Windows 8 was initially regarded as a potential breath of fresh air for the PC industry, especially because computer manufacturers expected to see increased sales as users prepared to migrate to the new OS.
But a report released by research firm IDC reveals that Windows 8 has in fact contributed to the continuous collapse of the PC market over the holiday shopping season.
New PC sales dropped 6.4 percent worldwide and 4.5 percent in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2012, IDC reveals. Windows 8’s uncertainty and the confusion created by the UI changes are cited as two of the main reason for this poor sales performance.
“Although the third quarter was focused on the clearing of Windows 7 inventory, preliminary research indicates the clearance did not significantly boost the uptake of Windows 8 systems in Q4,” says Jay Chou, senior research analyst.
“Consumers expected all sorts of cool PCs with tablet and touch capabilities. Instead, they mostly saw traditional PCs that feature a new OS (Windows 8) optimized for touch and tablet with applications and hardware that are not yet able to fully utilize these capabilities,” David Daoud, tracker research director, added.
Microsoft, on the other hand, says the company sold a total of 60 million Windows 8 copies since launch, with Tami Reller, one of the two executives in charge of the Windows division after Sinofsky’s departure, hinting that the operating system is actually selling very well.
But increased sales figures won’t take place sooner than mid-2013, when the PC market is also predicted to post a significant recovery. Together with it, Windows 8 is very likely to record better sales too.
“As Windows 8 matures, and other corresponding variables such as Ultrabook pricing continue to drop, hopefully the PC market can see a reset in both messaging and demand in 2013,” Chou concluded.