Staples has largely in the very same breath thrown a much-needed bone Microsoft’s way and summarily ensured it never quite got within the Redmond company’s reach.
Despite having preached genuine “excitement” about Windows 8 and all the OS has to offer, the retail giant has confirmed that sales of both the software itself and the oft-debated Surface Pro Tablet are falling far below expectations.
This wouldn’t be the most worrying news in a normal instance, but given the way in which the Surface Pro Tablet hasn’t exactly been the biggest show-stopper since its release date, it stands to reason that Staples’ sales projections cannot have been particularly high.
Most are erring on the side of realism/pessimism – it seems the Surface Pro’s shaky start isn’t getting any better.
As part of a Q&A session this week, Staples bigwig Demos Parneros was quizzed on the company’s thoughts on Windows 8 in terms of satisfaction, optimism or quite frankly anything to the contrary. And for all the sugar-coating in the world, his response wasn’t exactly to Microsoft’s credit…or the troubled Surface Pro Tablet.
“There was a lot of anticipation and build for Windows 8, as you mentioned, and that really slowed sales down in Q4, that in combination with people moving to tablets,” he told investors.
“And then the Windows 8 release, honestly, was below what we expected. One of the products was introduced. The Pro model was introduced just recently to reasonably good reviews and decent sales but definitely below expectations. I would also say that touch product, which really makes Windows 8 a better experience, was scarce in the quarter. And also mobile phones, which integrate the tablet, the PC and phone experience together into really a new platform and a new ecosystem were also slow to be introduced.
“So we believe in Windows 8, we’re excited about it. I like the recent things that we’ve seen. But it’s got to build a little faster.”
All bases well and truly covered therefore with Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT all largely panned as disappointments, though somehow adding up to an exciting future?
Of course, we’ll all be vying for Microsoft’s success but with comments like the above, it’s getting more and more difficult to find any real encouragement in the growing last of decidedly backhanded compliments and reassurances.