Windows 8 was launched with much fanfare in October 2012, but Microsoft’s operating system failed to impress, remaining a heavily criticized product which is now expected to be replaced by a new version of Windows specifically built to address its downsides.
While Microsoft is working to step away from Windows 8 as soon as possible, the company is getting ready to pull the plug on sales of this particular operating system this week, as it wants customers interested in buying a new operating system license to go for Windows 8.1.
Details published on the Windows lifecycle page reveal that on October 31, 2014, Windows 8 is reaching retail software end of sales, which according to a note on the same website, means that standalone copies of the operating system will no longer be found in stores.
On the other hand, Windows 8 will continue to be available pre-installed on new computers, as licenses are still available to OEMs and partners.
Third-party market share statistics indicate that, two years after launch, Windows 8 continues to perform below expectations, with only few users actually running it right now.
Data for the month of September 2014 indicate that Windows 8 was installed on only 5.59 percent of the desktop computers worldwide, way behind the leader Windows 7 which continues to hold a market share of 52.71 percent.
Windows 8.1 is doing a lot better and is currently sitting on the third position with a share of 6.67 percent, after Windows XP, currently the second top operating system on the desktop worldwide with 23.87 percent.
With Windows 10, Microsoft hopes that it can get past the Windows 8 disaster and offer users the features they need the most to get work done on the desktop.
Windows 8 clearly changed the desktop in a negative way and removed elements that users found really helpful, including the Start menu which was there since Windows 95.
On the other hand, Windows 10 brings back this feature and also adds new ones, such as multiple desktops and a PC version of personal assistant Cortana.
At this point, people close to the matter say that Windows 10 is expected to launch in spring 2015, but only little has been said by Microsoft itself until now. A preview version of Windows 10 is already up for grabs, with more than 1 million users registering for the Windows Insider Program to try it out.