Microsoft were looking for the arrival of Windows 8 to turn around the ongoing decline in PC sales, with the first sales numbers released, it looks like the hoped for turnaround hasn’t occurred…
Since the launch of Windows 8, sales of Windows devices in the US have dropped 21 per cent compared to the same time period last year, NPD said. Notebook sales dropped 24 per cent, but desktop sales fared a bit better with a smaller 9 per cent decline.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
on Scoop.it – Computing and IT We’ve just got our first Windows 8 PC at work – a tabet/PC with detachable keyboard. It didn’t go down well with our tech support team trying to set it up, and they’re professionals. Expect a very bumpy ride with consumers… See on
Last night Microsoft announced their new tablet, the Surface. There is a good summary of the key points here: .
However it is an interesting move, as the article above says, this is a big change for Microsoft who aside from the XBox haven’t ever built hardware – you’ll never have seen a PC actually made by Microsoft for example. This however is how Apple have made their money and built their platform by tightly controlling everything.
There is still more we need to find out though, Microsoft haven’t talked prices, although we can take a fair guess that the price points will be competitive, and the release dates are a bit vague.
The other thing that may well cause confusion is that what they’ve announced is actually two machines, one is an ARM based iPad rival, the other is an Intel based PC that will be able to run normal Windows applications. Whilst you could say that Apple do the same with the MacBook Air which is a similarly portable computer, Apple clearly delineates the Air from the iPad.
Despite all the trumpeting, this is going to be a difficult sell for Microsoft, they are a long way behind, and maybe more so than in the phone market, iPad is synonymous with tablet, indeed much as people refer to vacuum cleaners as a Hoover, people refer to all brands of tablet as an iPad.
However it will certainly be a positive move if Apple has some serious competition, and whilst only time will tell whether this will be the tablet to really compete, this certainly seems to me to have a better chance as unlike Android and iOS devices there is a level of compatibility already with what is in use in corporate environments.
If you’re wondering what all the fuss about is with Windows 8 it’s worth taking a look at this video from the BBC’s tech correspondent Rory Cellan Jones: .
You’ll see that what Microsoft are trying to do is produce an OS that will produce a tablet experience on iPad like devices, but also keep backwards compatibility with the familiar windows interface. Whilst it’s true that underneath MacOS X and iOS are the same, they are distinct entities, so on iOS you’re not going to find yourself dumped to a MacOS desktop which is something you’ll see in the video.
It remains to be seen how the average user will take to having both the Metro interface and a pointer based interface on the same device – certainly it seems like using old style windows touch based may be frustrating with small buttons designed for mouse clicking, as will using the Metro interface with a mouse.
Thoughts from, and the lives of a Canadian and a Brit living in Southern England.