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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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By RU482 on 12/5/2012 2:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
Surface RT is great in theory, but I find it to be laggy, and kinda clunky when compared to running win8 on an i5 system.

And damnit it won't run go-to-meeting, so I can't replace my laptop with it anytime soon.

By Argon18 on 12/5/12, Rating: -1
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2012 3:28:05 PM , Rating: 3
Because iOS had tons of apps available on day 1.

By Mitch101 on 12/5/2012 4:03:15 PM , Rating: 3
By their logic nobody should buy a Mac.

Within a month, the app store for Windows 8 exceeded that of Mac OS X

according to the independent analyst firm Distimo, the Windows Store already has about 21,000 applications , far outpacing the mac App Store has 13,000. Moreover, if we take the 300 most popular titles in each of the two stores, we see that the volume of downloads in the Windows Store is three times larger than its competition.

Furthermore, the fact that 84% of the tools in the App Store are payment allows the purchase of tools is five times larger in the ecosystem, in relation to a competition where the market has 86% of applications free.

By Argon18 on 12/5/12, Rating: 0
By Pirks on 12/5/2012 6:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
the number of apps in a desktop app store is meaningless
Tell that to Apple Mac Store selling desktop apps for OS X.

By Mitch101 on 12/6/2012 12:37:21 AM , Rating: 2
How about this them
Bluestacks may bring 700,000 Android apps to Windows RT

By dark matter on 12/6/2012 9:07:20 AM , Rating: 2
So you buy a windows machine to run Android apps??

That does not make any kind of sense.

By Roffles on 12/5/2012 3:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand how RT is great in theory either. I mean, it's a gimped ARM operating system to run on gimped ARM hardware. It can only be targeted at farty consumers because it lacks the power to do anything truly productive. For me at least, I'm not going to choose battery life over raw computing power and functionality. I feel the same way about all things ARM, specifically Android and iOS tablets. I understand ARM on a phone or packed inside a television because it's 100% functional for its intended purpose, but for a computer, it seems like wasted money.

By FITCamaro on 12/5/2012 3:32:35 PM , Rating: 3
ARM is getting pretty powerful considering its power envelope. Its no where near that of the latest Intel or AMD processors. But most people don't use those to their fullest extent. For the vast majority of users, in a few years ARM devices will be more than enough to do what they want. Browse the web, play basic games/Facebook games, watch YouTube, stream Netflix and Hulu, etc.

Intel will need to make serious improvements in Atoms performance and power usage in order to stay competitive in mobile form factors. Traditional desktops are being relegated to mainly PC gamers. For everyone else, a laptop or tablet is good enough.

By Roffles on 12/5/2012 3:52:48 PM , Rating: 1
I really don't understand your point. I said the problem with ARM devices like Surface RT is that they lack the raw power to do anything truly productive. So you reply and say they're getting more powerful and then go on to name a bunch of unproductive things that people like to do while they sit on the couch...things that could also be done on a phone or on a smart tv. As it stands, you would have to pair an ARM tablet with your x86 note/ultrabook if you want to do versatile CPU intensive tasks and still be mobile...and who really wants to add to their pile of electronics and add more redundancy to their lives?

Maybe if you give it 2-3 years with second generation quad-core cortex A-15 and LOTS of software development, you'll have a point. But by then, you'll have Intel's successor to Haswell mopping the floor with ARM. The writing is very nearly on the wall. I think Ivy Bridge Surface Pro is just the beginning of the end of ARM...people are going to quickly realize how much electronic redundancy they can remove from their pile of clutter.

By nafhan on 12/5/2012 4:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
the problem with ARM devices like Surface RT is that they lack the raw power to do anything truly productive
Current gen ARM CPU's are about as powerful as high end CPU's from 6 or 7 years ago, and productive work has been going on in the computing world for decades. Most "productivity" requires enough horsepower to run a word processor.

Current ARM CPU's are easily powerful enough for what the vast majority of users do with their PC's.

By dubldwn on 12/5/2012 7:09:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yep I do CAD work and my company replaced my P4 with a C2D *this year*. You could certainly do real work with an ARM processor if the software ran on it. It would just take longer.

By dubldwn on 12/5/2012 7:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with Roffles that Intel could make that a moot point, though.

By othercents on 12/5/2012 3:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that Windows RT is great in theory. I don't think the ARM hardware has caught up enough to use RT as a desktop/laptop replacement. However the Surface Pro and other i3/i5/i7 processors can be if you ignore price and other available laptop options on the market. (I'm not sure if I would leave the Surface Pro running like I do my other Tablets.)

At some point though Windows RT should be able to be a laptop replacement for home computers and for certain individuals this is an option now. Until then here's hoping that the Surface Pro is worth the extra expense over a i5 laptop.

By Argon18 on 12/5/12, Rating: -1
By Pirks on 12/5/12, Rating: 0
“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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