Windows 8 Fails To Impress PC Buyers

In the past, the launch of a new Windows operating system most certainly accompanied a strong surge in PC sales as consumers rushed out to get the newest version of Windows. Thus far, the same can’t be said for the new Windows 8. According to the New York Times, consumers continue to balk the new Microsoft Surface RT tablet and overall PC sales this holiday season have been disappointing. Consumers continue to choose tablets running iOS and Android, while PC sales remain weak.

I think everybody would have hoped for a better start,” Stephen Baker, an analyst at research firm NPD, told the New York Times. “The thing is, this market is not the same market that Windows 7 or Vista or even XP launched into.

In fact, the Times estimates that 13 percent fewer Windows devices were sold in the United States from the time Windows 8 launched in late October through the first week of December compared to sales of Windows 7 devices during the same period in 2011.

There was not a huge spark in the market,” Acer Americas division president Emmanuelle Fromont told the Times, citing the unfamiliar design of Windows 8 that may make consumers more cautious in choosing it. “It’s a slow start, there’s no question.

Part of the lag may have nothing to do with Windows 8, but the PC’s status decline in the computing world. When previous versions of Windows were released, the PC was without a doubt the staple product in home computing. In the past few years, consumers have turned to smartphones and tablets for their casual computing needs and the PC has lost significant market share. Analysts believe that people will still keep PCs, but postpone replacing older models.

“What you’re seeing is not a retirement of PCs, but a push-out in the replacement cycle,” A. M. Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, told the Times. “If people used to buy PCs every four years and are now buying them every five years, that could lower PC sales by 20 percent over time. That’s substantial.”

Microsoft shares slipped 1.5 percent in midday trading after the Times released its report on Windows 8.

[Image via bobfamiliar/Flickr]