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.
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.