For years, Microsoft has been a major force in the personal computing market. However, as the tablet market continues to expand and become a dominant force in the computing world, Microsoft has been forced to adapt. The radical shift in operating system design and usage styles between PC’s and tablet’s presents a potential challenge for consumers, who are accustomed to the traditional Windows aesthetic and navigation.

A recent study by Chitika Insights showed a positive launch for the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 with the new OS making up to 0.13% of all Windows traffic two months after it became available. Microsoft recently launched the Windows 8 Release Preview for PCs, and the response does not seem to be as enthusiastic as it was for the earlier version as Web traffic share percentages seem to be falling.

To quantify this study, Chitika Insights took a sample of hundreds of millions of impressions from the extensive Chitika ad network; ranging from May 31 to June 6, 2012. The sample was then aggregated based on operating system version, depicting the usage share of Windows 8 compared to the other versions of Windows through user agent analysis. These figures can be seen in the following table:

The data shows a usage share of 0.11% for Windows 8 Release preview. Compared to an earlier Chitika study, Windows 8 usage share has dropped down by 0.02% since April. One of the potential reasons for the previous response could be that some of the traffic we saw in our last study came from reviewers who were loaned Windows 8 tablets by Microsoft for the purpose of this review. Another reason could be that Windows 8’s metro interface looks good on the tablets but when it comes to laptop or desktop, the users could be left confused.

For publishers and advertisers, preparing in the face of the introduction of a new operating system or software platform is essential, although somewhat of a daunting task. Monitoring the traffic mix of a site to ensure every user is able to consume and interact with the property is central in maintaining key performance indicators. Advertisers’ running campaigns also face the same issues – ensuring that a campaign can effectively reach every section of a target market, regardless of software or operating system version will increase the effectiveness of messaging and campaign ROI.

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