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Windows 8 Euro PC sales SHOCKER: Results actually not bad

'Real opportunity for MS here' says gobsmacked analyst

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Windows 8 sent the PC market's heartbeat up a tick or two in the period either side of launch but the pulse was still far from racing.

Then again no one expected it to be, save maybe for OEMs, which simply crossed fingers and closed their eyes tightly in the hope of an uplift in sales instead of the downward or flatlining curves of recent years.

Jeremy Davies, CEO of channel analyst Context - the purveyor of sales data collected from Europe's largest disties - said fears of an inventory build-up of ageing kit proved unfounded.

"It seems inventory in the main has been managed and not unduly affected by the launch," he said.

"Secondly, despite the uncertain economy, PC sales through IT distribution in the two weeks prior to launch and including the week itself actually rose 7.8 per cent (288k units) [year-on-year]," said Davies.

Not quite the double-digit hike in sales that would have provided a proper shot in the arm, but not bad in the current European economy.

The stats show roughly a quarter of boxes shipped in the week before launch had some form of Windows 8 OS installed, up from 17.1 per cent for the same time period surrounding Windows 7.

Roughly four-fifths of the machines shipped included a Windows 8 64-bit version. Less than 1 per cent of the systems sold were made up by Windows Pro. Windows RT made up 2.5 per cent of sales.

Businesses don't generally adopt a new OS until about 18 months down the line following a period of testing and when the glitches have been ironed out.

Davies expected this dynamic to continue but noted that RT is "registering sales at such an early stage" and if this continues it will be a "real opportunity for Microsoft to carve out its position in the booming tablet market in the run-up to the holiday season".

So far Surface, a supposed design point, is being sold only through Microsoft's online store in Europe and both online and though its own retail shops in North America.

Maybe if sales continue Microsoft will decide to stop terrifying its channel partners and include them in its sales strategy, something it hasn't ruled out. ®

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