Over at the NYTimes, there is a report that mentions how Windows 8 failed to pack shoppers into a Microsoft Store in Bellevue, Washington, during the week of December 16th to 22nd. The report states that during that time, parking lots in the area were overflowing with consumers. However, at least according to the report, there were more consumers visiting the Apple store rather than the Microsoft store.
The report brings up two points that’s worth mentioning here.
Weak PC sales this holiday season suggest that the struggles of Microsoft and other companies that depend heavily on the computer business will not abate soon. Plenty of consumers already own PCs and seem content to make do with what they have, especially in a shaky economy in which less expensive mobile devices are bidding for a share of their wallets.
This makes a lot of sense because we are seeing a lot more smartphones and tablet/ultrabook devices out there nowadays. It only makes sense that PC sales are steady or slightly dropping. Why would anyone want to purchase a new PC with Windows 8 when a PC running Windows 7 is running just fine? Even Newegg publicly stated that Windows 8 sales were a bit slow. According to a senior executive at Newegg.com, the Windows 8 launch has been slow so far and it hasn’t been the explosion that the company was originally hoping for. Instead, Windows 8 is seeing slow and steady sales. Newegg believes that Windows 8 will take off in sales about the second quarter of 2013. According to another report, Microsoft is blaming the slow sales of Windows 8 to “lackluster PC maker designs and availability.” Microsoft is apparently disappointed with Windows 8 PC sales because sales are “well below Microsoft’s internal projections.” So is it really Windows 8’s fault or is the lack of sales all thanks to consumers lack of interest in purchasing a new PC at this point in time?
While there are also many tablets running Microsoft’s new, touch-friendly Windows, they have so far failed to emerge from the shadow of competing products from Apple and Amazon and other devices that are being snapped up by holiday shoppers.
We wont really know exactly what the sales figures are once the holidays are over. How can we judge the performance of Windows 8 or the Surface RT during one holiday shopping season? While Microsoft has yet to reveal any hard facts about Windows 8 or Surface RT, we know that the company sold 40 million Windows 8 upgrade licenses in just one month after its launch. Perhaps interest in Windows 8 is there, but consumers don’t want to purchase an entire new PC just to have the new operating system, rather, consumers found the operating system upgrade route a better choice for them. On the other hand, we have the Surface RT tablet which didn’t sell as much as Microsoft hoped for and soon we will have the Surface Pro in the market priced between $899 and $999. Microsoft even expanded the availability of the Surface RT to retail stores such as Best Buy to increase sales. The Surface Pro isn’t expected until January and we don’t even know if this device will be available at any retailer other than the Microsoft Store, similar to the Surface RT when it was launched. By the time the Surface Pro is launched, consumers will have already done their holiday shopping and purchased their desired device, whether it be a Surface RT, Amazon Kindle, or Apple iPad.
We can’t really accurately say that Windows 8 has had lackluster sales, but so far, it seems that way. Until we get some hard facts, we can only make assumptions. So is the article right or wrong in your opinion? Are Windows 8 sales disappointing? Is the PC market doomed thanks to the rise of the mobile market? You be the judge. In fact, how do you suggest Microsoft improve Windows 8 sales?