With Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 capturing most of the headlines over the course of recent weeks, this is one time of the year Microsoft will of course be hoping for nothing but positive reports. Sadly however this has proved not to be the case, as recent statistics have revealed that consumer sales of PCs running Microsoft Windows have plummeted rather severely over the past month.
This would appear to confirm that the Windows 8 release date wasn’t met quite as warmly as Microsoft would have hoped.
According to NPD Group – a prominent tracker of retail sales – consumer sales of Window-powered laptop PCs are down a worrying 24% on the same period last year, while sales of desktop PCs have fallen by approximately 9%. The news paints a frankly more worrying picture than recent reports boasting Microsoft’s success with over 40 million Windows Phone 8 sales/updates since its October release date.
The finding came on the same day Microsoft finally revealed the price structure for its full-fat Windows 8 Surface Pro Tablet, expected to be released in Q1 next year.
Historically, initial sales of Microsoft Windows releases have been largely off the scale given the way in which millions of buyers across both consumer and corporate markets hold off investing in a new piece of hardware once the announcement of an upcoming update has been made. Given the proximity of Christmas, predictions had pointed to incredible early success for Windows 8, which is looking more uncertain by the day.
Should the statistics prove accurate and continue long-term, the shockwave will likely have a huge impact on major PC and laptop manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo and HP.
In Microsoft’s defense however, dozens of analysts have been keen to point out that the lower Windows 8 sales may not in fact be anything to do with the prowess or otherwise of the OS itself, but rather the way in which the consumer market is switching to Android and Apple tablet PCs and Smartphones rather than conventional machines at record-pace.