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It plans to do so through a better retail experience and marketing

Microsoft has big plans make sure this holiday season is better than the last. 

According to Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows, Microsoft's main goal is to sell 16 million Windows tablets over the holiday season. In order to do that, it plans to set the record straight on exactly what Microsoft is offering through better holiday marketing. It's also spending $405 million on Windows retail this year compared to only $241 million last year. 

Some troubles Microsoft is having is that there are various Windows OS versions available on the market right now (Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and even Windows 7). The same goes for hardware, where some have touch while others don't, some are All-In-Ones while others are laptops and convertibles, and so on.

This can be very confusing to consumers who aren't sure of the differences, and Microsoft's aim is to clarify this confusion so people will want Windows and buy exactly what they need.

The first part of Microsoft's plan is to label Windows 8.1 "the new Windows," which will let people know that this is the latest version and best version. Windows 8 was looking to reinvent Windows, and now Windows 8.1 wants to change how people perceive it, since Windows 8 took a lot of criticism for being so different from past versions and being too difficult to learn. 

Microsoft will also provide retailers with a special USB-based Windows 8.1 Upgrade Kit this holiday, since only 20 percent of PCs shipped will have Windows 8.1 pre-installed.

In the way of hardware, Microsoft wants to label Windows tablets as "more than an ordinary tablet," and Windows PCs as "the only PC with touch" for the holiday season. Pushing the touch feature will distinguish Windows hardware from that of competitors, and Microsoft even plans to give free $25 gift cards for the Windows, Windows Phone or Xbox online stores when customers buy Windows touch devices this holiday (offer runs from November 15 to December 28).

To help push these messages out to customers, Microsoft will go the store-within-a-store route (kind of like Apple's set-up within stores like Best Buy). This will offer a station specific to Windows-based devices and help customers figure out exactly which tablet, PC or phone they need without all the confusion (right now, Windows tablets and PCs line shelves without much distinction to the consumer).

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft can hit the 16 million mark, but its latest efforts should certainly give PCs a boost from last year's sales. PC makers sold 89.8 million units globally in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 6.4 percent from the same quarter in 2011, according to IDC.

Source: Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows

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RE: Lol
By nafhan on 11/1/2013 11:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
16 million Windows tablets over the holiday season isn't that crazy, actually (I've seen numbers that indicate 90 million Windows laptops were sold in 4Q last year). The OEM's are starting to make decent, and more importantly, low cost Win 8 (not RT) tablets and convertibles.

At the same time, I'd guess that Win 8 tablet sales will probably further eat into Win 8 "PC" sales - meaning it probably won't be 16 million additional licenses to help MS's bottom line.

RE: Lol
By w8gaming on 11/1/2013 2:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
Actually while many vendors have announced very reasonable priced, low cost Windows 8 tablets, I have problem actually finding them in the actual market, or read relevant reviews on those. Supposedly this quarter means October to December, I have problems believing other vendors have made enough units to push 16 millions units in the first place. I think the partners of Microsoft are wary about the consumer acceptance and there will be low inventory for such devices, in order not to make a big loss if they flop. So unless Microsoft is ready to make several millions of units in such a short time, and they sell well, it will be unlikely there will be 16 millions of units available for sale.

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