Now we know that what we have suspected for months: Windows 8 is not selling very likely. We’ve seen the pattern since Microsoft’s big launch event in late October — the mixed reviews, the cautionary words from hardware manufacturers, the desperate fast-tracking of plans to expand the retail availability of the Surface — but now we’ve got no’s.
According to the researchers at NPD, sales of Windows PCs dropped 13% year-over-year for the period between Oct and the 1st week Dec, a statistic first reported by the New York Times. Considering that’s the exact time Windows 8 devices arrived on the market, it’s pretty damning evidence the new OS is not catching on.
Certainly, some people are downloading Windows 8 for upgrades without buying new hardware, but let’s get real: Windows 8 is all about the hardware. The new OS is tailor-made for touch screens, and touch-screen PCs — the multi-finger kind that Windows 8 was designed to work with — have only been available since Oct. 26. As we all know, Microsoft went so far as to build its own tablet to showcase the platform.
Now one has to ask: Should it have bothered? For all its promise, Windows 8 doesn’t seem to be winning over many buyers. To be sure, one report does not a failure make, but Microsoft worked carefully to craft the OS to work with touch, the cloud and social networks — the very needs of today’s connected consumers and businesses. It’s fair to ask why they didn’t respond, especially since Windows 8 was marketed like crazy.