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Windows 8 activity sinking among early adopters, claims study

The level of activity in Windows 8 among people running the Developer Preview is lower than it was three months ago, according to new data from ad network Chitika.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Windows 8 activity among developers and other early adopters has fallen over the past three months, says a new study from ad network Chitika.

Looking at ad impressions for the Windows 8 Developer Preview on its own network earlier this month, Chitka found that they were measurably lower than ones seen in September.

Specifically, the new data compared impressions during the week of December 4 with those found toward the end of September, shortly after Microsoft launched the Developer Preview to the public. The stats released on September 26 showed a healthy jump in online activity in just a one-week period. But since then, impressions have gone down.

Chitika expressed surprise over the decline in activity, especially with Microsoft due to release the Windows 8 beta in February and recently spilling the beans on its upcoming Windows 8 app store.

"With these changes just on the horizon, it would seem that the level of anticipation and activity within developer communities should be increasing, although due to low levels we observed, this clearly paints a different picture," said the study, calling the low level of activity "troubling."

But I think Chitika is overreacting here.

Early downloaders of the Windows 8 Developer Preview could simply have peeked around initially to see what was new and then went back to their business. I spent several days working with the Developer Preview after downloading it but have only launched it a few times since then, mostly to double-check certain features.

And many early adopters may simply be waiting to try out the new beta rather than spend more time with a Developer Preview that will be old news in another two months.

I'd like to see Chitika run another study in February or March after the beta comes out to gauge the level of activity and interest in Windows 8 at that point.