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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: 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

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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