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PC Vendors Worried About Windows 8's Future

By - Source: Wired | B 76 comments

Windows PC sales have dropped by more than a fifth since Windows 8 launch.

PC vendors have continued to voice their worries regarding Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 8, and are expressing doubts in the platform's ability to succeed in the future.

"Demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now," David Chang, chief financial officer for Asus, told The Wall Street Journal. Acer executives "were uncertain how Windows 8 would be received by consumers."

"The expectations of what we forecasted for - I don't want to say we're right on track - we're probably close to being on track to where we predicted," Sony VAIO product manager Dave McFarland told Wired. "If I had to compare Windows Vista to Windows 7 versus Windows 7 to Windows 8, our sales numbers aren't as high as from the Vista to Windows 7 era."

Jeff Barney, vice president and general manager of Toshiba America's PC and TV business, stressed that the time when "Windows was the only game in town" is over. That said, he noted that initial sales of Windows 8 products were in line with Toshiba's expectations, but stated that Microsoft probably has greater projections for its platform.

"I'm not saying it's all gloom. The outlook looks pretty good for us," McFarland added. Neil Hand, Dell's VP of global end user computing, called "the support and messaging from Microsoft" surrounding Windows 8 "extremely strong." He continued: "Any big transition like this takes more than few weeks to take hold."

Despite the optimism, official figures have pointed towards a disappointing launch for the long-awaited operating system. U.S. Windows PC sales have decreased by more than a fifth since its launch when compared to sales during the same period in 2011. The software giant is also rumored to already be cutting the production of its Surface RT tablet by half due to the lack of interest. Although Microsoft has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses, sales for the OS is said to be "well below" the company's projections. Moreover, it's been criticized for being a part of the decreasing growth of the PC industry.

Surveyed consumers expressed the fact that they simply aren't interested in Microsoft's latest operating system, with PC component suppliers suggesting the platform will fare better during 2013. That said, more than half of consumers apparently hadn't heard of Windows 8's existence. The lack of awareness from consumers exists despite Microsoft's efforts in advertising the product. It spent $1.5 billion in marketing alone, and is offering free Wi-Fi in New York and San Francisco until year's end.

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  • 21 Hide
    TheBigTroll , December 3, 2012 9:02 PM
    NOH really?
  • 29 Hide
    LonelyMan , December 3, 2012 9:03 PM
    Their punishment must be more severe.
  • 19 Hide
    ianj14 , December 3, 2012 9:07 PM
    Well, since we are in the biggest worldwide recession since the great depression, and the IT landscape is somewhat changed with a level of platform fragmentation never seen before in MS history, I'm not surprised consumers aren't bothered by it.
  • 23 Hide
    NightLight , December 3, 2012 9:13 PM
    let me sum win 8 up in just a few words: great for (i)sheep, not so great for enthousiasts. it's obvious that it is made to steal some mac users back, and they made a great effort to create an ecosystem of their own. i salute ms for this bold move, but maybe they should split things up: Server, Sheep, and Enthousiasts (think NT / 2000)...
  • 24 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2012 9:14 PM
    Bad word of mouth spreads like wildfire. To most Windows 7 works just fine and this seemed forced and rushed to the front. Very Vista like release. Plus no one likes metro or being forced to buy a touchscreen to take full advantage of 8. I for one wont be putting it on my desktop. It will flop.
  • 25 Hide
    liquidchild , December 3, 2012 9:15 PM
    Look on the sunny side...... we still have Win 7.
  • 17 Hide
    ravinmachine , December 3, 2012 9:18 PM
    No matter what side you sit on with the Windows 8 debate; Microsoft's 3 year development cycle is way too short. Especially since Windows 7 was such a great hit, and the world is recovering from the recession. People are happy with what they have. Maybe if they had released Windows 8 two years from now they would have done better.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2012 9:21 PM
    You should have acted......they were already here...
  • 22 Hide
    meluvcookies , December 3, 2012 9:24 PM
    It continually amazes me how the common sense of boards like this one can predict the failure of something like Win8 MONTHS (if not years) in advance, and yet Microsoft (and others) continue down their paths of failure. Here's hoping that Win9 puts the "Win" back in windows.
  • 7 Hide
    zorky9 , December 3, 2012 9:26 PM
    Most consumers who have not had the need for the W8 interface and apps nor the hardware to support it (touchscreen) will happily stick to 7. This just speaks to how good Windows 7 is.

