Demand for Windows 8 touchscreen computers strong, tablets weak


Sales of Windows 8 touchscreen computers are doing better than non-touchscreen computers, one report says.

There's been a lot of speculation about Windows 8's sales not meeting pre-release predictions, leading some investors to worry about Microsoft's future. If a new report is to be believed, however, the sales of Windows 8 devices with touchscreens are actually exceeding expectations.

Demand for touchscreen devices with Windows 8 has been so great that some manufacturers are facing supply shortages, according to industry analysts CNET spoke to.

"We've talked to a number of PC makers that are having trouble obtaining touch panels and some of the vendors I've talked to said they can't keep them on the shelf," Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS iSuppli, told CNET.

These claims are bolstered by the fact that many high-end touchscreen devices from Windows 8 hardware manufacturers appear to be sold out at the moment. Dell's XPS One 27, for instance, is on backorder until January, as is its new XPS 12 Convertible Touch Ultrabook, among other devices. Neowin's requests for comment from Dell representatives went unreturned.

While touchscreen demand is strong, an analyst told CNET that non-touchscreen devices aren't seeing much demand and that "low-end volume machines" aren't selling as well as previously hoped.

Despite the supposedly strong demand for computers with touchscreens, a recent report by The Seattle Times indicates sales of Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets as well as ARM-powered Windows RT tablets aren't taking off quite as well.

Some analysts lamented the fact that Windows 8- and Windows RT-powered tablets aren't as well supplied as Android tablets and the iPad. Two of the few Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets available – Microsoft's Surface and Acer's Iconia tablet – are only available at Microsoft Stores or on the company's website. One analyst the newspaper talked to said there's likely a reason Microsoft hasn't given sales figures for Surface.

"When Microsoft is stealthy about numbers, that usually means something," said Wes Miller, an analyst for Directions on Microsoft.

Sources: CNET, The Seattle Times | Image via Microsoft

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Maybe there would be more interest in tablets if the manufacturers would get their act together and get them out to the public. I ordered a Lenovo Yoga on 10/31 and according to their order status website, my order is now delayed until 12/31 for a shipping date (and they won't guarantee that they will meet that one). Two months is entirely too long to wait for any computer. I guess that Microsoft "surprised" them with Windows 8 because they sure aren't ready to supply customers what they want.

I think some consumers are leery of Intel Atom tablets and they should not be. The new Atom chip is nothing like last generations netbooks. Intel really should have called the chip something else. The Atom tablets are much more powerful than ARM but have all the same benefits (battery, size, no fans). If you're looking for something portable with great battery life, Atom is the best bet.

Avatar Roku said,
....

Well they really should change the name then.

Namewise, Atom is the new Celeron. I used to hear lots of non-techies in the local staples saying, stay away from those celeries, they suck.

ive been using an all in one pc with windows 7 for over a year, using touch and desktop keyboard. once you start using touch, it soon feels much quicker and more natural than using a mouse.

selecting with your finger is natural. writing with a stylus has been done for thousands of years and accommodates your personal handwriting style if you have one.

whats not natural is hunting for that tiny red x on the round thing, with a mouse and pointer.

touch just feels better, and with windows 8 you dont have to dumb down, like with ipad.

In the past we've had a scenario where hardware was always well in front of software when it came to speed, power and innovation. A couple of years ago, Microsoft pulled the finger out and accelerated its software development with the introduction of Windows 7. Now with Windows 8, its software is well ahead of the hardware. Microsoft must suffer the indignity of waiting for their OEM customers to catch up before they can even start to push. Hence the Surface, a warning shot across their bows.

Microsoft can only wait until Q1 next year when it introduces Surface Pro. If no OEM has done enough by then, expect Microsoft to take the gloves off and go for broke on both hardware and software.

When push comes to shove, Microsoft has already shown the can stand toe-to-toe with Apple and produce innovative, well designed hardware. Apple can't say the same about software.

Can Microsoft match Apple's hardware design? I think yes. Can Apple match Microsoft's software capabilities? I think no. Can Microsoft match Apple's marketing abilities? This is where the battle will be fought. 2013 will be an interesting year.

Major Plonquer said,
Microsoft can only wait until Q1 next year when it introduces Surface Pro. If no OEM has done enough by then, expect Microsoft to take the gloves off and go for broke on both hardware and software.

Microsoft has been telling the OEMs for at least 18 months that touch is the next big thing. They had *plenty* of time to get their orders in with the suppliers for touchscreen components.

