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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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Retailers have failed
By arazok on 12/5/2012 4:17:26 PM , Rating: 4
I posted a similar story about my experience looking for Win 8 laptops, but I was again mystified on a trip to Best Buy to get my father a Win 8 desktop. He wanted a Win 8 all in one desktop for his office.

Best buy had 7 of them on display. Only ONE was Windows 8. The rest were Win 7. I couldn’t believe it. Who wants Windows 7 machines at this point?! To add insult to injury, the one Win 8 machine was not touch screen, but two of the Win 7 models were. WTF?!

We ended up buying a Win 7 machine, and then upgraded it to Windows 8. The only reason this wasn’t a lost sale is because I know enough about computers to do that. Most people would have just walked.

All I see is retailers and their vendors totally failing to give two hoots about Windows 8. They seem to figure people will buy whatever they put on the shelf.

Microsoft needs to copy Apple and move into the high end hardware space ASAP. Surface is a good start, but they need to make the laptops, desktops, and phones too. Screw your partners, they’re destroying your brand and costing you sales.




RE: Retailers have failed
By DiscoWade on 12/5/2012 6:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
I want a Win7 machine and only want a Win7 machine. In my opinion, the two best operating systems Microsoft ever made was Windows 7 and Windows Home Server. Which Best Buy was this? Every place I go only has the accursed Windows 8.

My hated for Windows 8 comes from using Windows 8. I miss Aero and I miss looking at a pretty eye-appealing UI. I can live without Aero, though I prefer not to. I can't live with a desktop/laptop OS pretending to be a tablet computer. Win8 can be fixed by simply remembering that different tools have different purposes. A hammer is not a screwdriver and tablet is not a desktop.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Pirks on 12/5/12, Rating: -1
RE: Retailers have failed
By kaalus on 12/6/2012 8:05:15 AM , Rating: 2
It would be great if it was the same. Sadly it's not. The metro is constantly getting in your way.

Useless "charms bar" appears when you least need it and obscures your clicks. When you try to select icons on your desktop by rectangle select from the top of the screen, you end up dragging your entire desktop instead! What's the point of that? There is no start menu. I have installed Classic Shell and it works reasonably well, but I am not 100% comfortable using a 3rd party tool for such a basic thing. And from time to time I have the jarring experience of seeing the metro interface on top of my desktop, e.g. when a system message appears. It looks so out of place that basically it ruins my day, constantly reminding me that I am a dinosaur running in legacy mode that will soon be gone.

My wife has a Windows Phone 7 (Samsung Omnia 7). I picked it and bought it myself for her. It's a beautiful device and very nice to use. I wouldn't swap it for Android or iOS. Actually I think Android 4.2 is worse than 4.0 (have it on my Nexus 7) and iOS 6 is worse than 5. Metro rules on touch devices and eats competition for breakfast, the world will eventually wake up to it.

But for God's sake keep the metro away from my mouse and keyboard desktop, it has no place there and I hate it! Win8 has so many nice features, it's a real shame it's burdened with this piece of crap.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Shadowmaster625 on 12/6/2012 8:52:28 AM , Rating: 3
What is wrong with using a 3rd party tool to do basic things? That's what has made windows so successful over the years.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Argon18 on 12/6/2012 11:30:51 AM , Rating: 1
You can call me names, as a child does on the playground, but I wonder why you cannot produce a valid argument for any of my points? Perhaps because the facts I post are unwelcome amongst the pro-Microsoft anti-consumer crowd? I think so. But facts, they remain.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Mint on 12/9/2012 6:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
What points? All DiscoWade did was make generic complaints, and I don't see any post by you up there.

99% of the time Win8 desktop is identical to that of Win7 (and better with dual screen due to the additional task bar), with pinned programs being the most frequently launched. If you need to go further, Win 8 gives a bunch of programs 2 clicks away, while Win 8 needs you to click the start menu, then programs, then usually a folder or two, then your program is there: That's 3-5 clicks. Press the windows key and type, and you get more search results on the screen than Win7. Both of these are due to Win7 having a small start menu for no good reason.

