Windows 8 has received its fair share of criticism for deviating from the classic desktop experience and instead push a touch-focused UI across all devices – even non-touch ones. Despite racking up respectable sales, a new report suggest it's not just that the operating system isn't seeing the kind of success Microsoft was hoping for; it's actually taking customer satisfaction levels down to the lowest since Windows Vista was released.
According to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, Microsoft's score slid to 74 out of 100 in their latest report. That's just one point higher than it was following Vista's launch, and down four points since the company's satisfaction rating peaked at 78 in 2011 before the release of Windows 8 dropped it to 75 in 2012.
"It seems clear that the release of Windows 8 did not give Microsoft a significant bump, as the release of Windows 7 did, nor did it dramatically lower customer satisfaction in a rather short time frame, as the release of Vista did," David VanAmburg, director of ACSI, said in a statement.
VanAmburg was cautious not to pin all the blame on Windows 8 this early in its life cycle. "If Microsoft's ACSI benchmark flattens next year or drops another point or two, then it is probably safe to say that Windows 8 will be the prime culprit behind a significant downturn in customer satisfaction."
Microsoft isn't planing on waiting that long to find out. Later this year the company will be releasing an update for its operating system, Windows 8.1, which is expected to address several common complaints from users. Among them are the return of the start button (but not the start menu), a boot to desktop option, and some much-needed search improvements. Codenamed Blue, this will be a free but major update for Windows 8 users. A public preview release is due this summer at Build, while the final code should ship in the second-half of 2013.