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Different reports say different things about demand for Windows 8 touch devices

How are Windows 8-based touch PCs faring since their October launch? I guess it depends on whom you ask.

A new report from CNET said that PC makers are trying to meet demand for the Windows 8 laptops, tablets and hybrid convertibles, and stores are having trouble keeping them on the shelves. However, a report from The Seattle Times offers a very different point of view. 

CNET spoke with two different analysts on the topic, including Bob O'Donnell from IDC and Rhoda Alexander from IHS iSuppli. Both stated that vendors are having a hard time meeting customer demand for Windows 8 touchscreen PCs, and may even have shortages in the near future. 

"We've talked to a number of PC makers that are having trouble obtaining touch panels and some of the vendors I've talked to said they can't keep them on the shelf," said Alexander. 

O'Donnell made sure to add that non-touch Windows 8 PCs are not doing quite as well, though. This is only based on touchscreen devices. 

The Seattle Times had a very different report. It said that the low availability of Windows 8-powered tablet devices has led to decreased customer demand, and obviously sales. 


According to The Seattle Times, only five Windows 8 tablets out of a dozen that were announced are available on the market. Two of them, including Microsoft's own Surface and an Acer tablet, are only available at the Microsoft Store. Currently, there are only about 60 of those. 

This short reach has been affecting demand and sales of the tablets, it said. The Seattle Times also spoke with an analyst to get an idea of what's going on with Microsoft's latest addition, and the feedback wasn't too positive.

Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions, said that Microsoft has been hush-hush about its sales numbers, and that is never an encouraging sign. 

While The Seattle Times doesn't seem to think that Windows 8 devices will combat the likes of Apple's iPad anytime soon, this isn't the end for Windows 8-based tablets. Eve Jung, an analyst at Nomura, said tablet shipments will pass up notebook shipments in the second half of 2013. By then, Microsoft will have its Windows 8 Pro-based Surface on the market and more Windows RT tablets (the ARM-based version) will have finally made their way into stores.

While the number of sales of Windows 8-based touchscreen devices is unclear, Microsoft just proudly announced that Windows 8 upgrades hit 40 million in the first month of release. This surpassed Windows 7, which was the previous record breaker for Windows OS upgrades. 

Sources: The Seattle Times, CNET



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RE: Not.
By Nortel on 12/5/2012 2:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
I do believe many people are in the same boat as yourself. I have an ipad and cannot fathom a reason for slapping a hardcover keyboard on. I got the iPad for light surfing, some games and light email. If I was using excel, writing a novel, or using it for work purposes, a keyboard would become a must.

When running a full blown windows experience, having a keyboard becomes a far more valuable tool and that's what the Surface Pro brings to the table.


RE: Not.
By mcnabney on 12/5/2012 2:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
I've used Surface's keyboard.

Writing macros and functions in Excel or writing chapters in a book would be a nightmare on it. It is only marginally better than the touchscreen. It only makes it easier to write longer emails - a couple paragraphs.

To do real work you will need a dock, and a separate monitor, and maybe a better GPU, and more RAM, and ... screw it. Just keep your laptop and your iPad. They are for totally different things.


RE: Not.
By Kornfeld on 12/5/2012 3:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not following you there. There are two different keyboards, the Touch cover and the Type cover. My limited time with the Touch cover left a mixed impression, but I think I would almost immediately be able to match or exceed the speed I could get with an onscreen touch keyboard. The Type cover was pretty easy to use right away. It was pretty similar to using a keyboard on a subnotebook with a similar sized display and keyboard.

I think Microsoft should be offering some dock with the Surface Pro, like you would see on a similar system from Samsung, but it doesn't seem like they are going down that path.


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