Consumers greet Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface tablet with a big yawn

If Microsoft was hoping for a big-bang Windows 8 launch, it's disappointed: a poll from the Associated Press finds that people are greeting the operating system --- and the Surface tablet --- with a big yawn.

How bad is it? The Associated Press poll found that 52% of the people surveyed had not heard of Windows 8 prior to its launch. Of those who had heard of it, though, 61% say they were not interested in buying a Windows 8 machine. And of those who had heard of it, a mere 35% believe it will be an improvement over Windows 7.

The AP quotes Chris Dionne, a 43-year-old engineer had seen Windows 8 as saying:

"I am not real thrilled they are changing things around. Windows 7 does everything I want it to. Where is the return on my investment to learn a new OS?’"

The news was even worse for Microsoft's Surface Windows RT tablet. Some 69% of people in the poll said they had no interest in buying one.

Keep in mind that the poll was conducted before the Windows 8 launch, and that Microsoft will be spending $1 billion or more to publicize and market the new operating system. So those numbers will almost certainly go up.

Still, it's not good when you have to rely solely on marketing to push a product. The best products do a good job of selling themselves, with help from marketing and advertising, of course. But in the early days at least, Windows 8 doesn't seem to be one of those products that people lust for.

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