May 23, 2013, 3:29 PM — A majority of consumer and small business Windows 8 PC users launch fewer than one "Modern" app a day, signaling that they're spending most of their time on the classic Windows 7-style desktop, according to data released Wednesday.
According to Soluto, an Israeli PC management service provider, just 39% of owners of desktop PCs powered by Windows 8 launch a Modern user interface (UI) app more than once a day. Laptop users fire up a Modern, ne "Metro," app slightly more often, with 40% opening an average of more than one app daily. Even touch-enabled notebooks infrequently access Modern: 42% of the owners of those devices launch more than one app a day.
Only tablets tilt toward app use, said Soluto. Approximately 56% of Windows 8 tablet users open an average of one or more apps daily.
Soluto calculated the app launch rates using a pool of about 10,800 Windows 8 devices -- PC desktops and notebooks, touch-ready laptops and tablets -- that use its management service. Soluto pitches that service to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses, and IT managers in larger companies, but the polled systems were predominantly consumer-owned and in small businesses, said Roee Adler, Soluto's chief product officer, in an interview Thursday.
"[The 10,800 PCs] do not include any enterprise systems, but very significant amounts of consumer and small business PCs," said Adler.
The numbers for traditional PCs, especially touch-enabled notebooks, must give Microsoft's Windows executives heartburn: They have repeatedly pinned hopes for a boost to PC sales on touch, blamed the paucity of touch laptops for the sluggish launch of the OS last year, and pointed to later this year -- when more touch-screen PCs will be available, and at lower prices -- as reason for optimism.
On average, a Windows 8 user launches 1.5 apps each day, for a week's total of 10.5 apps, said Soluto. Not surprising, tablet owners open an above-average number: 2.7 apps daily or about 19 apps each week. And just as expected, desktop, laptop and touch-laptop owners launch fewer apps on average. Those with desktop Windows 8 PCs open an average of 1.4 apps each day (9.9 apps each week), people with non-touch notebooks launch 1.5 apps daily (10.5 apps weekly), and owners of touch-enabled laptops open 2.2 apps each day (15.5 apps over seven days).
"The basic behavior is to just jump to the desktop," said Adler. "People don't find Metro intuitive."