Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) launched its new Windows 8 operating system in the fall, and the focus of PC companies during the third quarter was to jettison Windows 7 inventory to make room for the new-fangled creation from Redmond. However, it seems that the new OS actually didn’t produce progress in PC sales during the holiday season. And part of that may not be blamed on the OS, but the hype seemed to come up flat.
Tech market analyst firm IDC reported that global PC sales were down more than 6 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago. In the U.S., PC sales were down 4.5 percent in the quarter and 7 percent for the year. “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,” said Jay Chou of IDC.
In its analysis, IDC cited several reasons for the decline. Two that were cited were a relative failure of vendors to market the new Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) OS successfully and to build the hardware to take full advantage of the functionality and capability. “Consumers expected all sorts of cool PCs with tablet- and touch-optimized capabilities,” said David Daoud, IDC research director. “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.”
And with a lack of touch-capable hardware, vendors lost other ways to sell the OS. “Lost in the shuffle to promote a touch-centric PC, vendors have not forcefully stressed other features that promote a more secure, reliable and efficient user experience,” Chou said.
Have vendors caught up yet? And how did specific companies break out? Did they all suffer losses?