Windows 8 Sales Off to a Slow Start, Microsoft Points Finger at PC Makers

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News Posted: Mon, Nov 19 2012 10:44 AM
Microsoft's vision for the future was, and remains, one in which we all embrace Windows 8's touch-friendly user interface (UI) across a variety of devices, and in time, that may still happen. As for right now, however, sales of Windows 8 PCs are falling below Microsoft's expectations, which has led the Redmond software maker to play the blame game.

Citing one of his "most trusted sources at Microsoft," Paul Thurrott at WinSuperSite.com says Windows 8 is off to a weak start, and internally, the company believes PC makers just haven't been able to deliver on the potential of its next generation OS. That, in turn, has served as justification to jump into the hardware business with Surface, a strategy that Microsoft's OEM partners haven't been real keen on.

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Thurrott goes on to speculate why he feels Windows 8 is having a tough time gaining widespread acceptance, including the economy, the timing of Steven Sinofsky's departure, confusing range of devices, and other reasons. Or, as super geek Chris Pirillo has tried to show on more than one occasion, perhaps the interface is just too confusing for the average user.

Whatever the reason(s), it's pretty clear Microsoft has some work to do. In addition to Thurrott's un-named source, Newegg's Senior VP of Product Management, Merle McIntosh, told ReadWrite.com in a recent interview that Windows 8 hasn't exploded onto the market place the way Microsoft hoped.

"So we planned with our partners to be prepared for an explosion," McIntosh said. "Did we really believe there was going to be one? Even within our own building, there were some people that thought that this was going to be the next coming of God, and other people were saying, this will be the next coming of God, but not until next year sometime. What we wanted to make sure with our own customers and our own business is that we were ready for any event. So yes, we were prepared for some pretty big upside on the software side of the equation, and the hardware side of the equation, and it is has been steadily improving. But it did not explode, as I think you know, coming out of the gate."

As for Microsoft, the company has been pretty mum regarding specific Windows 8 and Surface tablet sales figures.
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Which finger?

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4L1G8R replied on Mon, Nov 19 2012 11:57 AM

.....while with their other hand, they give their loyal user-base the finger.

I'm seriously gonna learn to use Linux for everything I need a PC for, because I have some bad feelings about Microsoft's future. In another economy, maybe; in this one, no. Not saying they'll go under, but I think they'll hurt, which leads to more supremely stupid and desperate moves and ideas. Also, it could result in less support for older OS versions.

Or...perhaps Microsoft will take note, repent, and blossom again. It doesn't seem to really be in their character though, and it sure wouldn't fit their current trend of copying Apple.

Companies like Valve are really helping me to look seriously at Linux as a full-time OS. If it wouldn't be for games, I could probably already be using it full time.

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fat78 replied on Mon, Nov 19 2012 3:36 PM

I'm pretty sure the user interface is the thing to blame. Every one i have met hates windows 8 the first time they use it and i now just tell people at first when you install windows 8 you will hate it. However, i love windows 8 now that i have gotten used to it.

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RiCoFrost replied on Mon, Nov 19 2012 5:32 PM

I was reading all the hate about the UI, I installed it at home and after showing my wife she wanted it on her computer. When I told my friend when you install it you may hate it at first because its new, he came back to me after he installed it and said he loved it. When i show people at work windows 8 they are impressed with it.

If you want the old window 7 feel just go to desktop, if you want the start button install the many apps around for it. I for one dont use it. Im happy with windows 8 and RT just wanting to get a phone right now.

I think the big negativity was from rumors about it being a closed system. Its not, I can install any and everything i have from games to applications. There is a learning curve but its not a hard one, its just new.

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OSunday replied on Tue, Nov 20 2012 1:31 AM

I think the problem with it is the OS has a pretty big learning curve and some big changes in familiarity... both are things that STRONGLY deter average tech and computer users. Apple's formula for simplicity and ease of use it what has made it so popular and successful and Microsoft could've learned a thing or two from that principle

Not to mention Windows 8 is optimized and designed for a touch interface, which a VAST majority of PC users still don't have, and probably won't for a while since touchscreen use for desktops and laptops doesn't seem to be too popular (and again implements a learning curve deterrent), an if they were to upgrade to a touch screen monitor, all in one, or laptop that would be a large expense for a sort of gimmicky feature that doesn't change much

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