Microsoft: Windows 8 Sales "Just Getting Started"
February 5, 2013 6:18 AM
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Now that new touch devices are finally being released, Microsoft expects Windows 8 sales to jump
Windows 8 has taken a lot of criticism since its release last fall, but a Microsoft executive insists that the new operating system is off to "a solid start."
Tami Reller, Microsoft's head of business and marketing for Windows, said that Windows 8 had a bit of a disadvantage in the sales area because many tablet and convertible devices running the new OS weren't available at launch.
“It’s built for a generation of new devices," said Reller. "They didn’t all come for holiday.
"We are really only just getting started. It’s a solid start.”
Last month, Microsoft bragged that it had sold
60 million Windows 8 licenses
. This was great news, considering it took Windows 7 a little over three months to achieve that sales figure.
actual usage figures
for Windows 8 are below that of Windows 7 at the same point in its release cycle and is even
lower than that of Windows Vista
(meaning, 60 million licenses sold doesn't equal 60 million Windows 8 devices out there
But Reller insists that Windows 8 was made for touch devices, not just desktops -- and when more touch devices are released, Windows 8 should see a jump in sales.
Microsoft's first homemade tablet, Surface RT,
hasn't seen amazing sales
either. Just last week,
market research firm iSuppli said Microsoft's Surface RT shipments into the channel for the fourth quarter were about 1.25 million, but sales out of the channel were only about 55-60 percent of that. This equals about 680,000-750,000 unit shipments, which is well below the 1 million mark.
Also, even though the Surface RT was released in the fourth quarter, Microsoft just missed IDC's list of top five vendors in the U.S. tablet market. Apple topped that list for the first time with its iPad.
Microsoft is releasing the Surface with Windows 8 Pro on February 9, which will feature the full version of Windows 8 instead of the Windows RT operating system (a version of Windows 8 for ARM-based tablets only).
All Things D
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2/5/2013 2:04:14 PM
This actually shows the main problem a lot of people seem to be having with Windows 8. They think they're supposed to be using the metro apps on a desktop PC.
I have a desktop PC with a 30" monitor and a 55" HDTV attached to it. It runs Windows 8. I only ever use desktop apps on it. The start screen is nothing more than a big menu for all my desktop apps and I go near it about as much as I went near the start menu (ie. not often).
If using a desktop PC, use desktop apps. You'll remove 95% of the problems immediately (like wondering why you can't resize apps). Suddenly, its barely any different to Windows 7, in terms of interface.
Metro apps are specifically tailored for touchscreen devices. The whole interface is really good on my Surface and whilst I'd only use desktop apps on a desktop PC, I always gravitate towards metro apps on a 10" touchscreen. In fact, the biggest problem with Windows 8 is actually that I still have to go to the desktop to do certain things even when using a touchscreen.
So why are they the same OS? Why not have metro on Windows RT only and have Windows 8 have a purely desktop environment? The answer is hybrids. Even with my Surface, the moment I plug it into an external monitor and start using a keyboard and mouse, I'm back on the desktop and generally avoiding metro apps. Splitting between environments would be even easier with an x86-based tablet-convertible, as I could have lots of additional desktop apps installed, too.
Once you have such a device and you "get it," its pretty amazing in its capabilities. I've already got a vision of what I expect a future Surface Pro too look like. Haswell/Broadwell-based tablet with both a touch cover and a laptop-like keyboard dock, plus a full-sized desktop monitor the includes an inductive charger in the base, plus WiDi to connect to the Surface and Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.
Then you have a tablet that can easily be converted to a latop and can simply be thrown down under a monitor and become a full desktop. A tablet, laptop and desktop, without having to buy (and pay for) three separate computers.
Then the dual interface starts to make a lot of sense.
2/5/2013 4:12:33 PM
You're right that it doesn't make sense to use Metro on a desktop, but that's definitely not the reasoning that Microsoft hoped for. They want everyone using Metro apps so they can get developers to port their tablet/mobile apps to the platform.
Windows 8 is not and never was about or for desktop users. It's about trying to gain a foothold in tablets/mobile, and if desktop users have to be inconvenienced with an inferior experience in order to achieve those goals, so what? They have no choice; they'll live with it.
2/5/2013 5:52:37 PM
I agree and disagree. Obviously Microsoft wanted to leverage their existing PC market dominance to attempt to stimulate development for the metro platform. There's no doubt about that.
But I disagree that it isn't about desktop users. Aside from all the additions that have no benefit to tablet devices at all (such as Storage Spaces), it is more about device convergence than tablet devices or desktop PCs. Microsoft are betting on the majority of future PCs being hybrids. When you consider how many people use laptops instead of desktops nowadays - and how many businesspeople use laptops with desktop docks - you can see their thought process.
Windows 8 is about
Pc designs, not prior/existing machines.
2/5/2013 7:23:24 PM
I disagree with the whole premise. At the moment I have an app running in a sidebar (weather, showing me the current weather and 10-day forecast) and am typing away at this message with the rest of my 1920x1080 screen.
Also, when I want to single-task, I can use the app (e.g., Netflix app vs. Netflix in a browser window).
The thing is I've lost none of what I had with 7, and I get this additional capability. If I'm doing ordinary desktop stuff, I do. Nothing's changed (except this glorious start button everyone rants about, which is more than accomplished by the 'search' item on the right side now).
Lastly, if I really was enthralled by the tree structure of my old Start menu, I could preserve it, then pin it to my start screen. Voila, my start menu is back on my start screen. It's just a directory tree full of links, after all.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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