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Windows Sales Down 21% Since Windows 8 Launch

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 5:43am
Steve Ballmer

Windows 8 may not be having the effect on sales that Microsoft had hoped. Sales are actually down 21% since the launch on Oct. 26, according to one researcher.

The NPD Group reports that sales of Windows devices fell during the four-week period after the launch vs. the comparable period in 2011. The figures did not include sales for Microsoft’s Surface tablet. “After just four weeks on the market, it’s still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market,” said Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis at NPD, in a press release from the researcher. “We still have the whole holiday selling season ahead of us, but clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for.”

Reps from Microsoft could not be reached for comment. The company this week claimed it has sold 40 million Win 8 licenses so far.

Windows 8 has captured 58% of Windows computing device sales. Comparatively, Windows 7 had garnered 83% of such device sales in its first four weeks of release, according to NPD. The researcher dubs Windows 8 tablet sales “almost non-existent” and pegs the figure at less than 1% of all Win 8 device sales.

One bright spot is sales of Win 8 notebooks with touchscreens. NPD reports that such devices accounted for 6% of Win 8 notebook sales and had an average price of $867 “helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market.”

Win 8 has also boosted the average selling price for Windows computing devices. Last year, the average selling price for a Windows machine was $433, but over the past four weeks, that’s jumped to $477. Win 8 notebooks have seen an $80 rise in selling prices vs. 2011.

While there may clearly be a lack of consumer excitement about Win 8, Baker says that there’s a lot of unsold back-to-school inventory clogging the channel, which “had a real impact on the initial sell-through rates for Windows 8.”

This isn’t the first report of slow Win 8 sales. Some retailers have reported the same and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (pictured) has said sales of the Surface are “modest.”

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November 29, 2012

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