If you don't like Win8 apps, don't use them. Just make links for all your desktop programs to the start page, and you'll spend less time on it than you ever did with the Win7 start menu.


RE: Retailers have failed
By 91TTZ on 12/11/2012 2:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with the other poster. I installed Windows 8 on a laptop and all the touch screen optimizations get in the way. I installed Start8 and now the OS is great.

In my opinion Windows 8 would have had a much better reception if they simply gave you the option to choose desktop or tablet mode during install. It would have been easy to implement (Start8 is tiny), it would have silenced the vast majority of opponents, and it would have given customers a choice.


RE: Retailers have failed
By arazok on 12/5/2012 9:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
You know what, I can understand that. You have that right as a consumer.

But it's not in Microsoft’s advantage to have this fragmentation in the market place. They’ve chosen their path, and they need to execute cleanly for it to succeed. The mixed marketing, and fragmentation of the platform is frustrating, confusing, and leads to a general dissatisfaction among consumers.

I suppose retailers have the right to market what sells, but looking at this from a Microsoft perspective, it seems like it just damages the ecosystem they are trying to create.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Da W on 12/6/2012 10:37:38 AM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about? You can use Windows 7 desktop themes and even new dynamic Windows 8 desktop themes, all with beutiful translucent UI, pin on task bar and create shortcut on the desktop.
You have to live with metro to start a new program you haven't pinned. OH MY GAWD! This is unbearable!!!! /sarcasm
It's Windows 7 plus apps. Apps are cool. It's faster to take my e-mails with the metro app than opening and loading Outlook. I like the netflix app. Meteo app. Whatever, it's all the same apps you have on stupid ipads and droids. If people buy those, there might be a reason.


RE: Retailers have failed
By 91TTZ on 12/11/2012 2:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
I think what people are pissed about isn't that there's a tablet-optimized Metro mode, it's that there isn't also a desktop-optimized non-metro mode.

Obviously since Start8 is only 5 MB it's not hard to implement.

I wouldn't be in favor of Microsoft taking away your ability to choose Metro mode. I'm all for freedom of choice and think that you should be able to customize the OS to your liking even if it's not what I would choose. I do find it strange, though, that most of the Metro fans DO seem to be in favor of Microsoft taking away our ability to choose desktop-only mode with the start button. Why are they against freedom of choice?


RE: Retailers have failed
By rs2 on 12/5/2012 6:54:29 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Who wants Windows 7 machines at this point?!


Um, I do. Probably so does anyone who doesn't have a touch-screen and who also has an understanding of the differences between Win 7 and Win 8.

Win 7 is the better platform for the typical keyboard-and-mouse interface, particularly if you need to use your system to do any heavy content creation. Win 8 is for touch interfaces and content consumption.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Pirks on 12/5/12, Rating: -1
RE: Retailers have failed
By rs2 on 12/5/2012 7:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose you had the same criticism for anyone who preferred XP over Vista?

Microsoft's release cycle follows a very simple pattern:

XP - good
Vista - meh
Win 7 - good
Win 8 - meh
Win 9 - good (predicted outcome)

I'll stick with my Win 7 until Windows 9 is released in a couple of years. If you somehow find that prospect personally offensive, then there's nothing I can do. You're welcome to use Windows 8 as much as you want. I won't be. Neither will a lot of others.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Pirks on 12/5/12, Rating: -1
RE: Retailers have failed
By rs2 on 12/5/2012 8:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
There are *several* differences between Windows 7 and the desktop mode in Windows 8. To name just a few:

1. It takes an extra click to get into desktop mode (or registry hack to disable Metro).
2. No 'Start' menu in the desktop mode (without registry hack).
3. No 'Aero' theme in desktop mode, no rounded windows either.

Maybe those aren't a big deal to you. And maybe they are a big deal to some people. But that's all beside the point. The point is, there are factual, measurable differences between the desktop experience in Win 8 and the desktop experience in Win 7. If you want to deny this, then you're the one who is lying.

Besides, if having a desktop mode that is the "exact same" as Windows 7 makes Windows 8 "perfect for desktop", you're saying that Windows 7 is also perfect for desktop.

