Can Windows 8 Save Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)?

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been making continuous efforts to continue its dominance in PCs through various innovations. The latest was the introduction of the Windows 8 Operating System, which has been available to users since October 2012. This was a ray of hope for most PC manufacturers, whose sales have witnessed a massive decline with the fast moving technology of smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Windows 8 has significant amount of changes as compared to earlier versions of Windows. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been following the path of other manufacturer’s, especially Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), with the introduction of Windows Store (Like Apple Store) in order to purchase applications which can run on this new platform.

But the biggest question is how far they have succeeded in achieving their goals? Well, this can be answered by looking at the sales figures of the biggest PC hardware manufacturers such as Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), and Lenovo, which are quite dependent on Windows 8 to improve their performance in this market.

As per the latest report released by IDC, the first quarter of 2013 was not up to the mark. PC shipments dropped 13.9% compared to December 2012 and 12.7% from the year-ago period, indicating that Windows 8, which was supposed to boost the PC business, has actually slowed it down further.

Lenovo has been the only decent performer, and despite the overall dip, they have managed to stay flat over the last quarter. This means that their overall market share has also increased. The biggest hit has been for HP. Despite topping the table with an overall 15.7% market share, their performance was a disaster. Sales went down 23.7%, showing that people are slowly losing the faith in its invent qualities.

After the release of the report, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) shares fell 6.5%. Though HP is slowly shifting to the tablet business, it still has a long way to go if it wants to compete with the likes of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KRX:005930).

Despite a decrease of 10.9% over the last quarter, Dell has high hopes for its PC business. As Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) spokesman David Frink, “Our end-user portfolio has been strengthened recently with several powerful additions, including new tablets, a convertible tablet/ultra book, and devices with touch capability.”

This might be one of the reasons why Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)’s stock, when compared to Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), did not fall steeply. Slowly, all these PC manufacturers are understanding the importance of smartphones and tablets in, and are thus drifting towards it at a rapid pace.

The road ahead

Despite the fact that Windows 8 has gained popularity in the smartphone market, it is still far behind Android in terms of market size and the number of applications. Thus, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) needs to buckle up and start marketing aggressively if they want to continue their dominance in the PC market.