Windows 8 presented an extensive and much needed overhaul to Windows OS. Great hopes were placed in this upgrade and many PC makers designed and produced entire lineups of Windows RT and Windows 8 devices. NDP’s latest numbers however show that all that hype wasn’t what it’s crapped up to be.
PC sales were down before launch of Windows 8 and that was understandable. People and businesses were simply waiting on the new products to upgrade their clunkers. 24 percent decline in laptop sales and 9 percent in desktop sales after launch of Windows 8 however, shows very weak numbers. Microsoft had lost many sales in ‘back to school’ sales when consumers preferred waiting for the new software. Christmas season had just started so let’s not get gloomy, but thus far the indicators do not support popularity of Microsoft’s new products.
“After just four weeks on the market, it’s still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “We still have the whole holiday selling season ahead of us, but clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for.”
To be fair, NPD Group tracks PC sales supplied by major retail stores and Microsoft Surface tablets are sold online and in Microsoft stores. Thus none of the surface tablet sales are reflected on NDP’s numbers. “Surface tablet sales are starting modestly” Steve Ballmer commented after first weekend sales number.
Microsoft sold 40 million Windows 8 licences, but at $15 to $40 a pop that doesn’t begin to offset the investments Microsoft made to research and develop this new OS. Low sales are most likely caused by confusing Windows 8 user interface and steep learning curve.
Here is our Windows 8 review
When Windows 7 was released, 83 percent of PCs were sold with this new OS. Windows 8 however only accounts for 58 percent of new PCs sold. StatCounter recently chimed in saying that only 1 percent of todays PCs are running Windows 8. That is about 15 million devices.
On the brighter side touchscreen Windows 8 notebooks and hybrids show impressive results. 6 percent of all Windows based notebook sales account for touchscreen laptops. We can only predict that touch-screens are the future. Perhaps this is what the problem is here. Microsoft wants us to use fingers and as their Modern UI goes all works well. My guess is, combining it with traditional desktop UI confuses users.
Perhaps releasing two different, but full fetched Windows versions would be an answer. As far as I am concerned, both user interfaces miss something. While Desktop UI allows for traditional handling of tasks, it misses old Start menu we were all used to. Why not adding programs in Start menu and tweaking it so it works as a stand alone OS. Same goes for the Modern UI. Make people choose which of these stand alone OS versions they’d prefer. Having both versions run alongside one another and not communicating with one another was in my opinion a dumb decision by Microsoft. Of course, I am not a UX expert, but if I have IE open in Modern UI and i choose to go to desktop view, I should be able to see my tabs and continue my work. What is your take on this?
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