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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 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.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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