Windows 8 arrives on campus

Student employees in the Yale Bookstore have promoted Windows 8 to their peers since its Oct. 26 release.
Student employees in the Yale Bookstore have promoted Windows 8 to their peers since its Oct. 26 release. Photo by Payal Marathe.

Though most Yale students use Apple computers, the release of Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system, might lead to a few converts.

A group of student employees at a booth in the Yale Bookstore are promoting the new Windows platform, which came out on Oct. 26, to the store’s customers. Despite the popularity of Apple products at Yale, those interviewed said the new Microsoft operating system could be particularly appealing to college students because of its apps and user-friendly interface. But five visitors interviewed of roughly 100 who stopped at the booth throughout the day yesterday said they were “just looking” and not committed to purchasing the software.

“Some people are getting bored of Apple, especially since the new iPhone 5 shows that Apple’s technology is stagnant, and we’re trying to get people to enjoy a different ecosystem with Windows 8,” said Matthew Eveleth ’14, who helped run the booth. “Of course, it’ll take about a year to gauge success.”

Eveleth, who described the software as a “radical departure” from Windows 7, said he expects some Mac users on campus to switch to the new operating system. The interface features several new applications including People, which allows users to sync contacts from Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and other sites, and Skydrive, a file-sharing cloud software.

In recent years, Microsoft products have been less popular among students than their Apple counterparts: 50 percent of Yale undergraduates currently use Macs, while 45 percent use Windows and 5 percent use Linux, said Loriann Seluga, manager of the Yale Student Technology Collaborative.

Julian Taffa ’15 said customers get more “bang for their buck” with Microsoft, since the cost of the company’s products more closely mirror their value, while Apple products have larger profit margins.

“Where the iPad is almost a computer, the Microsoft Tablet is actually a computer,” said David Marcano ’15, who also staffed the booth. “It has Word, PowerPoint, Excel — you can literally do the same things you would do on a desktop or laptop.”

The 32 GB Microsoft Surface Tablet costs $499 — the same price as the 32 GB fourth generation iPad.

Marcano said many who tried out the new product came in saying they were Mac users, but left interested in Windows 8, but none of the five visitors to the booth interviewed said they came to the bookstore with the intention of learning more about Windows 8 or buying the new software.

The bookstore booth will be open every weekday until Nov. 9.

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