So if Windows 7 is not broken (because it isn't), and if the Windows 8 desktop mode isn't significantly better than Windows 7's in any way (because even you claim that the desktop modes are identical), why would anyone choose to use Windows 8 if what they care about is primarily desktop usage?


RE: Retailers have failed
By Pirks on 12/5/2012 9:01:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It takes an extra click to get into desktop mode
Fixed by http://www.howtogeek.com/118258/login-to-windows-8... or http://www.howtogeek.com/118106/go-directly-to-des... or http://www.7tutorials.com/how-boot-desktop-windows...
quote:
No 'Start' menu in the desktop mode
Solved by a lot of Start Menu third party utils by third parties
quote:
No 'Aero' theme in desktop mode, no rounded windows either
Which improves battery life so it's a good thing overall.
quote:
why would anyone choose to use Windows 8 if what they care about is primarily desktop usage
Because of improvements in Explorer, Task Manager, Storage Spaces and general increase of speed and decrease of resource consumption, plus multiple significant security improvements described in http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012...

If you were not so technologically illiterate you'd know all these basics already, please go educate yourself a bit or else you'll join a company of clueless morons like Argon18.


RE: Retailers have failed
By MScrip on 12/6/2012 12:19:48 AM , Rating: 3
I'll chime in here.

You're right... Windows 8 has a desktop. And that's a good thing because all my software is written for XP/Vista/7

My fear is that Microsoft goes all in on the Metro interface... and ALL future programs become Metro apps.

I'm just not a fan of fullscreen Metro apps... especially when I've had no problems using traditional Windows programs since the 90s.

Yes... tablets will benefit from touch-friendly Metro apps... but you can pry my huge desktop monitor out of my cold, dead hands. (as you can tell... I'm a laptop/desktop user... not a tablet user)

See my example below... I much prefer the Windows on the right:

http://i.imgur.com/FOtqp.jpg

In fact... it's called Microsoft Windows.... not Microsoft Tiles

So yes... Windows 8 can act like the Windows 7 we all know and love.

My fear is what happens with Windows 9 or 10... especially since I didn't ask for any drastic changes in the way I operate my computer.


RE: Retailers have failed
By inighthawki on 12/6/2012 1:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's biggest consumers use it for backwards compatibility, they would never do something as dumb as removing the desktop.


RE: Retailers have failed
By rs2 on 12/6/2012 1:59:57 AM , Rating: 3
quote:

Fixed by http://www.howtogeek.com/118258/login-to-windows-8... or http://www.howtogeek.com/118106/go-directly-to-des... or http://www.7tutorials.com/how-boot-desktop-windows...

...

Solved by a lot of Start Menu third party utils by third parties


Dude, I noted in my own post that there were hacks/third-party workarounds for those items. I don't know what you intend to prove by pointing out the same thing. Once hacks and third-party tools are thrown into the mix, you no longer have a valid comparison between operating-systems anyways.

Besides, what's the point of going through the manual tedium of installing some custom tool that makes Windows 8 act like Windows 7 when I could just use Windows 7? Windows 8 needs to succeed by providing a better desktop experience than Windows 7; providing/supporting an identical one is not sufficient justification for an upgrade.

quote:
Which improves battery life so it's a good thing overall.


And completely irrelevant for a desktop. I freely admit that Windows 8 is the better option in contexts where touchscreens are common, such as laptops and tablets. But we're talking about desktop usage here. And I don't need to have my desktop experience nerfed just so that mobile users can have more battery life.

At the very least, MS could have supported both themes, and automatically toggled between them depending upon device type and/or user preference.


RE: Retailers have failed
By blue_urban_sky on 12/6/2012 4:11:34 AM , Rating: 3
This started with you saying
quote:
Win 7 is the better platform for the typical keyboard-and-mouse interface, particularly if you need to use your system to do any heavy content creation. Win 8 is for touch interfaces and content consumption.

then to back it up you names your top 3 problems.
quote:
1. It takes an extra click to get into desktop mode (or registry hack to disable Metro).
2. No 'Start' menu in the desktop mode (without registry hack).
3. No 'Aero' theme in desktop mode, no rounded windows either.