    The growing market for productivity tablets is where W8 fits better. Definitely not an underserved market, but to expect the same growth W8 would have to the level of adoption W7 enjoyed early on is overly optimistic.
  • 13 Hide
    universal remonster , December 3, 2012 9:28 PM
    Zak, you are seriously in need of some new topics to write about.
  • 12 Hide
    spartanmk2 , December 3, 2012 9:36 PM
    Windows 7 still has 3 more years of mainstream support, and 8 more of extended support. So no need to upgrade at all really unless you prefer the windows 8 ecosystem (pc/phone/xbox)
  • 18 Hide
    BriboCN , December 3, 2012 9:36 PM
    soldier2013Bad word of mouth spreads like wildfire. To most Windows 7 works just fine and this seemed forced and rushed to the front. Very Vista like release. Plus no one likes metro or being forced to buy a touchscreen to take full advantage of 8. I for one wont be putting it on my desktop. It will flop.


    Yes bad word of mouth spreads very rapidly. However the program certainly was not rushed they had an open beta test period with hundreds of thousands of people participating for almost an entire year before release. It was the most tested windows ever released and likely the most tested single piece of software ever.

    The issue is the metro UI really does not blend well with the standard desktop experience. With a touch based interface it is really nice but most people upgrading from windows 7 lack that hardware. If windows searched for touch based inputs and if they were found booted into metro and if not booted directly to desktop everyone would be raving about how much faster and more streamlined the OS is. This is not a Windows Vista but it proves how important first impressions can be.

    PS- Not including an option for a start menu was simple arrogance. Yes, a start menu is inefficient and power users barely if ever used it, but windows is designed to be different things for different people. a simple easy to enable toggle for a start menu would have saved Microsoft a huge headache.
  • 3 Hide
    bllue , December 3, 2012 9:45 PM
    How about they stop making subpar hardware for once? PC vendors are literally trying to dump all the blame on MS/W8 to protect their own asses from the investors. The laptops they make today look the same as the ones from 8 years ago in terms of design (black plastic, bulky). The screen hasn't changed much either, they're still using the 1360x768 resolution they've had for like 5 years. Some laptops are still packing processors that are over 2 years old. If you want to get something decent you have to spend over $800 and even then they leave things to be desired. It's no wonder people are transitioning to tablets for everyday use. Most tablets have better hardware, better screen, better battery life and yet they cost the same as a laptop. Sure a tablet doesn't do what a laptop can but when all you want is email and basic browsing and netflix, a tablet is the way to go.
  • 13 Hide
    burmese_dude , December 3, 2012 9:46 PM
    Tiles = Craps
  • 6 Hide
    bigshootr8 , December 3, 2012 9:47 PM
    I don't think people really care for the interface the constant moving back and forth between the start screen and the normal desktop is a different experience for windows users. I can't say I'm surprised with the worried pc vendors. Windows 7 had a great UI this iteration does not. It may have leaps in performance and security but people care about look feel and user experience. And windows 8 does not deliver. If I was using a phone and wanted a seem less windows experience windows 8 would be awesome even there netbook is nice just not a general desktop experience.
  • 8 Hide
    erick81 , December 3, 2012 9:48 PM
    I didn't hate W8 when I was dual booting it alongside 7 on my computer the problem was I wasn't blown away by it either and even though I could upgrade for as little as 40 dollars why would I when 7 does everything I need and all my computers already have it.
  • 8 Hide
    atikkur , December 3, 2012 9:57 PM
    without TH keep sounding about win8 news.. i already forgot its existence.
  • 10 Hide
    omnimodis78 , December 3, 2012 9:58 PM
    ravinmachineNo matter what side you sit on with the Windows 8 debate; Microsoft's 3 year development cycle is way too short. Especially since Windows 7 was such a great hit, and the world is recovering from the recession. People are happy with what they have. Maybe if they had released Windows 8 two years from now they would have done better.

    Blaming the economy is convenient, but incorrect and misleading. If the product is good it will be bought, if it's not, then it won't - it's simple as that. Let's not bring the economy into this because let's remember the economic situation in the early 80's, and yet $3000 systems (not considering inflation) were selling like hotcakes. If consumers see the value in something, and it's "reasonably" affordable, it will be bought. Windows 8 is not a good OS, there, I said it.
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