. But whether consumers will take to the new OS remains to be seen.
A survey of nearly 1,200 U.S. adults by the Associated Press and market researcher GfK found that 52 percent of respondents had not heard of Windows 8 and that 61 percent had "little or no interest" in purchasing a new laptop or desktop computer with the new operating system.
Only 35 percent of those surveyed believe Microsoft's latest offering will be an improvement on the operating system's predecessors.
This consumer ambivalence was also reflected when asked about Microsoft's just-launched tablet, the Surface. Sixty-nine percent of respondents expressed no interest in buying one of the tablets, which has been touted as a potential competitor for Apple's iPad and Google's Nexus 7.
Microsoft will be spending more than $1 billion marketing Windows 8 to entice customers to adopt the new operating system.
The latest version of Windows is a radical redesign, aimed at breaking into the expanding smartphone and tablet market. The next-generation operating system was officially launched at a New York event on Thursday.
Some praise Windows 8 processing speed and the primary Metro interface as elegant and versatile, though CNET Senior Editor Eric Franklin says: "Metro has a steep learning curve, and the Desktop interface feels clunky and useless."