Now we read that the touchscreen machines are selling out, while the "'low-end volume machines'" aren't selling as well as previously hoped."

In other words, the OEMs simply ignored Microsoft and continued their tried-and-true strategy of shoveling crap at the consumer. And they found that the consumer wasn't buying.

Heck, Microsoft even gave the OEMs *THREE MONTHS* of exclusivity on x86 Windows 8 tablets. By and large, they're wasting the three months. If the OEMs find that Microsoft is eating their lunch with the Surface Pro, then I'm not going to have any sympathy for them ...

I can't imagine a laptop w/o a touchscreen after using windows 8. going back to windows 7 laptops feels like going back to DOS.

neonspark said,
I can't imagine a laptop w/o a touchscreen after using windows 8. going back to windows 7 laptops feels like going back to DOS.

Millions of people would disagree. I for one would not want a touchscreen on my $2200 Sager laptop. I kill people for touching my beautiful screen.

Where are the details about this "strong demand." If a lot of fast-food outlets want touch-screens, so what. I don't see anything about business users clamoring for touch-screen monitors.

Touchscreen computer is exactly what would make windows 8 , interesting now.
Windows 8/RT , just lacks appeal for the tablet market.
When they 'll be able to release a surface pro tablet, with low battery usage, and lightweight maybe.

I got my Acer t232hl which has 10 point multitouch, beautiful design, works a treat with windows 8, Would recommend it. I it also has three USB 3.0 ports, integrated speakers (I would use them though) and its connections are as follows. HDMI, DVI and vga I think. 23 inches. This thing is a beauty.

I had some set backs when I ordered mine, went to through three different online stores until I got one that had them in stock. (the others put the date back probably due to demand)

deadonthefloor said,

God that would be horrible.

I personally wouldn't mind except it would be god awful slow until ARM actually got some decent speed under the hood.

I think convertibles will be the future of Windows 8; not bog-standard tablets. Demand for Windows RT tablets may increase, but I think that will be when average computer users are more comfortable with the Metro environment and aren't relying on desktop apps (and hopefully new experience enabled desktop browsers will be available on Windows RT by then).

Meph said,
I think convertibles will be the future of Windows 8; not bog-standard tablets. Demand for Windows RT tablets may increase, but I think that will be when average computer users are more comfortable with the Metro environment and aren't relying on desktop apps (and hopefully new experience enabled desktop browsers will be available on Windows RT by then).
Agreed. For now it's convertibles. As the Modern App store fills up with more compelling offerings you'll see the RT side much more popular. I think that will happen quickly personally (this time 2013)

Meph said,
I think convertibles will be the future of Windows 8; not bog-standard tablets. Demand for Windows RT tablets may increase, but I think that will be when average computer users are more comfortable with the Metro environment and aren't relying on desktop apps (and hopefully new experience enabled desktop browsers will be available on Windows RT by then).

Agreed, and I bet this is why Microsoft decided to put both in Windows 8, rather that completely going Metro. The public isn't ready for a full replacement, and apps are limited, so why not have both while the Environment has a change to grow and develop.

The Laughing Man said,
Nope , sorry feels weird hovering forward over my desk smudging my screen.

If you're sitting in front of a desk, you aren't representative of the target market for a tablet.

The Laughing Man said,
Nope , sorry feels weird hovering forward over my desk smudging my screen.

put the chocolate covered, glazed or powdered pastry down and wash your damn hands then.

Yah I got used with touch. When I was at BestBuy to look at the laptop, I kept touching at the screen... lolz ...

The better ones have been drawing some good attention, sadly there are usually only a couple worth purchasing.

Microcenter has the best display I've seen so far.

ahhell said,
I guess CNET doesn't take into account the AVAILABILITY of Win8 tablets.

Using logic is hard.


That's the Seattle Times article, and they mention that. I included that aspect of their article in this article, too (second-to-last paragraph).

I have yet to see a windows 8 tablet in store besides MS stores.. Looks like even Newegg just now got inventory that isn't back ordered and Amazon still shows squat..

but alas, Touch screens on notebooks actually are pretty sweet anyway.

spudtrooper said,
I have yet to see a windows 8 tablet in store besides MS stores.. Looks like even Newegg just now got inventory that isn't back ordered and Amazon still shows squat..

but alas, Touch screens on notebooks actually are pretty sweet anyway.


I've seen a handful in nearby BestBuy...I guess it depends which store you visit.

Touch screens on PC's are so 1990's. No one wanted them then, and no one wants them now.

I wish Microsoft would stop shoving Windows 8 and "touch" down our throat.