Feeds

Retailers report slow Windows 8 sales, low demand

With 'Vista problem' solved, customers see no need to upgrade

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Reports that Windows 8 hasn't been moving as briskly as the industry had hoped continue to emerge, with major retailers reporting slow sales and Microsoft insiders allegedly describing the initial numbers as "disappointing."

In an interview with Readwrite, Merle McIntosh, senior VP of product management for online tech retailer NewEgg's North American division, described sales of Windows 8 as "slow going," though he declined to cite actual figures.

According to McIntosh, NewEgg – one of North America's largest tech retailers, with around $2bn in annual sales – was hoping for an "explosion" of Windows 8 sales following its October 26 launch. That didn't happen, he said, though sales have been steadily improving.

Even before Windows 8 launched, McIntosh said, there were many within NewEgg who didn't expect sales to pick up until well into 2013. McIntosh himself now expects the OS to start taking off somewhere around the second quarter.

Unlike some retailers, however, NewEgg doesn't plan to discount the Windows 8 upgrade package for the all-important holiday shopping season, although it will offer deals on such items as TVs, digital cameras, and Android tablets.

And Windows 8 tablets? Not so much. McIntosh said that so far, most of the devices NewEgg has sold with Windows 8 preinstalled have been traditional desktops and notebooks.

What's more, McIntosh hinted that many of the PCs NewEgg sells during the holidays will likely be older models designed to run Windows 7. NewEgg bought up lots of the older kit from OEMs during August through October, he said, explaining that the retailer has "aggressive ambitions in market share."

On the whole, NewEgg simply isn't seeing the same kind of interest in Windows 8 among customers that it saw following the Windows 7 launch in 2009, McIntosh said, noting that customers are mostly satisfied with Windows 7 – unlike its reviled predecessor.

"It doesn't even come close," McIntosh said. "As you know ... the Windows 7 launch was coming in to solve a Vista problem, and there was lots of lots of pent-up demand for it. And so for the launch – at launch – the Win 8 stuff doesn't compare, really."

Expecting Windows 8 sales to start growing more rapidly post-launch, however, may be wishful thinking. The lack of demand NewEgg is seeing jibes with figures released last week by analyst outfit Forrester, which found that only 5 per cent of IT managers planned to upgrade in the next year.

On Friday, longtime Redmond-watcher Paul Thurrott blogged that Microsoft insiders have told him that the initial Windows 8 sales figures have been "disappointing," but that the company puts most of the blame on PC makers' "inability to deliver."

Indeed, many retailers have reported difficulty getting Windows 8 kit from OEMs, many of which don't plan to launch their full Windows 8 product lines until next year's CES conference.

But Thurrott himself speculated that a variety of factors have led customers to take a "wait and see" attitude toward the new OS, which he said has caused the Windows 8 launch to go off more like that of Vista than of Windows 7. "All of this was avoidable," he wrote.

When El Reg contacted Redmond for own its take on the Windows 8 sales situation, Microsoft reps declined to comment. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.