Seriously this is what is needed for content creation? One less click, some pretty windows and a menu to launch your creation software?

All I ask is please please stop making me agree with Pirks.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Pirks on 12/5/12, Rating: -1
RE: Retailers have failed
By dark matter on 12/6/2012 9:06:16 AM , Rating: 2
I simply cannot understand why an obnoxious twat like you hasn't been banned.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Pirks on 12/6/2012 1:13:07 PM , Rating: 1
Ya you're too dumb to understand such complex things. Just deal with it :P


RE: Retailers have failed
By jvillaro on 12/6/2012 2:44:27 PM , Rating: 3
You seem to forget that Windows XP was very MEH when it came out and only with the service packs it became "really good"


RE: Retailers have failed
By inighthawki on 12/5/2012 9:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Um, I do. Probably so does anyone who doesn't have a touch-screen and who also has an understanding of the differences between Win 7 and Win 8.

Someone who really had an understanding of the differences would realize the huge advantages of Windows 8. The only two real complaints that a person could have with windows 8 is no start menu, and no aero glass. The former isn't a problem once you stop obsessing and realize that the start screen is really just a fullscreen and more valuable version of it, and the second one is lame, but certainly possible to live without. Otherwise, windows 8 is objectively better in almost every way.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Disorganise on 12/7/2012 2:01:33 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the start screen isn't just a full screen version of the start menu. For a start (no pun intended) it scrolls the wrong way -left/right instead of up/down; my mouse wheel is more up/down and so are all my apps (Office, Firefox etc)

The start screens appeal is the 'live tiles'. These are completely pointless, especially on a desktop. In desktop mode I can't see the tiles so they provide no benefit. Even on a tablet, the metro apps are full screen and so the tiles can't be seen. What's the point? I personally don't go for widgets, even on my phone, but at least they can be configured as 'always on top', or you can choose to shrink your main app window to see the widget behind - if you need to have that information to hand. (If you don't, what's MS trying to sell with the tiles in the 1st place?)

The start menu does not obstruct my running apps whilst I use it. Maybe all I want is to start/run something - the win 8 start screen is extemely disorienting for stuff like that.

The start menu gives easy access to just about everything, including alphabetically ordered control panel applets (if you enable the setting to display as menu). The Win8 start page does not do this.

The start menu gives straight forward access to 10 recently opened items in each app (ie 10 under notepad, 10 under word etc etc). The start screen does not, so far as I could find.

During a CIO's meeting I attended, Microsoft claim all applications that work on Win7 will work on Win 8. Someone pointed out that Symantec Antivirus does not. So, ok, everything except AV. I have since discovered Acronis Trueimage and Acronis DiskDirector also do not work.

Windows 8 also does not have the XP mode that is available to Win 7 ultimate and professional users. I personally use this to drive my old canon scanner - it's difficult to find simple scanners today as they seem to have all gone multifunction which means big, bulky, heavy and requiring external power.

The only useful features I've found in Win 8 so far are the much improved task manager and the additional infor made available during file copies etc. These are not compelling reasons to upgrade.

Even on the phone/tablet side it's seems very strange to me that MS copied Apple and Google. The most frustrating aspect of android is the lack of windows (eg let me type a message whilst watching a video, or run the sms, whatsapp and mail applications together to copy info from each). "Windows" should have fixed this, but instead they too went fullscreen. Yes there's an option for a maximum of two 'windows', but why limit to two? It's called "Windows 8" not "FullScreens 8" after all.


RE: Retailers have failed
By Pirks on 12/7/2012 2:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
windows are useless on tiny tablet/phone screens, so just deal with it


RE: Retailers have failed
By 91TTZ on 12/11/2012 2:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Best buy had 7 of them on display. Only ONE was Windows 8. The rest were Win 7. I couldn’t believe it. Who wants Windows 7 machines at this point?! To add insult to injury, the one Win 8 machine was not touch screen, but two of the Win 7 models were. WTF?!


Retailers are catering to customer demand. They've had long enough to pitch Windows 8 to see if it's catching on or not. The place you went to obviously decided that selling Windows 7 machines was the better option.

With that said, the Best Buy near me has mostly Windows 8 machines.


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