PC Makers: Windows 8 May Not Be All It's Cracked Up to Be
August 21, 2012 12:17 PM
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Acer and other PC makers lower forecasts for second half 2012 PC shipments
While many PC makers saw the coming of Windows 8 as an opportunity for growth and increased competition against Apple, those feelings are slowly fading.
Acer Inc., Quanta Computer Inc. and Compal Electronics Inc., three major PC makers, have all lost hope in Windows 8 being the savior of PC sales for the second half of fiscal year 2012. This opinion differs from those heard by the same PC makers earlier this year, who were
happy to show off Windows 8 laptops, all-in-ones and ultrabooks
at the Computex trade show in Taipei. Acer even said that Windows 8 PCs would bring growth to his company once again.
But these opinions changed as PC makers see no customer enthusiasm for personal computers running the Windows 8 operating system. Another issue, according to analysts and the PC makers, is that Windows 8 laptops and ultrabooks will likely be much too expensive upon release.
J.T. Wang, CEO of Acer, said he has grown unsure of the Windows 8 ecosystem. His company is lowering its expectations for PC sales upon Windows 8's release.
"Originally, we were expecting very high growth in the second half," said Wang. "We're still waiting for a sign of consumer enthusiasm."
Analysts are changing their sales forecasts as well, mainly due to the fact that some believe it'll take three to four financial quarters for consumers to get onboard with Windows 8. It won't take off right away. Rather, Microsoft will have to seek out developers for more applications in order to grab consumer interest.
While the PC turf isn't looking so hot, mobile devices may not be so disappointing. The
price of touchscreens and tablets running Windows 8
may be an issue, especially because there are many cheaper alternatives, but consumers have shown greater enthusiasm for
Microsoft's Surface tablet
Windows 8 has been a pretty controversial topic. The main issue seems to be the user interface, formerly called Metro. It features colorful tiles that represent different applications on the home screen. The change was a hopeful move to attract new users (perhaps those normally enticed by Apple's colorful and friendly-looking operating systems). However, Microsoft is looking to
change the name of Metro
after a recent discovery -- a German retailer called Metro AG threatened to sue.
Windows 8 will be
released to the public on October 26
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RE: In essence
8/21/2012 2:26:37 PM
Exactly. Microsoft wasn't going after the PC crowd with this version of Windows. Instead, they're hoping to gobble up some of the smart phone and tablet market that they've pretty much been shut out of, due to the popularity of Apple & Android-based products.
The part they're going to have problems with is that by having a version of Windows on your phone or tablet, it's going to drive up the cost of that device. This is where Google's genius came in, in that they offered Android for free.
Microsoft has a rather steep slope to climb, if they want any real market share....and I doubt they're going to put much of a dent in the Apple or Android shares.
RE: In essence
8/21/2012 2:49:16 PM
It's not just a price. We all saw how cheap Nokia Lumia was selling for. It did not help. I doubt consumer market have place right now for another mobile OS. Apple/Android combo covers pretty much all niches. Windows 8 may do slightly better in tablet form but if anything, this may be due to MS Office popularity more then to anything else.
Microsoft can never be counted out. They have enough money to make several pricey mistakes and still come out on top in the end. However, Windows 8 and Nokia alliance may not be enough to do so. They need to reconcentrate their effort around business segment, where they are still an undisputed leader and can become a natural successor to RIM (who should really change their name to RIP). Then try to drive sales from business into consumer space.
So to me the whole idea of Windows 8 to become more dummy friendly makes no sense. You want to reinvent the UI - go for it. But do not alienate your most faithful customers - enterprise users who appreciate gradual succession more then anything else.
Right now our IT department does not even consider Windows 8 (we are still on XP). We did not even go so far as trying to evaluate it - just does not make any business sense.
RE: In essence
8/22/2012 1:05:04 PM
Yes you're right about the cost disadvantage. Microsoft, I think, saw the usefulness of advertising earlier on with its acquisition of aQuantive years ago. However, they just lack the vision and do not realize how absolutely important advertising is as a revenue stream. There are some very important products that can out compete paid products by virtue of being price free but encumbered with advertising. MS needs to realize that advertising is absolutely critical to develop as a revenue stream! The key to the living room and to web dominance is being able to make money off free products with ADVERTISING!
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