Chitika Insights Windows 8 Adoption at Top U.S. UniversitiesWindows 8’s relatively tepid rate of adoption has been well documented, but with institutional contracts being a sizable portion of Microsoft’s PC business as a whole, the Chitika Insights team looked to examine how Windows 8 was faring on college campuses. Using the top 50 universities as ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2013, Chitika Insights then re-ranked the schools by the percentage of Web traffic identified as coming from desktop computers running Windows 8 through the ISP associated with that university.

Windows 8’s relatively tepid rate of adoption has been well documented, including in this Chitika Insights article from back in December. However, with institutional contracts being a sizable portion of Microsoft’s PC business as a whole, the Chitika Insights team looked to examine how Windows 8 was faring on college campuses.

To quantify this study, we conducted an analysis of millions of desktop-based online ad impressions from February 22nd through February 28th, 2013. This timeframe was selected to avoid the potential influence of spring break or holiday weekends. Using the top 50 universities as ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2013*, Chitika Insights then re-ranked the schools by the percentage of Web traffic identified as coming from desktop computers running Windows 8 through the ISP associated with that university. A graphical summary of the schools with the highest and lowest rates of Windows 8 adoption, along with the full list, are both located below:

Chitika Insights Windows 8 Adoption at Top U.S. Universities

 

School

Windows 8 Share of Desktop Traffic

Rice University

5.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology

5.7%

University of Washington

5.5%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.8%

University of Illinois

4.4%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

4.3%

California Institute of Technology

4.0%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3.8%

University of California, Irvine

3.8%

University of California, San Diego

3.7%

University of California at Berkeley

3.7%

Brandeis University

3.5%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.5%

Lehigh University

3.3%

Cornell University

3.3%

University of Texas at Austin

3.1%

University of California, Davis

3.1%

Case Western Reserve University

2.9%

The Pennsylvania State University

2.9%

Duke University

2.8%

Northwestern University

2.8%

University of Chicago

2.7%

University of Miami

2.6%

University of Michigan

2.6%

Johns Hopkins University

2.6%

Columbia University

2.5%

Boston University

2.4%

Princeton University

2.4%

University of Wisconsin Madison

2.3%

Emory University

2.3%

Stanford University

2.3%

Yale University

2.2%

Harvard University

2.2%

College of William and Mary

2.2%

University of California, Los Angeles

2.1%

Vanderbilt University

2.1%

University of Pennsylvania

2.1%

University of Notre Dame

2.0%

Brown University

2.0%

University of Virginia

1.9%

Georgetown University

1.9%

University of Rochester

1.9%

New York University

1.8%

Washington University in St. Louis

1.7%

Dartmouth College

1.5%

University of Southern California

1.5%

Boston College

1.3%

Tufts University

1.3%

University of California, Santa Barbara

0.6%

Wake Forest University

0.2%

One notable finding is that schools in the Northeastern U.S. tend to exhibit lower rates of Windows 8 adoption. More than half of the listed schools from this region are in the bottom half of our adoption ranking. The University of California system seems to be a major adopter (with the noticeable exception being UCSB). There also is a strong presence of tech schools within the top 10 adopters.

One likely reason for the wide degree of disparity within adoption rates amongst these schools is the purchasing cycle. If a school updated some portion of their university’s PCs over the past 6-7 months, Windows 8 is more likely to have installed on the new machines. Otherwise, school PCs will be running older versions of Windows or another OS, with student PCs responsible for the lion’s share of that school’s Windows 8 Web traffic. As Windows 8’s release date was after the school year started, we expect greater adoption across campuses as universities renew their respective Microsoft license agreements and university IT departments get more comfortable with the product and its implementation.

*Note: Yeshiva University had no unique ISP, so in its place we substituted Boston University, due to its ranking as the 51st best school according to U.S. News and World Report’s list.