Windows PC Sales Down 21% Since Windows 8 Launch

NPD has said U.S. sales of Windows devices during the four-week launch of Windows 8 dropped 21 percent when compared to the same period a year ago.

The research firm said that the already-declining sales of notebooks decreased further by 24 percent. Desktop sales, meanwhile, sunk by 9 percent.

"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," Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, said. "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."

During the four weeks since its launch on October 26, Windows 8 was responsible for 58 percent of all Windows device sales. However, comparatively, Windows 7 accounted for 83 percent during its initial four weeks of availability.

Windows 8 tablet sales have been "almost non-existent," Baker said. It accounted for less than 1 percent of all Windows device sales during the four weeks. Initial sales of Windows 8 devices were also negatively impacted by weak sales of Windows 7 devices during the back-to-school shopping season that left retailers with a considerable amount of unsold inventory.

That said, the average selling prices of Windows devices are said to be higher than they were in 2011. The average price of a Windows 8 notebook increased by about $80 when compared with a Windows 7 notebook a year ago. The increase was partly due to strong sales of Windows 8 touch-screen devices, as well as an increase in the price for mainstream notebooks.

Windows 8 desktops' average selling price climbed by 10 percent due to demand for all-in-one PCs, in addition to a rise in the price of mainstream desktops.

"The strong performance of Windows 8 notebooks with touchscreens, where Windows 8 truly shines, offers some reason for optimism," Baker said. "These products accounted for 6 percent of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of $867 helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market."

Despite selling 40 million Windows 8 licenses, sales for the operating system is said to be "well below" Microsoft's projections. The platform has also been criticized for its part in the ailing growth of the PC industry.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

  • gardoversoza
    Hey Microsoft, your customers are not dumb like Apple's. If you want to be like Apple, this is what you get!
  • RealityClash
    I think one of the reasons for this is because manufacturers can't seem to get their ass into gear and bring out half the products they've been advertising for so long. For example I would have already bought an Asus Taichi but its release keeps getting delayed.
    It kind of seems to be a bit of a hit or miss with a lot of other devices as well which seem to have rather limited availability, especially here in New Zealand but I've also seen the same sorta thing with a lot of online US retailers too.
  • cats_Paw
    I quite agree with gardoversoza.
    Your averega user might not know very well a windows interface to install drivers and the sort, but that group will be even more scared of a diffrent system layout.
    Those that DO know windows well enought will hardly want to change to something that is often called "a tablet OS".

    Simply put, a dumb move by Microsoft.
  • diddo
    Maybe because 8 s*** so bad it cannot boost PC sales even with a 1,5B/$ advertising campaign?
    And can't convince users to upgrade too, 1% usage share in the wild after 5 weeks from the launch, 1/5 than 7!
  • assasin32
    Could be more than just Windows 8, though the new interface will definately scare a lot of people away.

    Netbooks are practically dead minus a few brands which make them. Currently it seems the cheap laptop market is having competition from Samsung Chromebook which is sold out and is #1 on sales on amazon, further down the line are the other Chromebooks and about every Apple Laptop. And from what I've seen on the low end side of laptops/netbooks/etc there isn't too many good options under $500 which from a quick glance seems to account for most of the sales on the best sellers for laptops.

    There was especially a lack of good options in the sub $300 department which used to be populated by netbooks. Now all I've seen are Chromebooks and a few netbooks. So I can easily see them losing sales to cheap tablets here. I myself almost went with a cheap tablet but just ordered a chromebook since I couldn't find a way to get a netbook that could compete with the Samsung Chromebook spec wise at the price point. With the limited market in the sub $300 department I had less than 10 laptops I was willing to compare in my budget, where as with tablets I couldn't keep up with all the options I had before me and at all the price points from $80-300 if I wanted to keep a capacitive touch screen and good battery life.

    The $300-400 price range seemed like the equivalent to the netbook market a few years ago, a lot of options but lacking in performance but now at a higher price point with the main difference being 11.6in screens and step up from Atom processors to Celerons and low end AMDs. The $400-500 market got significantly better, especially when you found a good deal but it still wasn't perfect but most of what I found definately usable.

    This is where I think their downfall is, they aren't trying to fully dominate the low end market and thus are losing out to competitors such as Tablets and to some extent the newer Chromebooks (though I doubt that puts so much as a dent in the numbers). People will go where they see value and currently Windows doesn't seem to capture that budget minded market.
  • halcyon
    All, let's be fair. I know its fun to get on the "Let's bash that guy." bandwagon bug Windows 8 with Stardock's Start 8 is indeed better than Windows 7. More performance AND more options. At $45 ($40 for Windows and $5 for Start 8) its also a pretty good bargain. I was a hard sell myself but after living with and using this duo its clear its a good package. What I think savvy OEM's should do is bundle Start 8 with Windows 8. However, TBH, there's no real motivation to move from Windows 7 if you already have it as the aforementioned duo is just evolutionary. If you must find fault with this its that you shouldn't have to add the awesome Start 8 to the package yourself. Start 8 is not a weak add-on, its quite flawless and quite complete and grants options the old Windows 7 Start menu would be envious of. ...just my 5 cents and I don't work for Stardock.
  • gomerpile
    Why is everyone trying to blame windows 8 or assume as an possiable reason of poor sales, have you thought that people just dont have that kind of money to spread, why buy a new PC or device when most have just bought a new one. The failing ecomony has noting to do with the fact we have no money for new stuff. The record breaking sales of windows 8 is proof that the kids are more important to feed and the high cost of bills are piling up. I'd say, blame the government, they are greedy SOB which is causing a lack of sales and not 8. Reduce the price of the devices to what is reasonable
    I am betting more on the ecomony
  • aramisathei
    The headline is a bit misleading given that it's compared to the same point a year ago, rather than the last six-twelve months, or even just a month or two prior.

    The article itself states the trend is shifting toward more lightweight devices so it shouldn't be any surprise that PC sales are down quite a bit from the same point last year--especially with many people still struggling with an economic downturn.

    I get that a lot of people don't like Windows 8--nothing wrong with that--but it seems more than a little bias to associate it with a downtroden PC market that wasn't exactly booming before it hit, and make it seem like Windows 8 is the bane of the Windows PC World that will bring the rafters crashing down.

    As a point of interest, it'd be interesting to see Apple's desktop sales.
  • "Why is everyone trying to blame windows 8 or assume as an possiable reason of poor sales, have you thought that people just dont have that kind of money to spread, why buy a new PC or device when most have just bought a new one."

    Doesn't seem to be bothering Apple much.
  • tonitelaoag
    imagine even solitaire you have to download at app store so sad.