Microsoft: This is just the start of the Windows 8 business

Microsoft held its regular quarterly conference call with financial analysts today as part of its fourth quarter 2012 financial announcements. During the call and its follow up Q&A session, the company's chief financial officer Peter Klein seemed very optimistic that Windows 8 growth would continue, despite outside reports of slow sales of the first Windows 8 specific products.

Klein hinted that the first sales of Windows 8 products by third parties were impacted by low supplies for certain PCs. That's certainly true for products like Dell's XPS 12 convertible laptop which, at the moment, is showing a February 11th ship date for orders placed today.

Klein said that this is just the start of the growth of Windows 8 in the PC marketplace and the feeling we got while listening to the conference call is that Microsoft believes that when more Windows 8 products are available, the more sales will rise for those PC. Indeed, a number of new Windows 8-based touchscreen laptops have already been announced for launch later this year, including the HP EliteBook Revolve tablet-notebook hybrid, shown above, that's expected to launch sometime in March.

As far as Windows 8 apps, Klein said, "While the number of apps in the Windows Store quadrupled, we clearly have more work to do. We need more rich, immersive apps that give users access to content that inform, entertains and inspires."

All in all it was a rather unspectacular conference call with little in the way of new information. Microsoft seems to be saving big announcements for outside their financial result time period.

Source: Microsoft | Image via HP

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IMHO, i think windows 8 will not be as successful as Microsoft makes it out to be. I have forced myself to use this OS, but i now want to go back to Windows 7. I keep using only the desktop. I am not a fan of swiping to the left to see more options in an application.

Definitely a modern OS, but yeah, its a bit too much. Here's hoping that Windows 9 will be much better than this!

Im really worried about the direction MS seem to be going, its like they wont hear anything against their seemingly set plan.

The Start menu needed to evolve, but not into a larger version of itself. I dont believe people are missing the Start menu, they are just missing the simplicity of the basic Start menu that let them do things easily, without having to move their mouse all over the screen.

We really must stop looking at people who are passionate about a product, as being set in their ways. At some point in the future, MS are going to find other operating systems have caught up with them. Its silly to trash your loyal customer base because they dont fit your current vision.

I would have to agree this is just the start. I am not a big fan of Windows 8 at all from a desktop standpoint but remember Windows 95 and how much it evolved? The same will happen with Windows 8. It will get better and better. 10 years from now we will look back and laugh about how bad Windows 8 was.

In a few years, people who look back fondly on the old Start Menu will be regarded the same as people who get nostalgic for cassette tapes ... for similar reasons.

It's fine if you liked music that way, and were used to it, but it wasn't great tech. It was just the best thing we'd had up until that point.

warwagon said,
What if we are already laughing? (I just laughed when I said that! I must be going nuts!)

You, laughing is not a benchmark for funny

smot said,
In a few years, people who look back fondly on the old Start Menu will be regarded the same as people who get nostalgic for cassette tapes ... for similar reasons.

It's fine if you liked music that way, and were used to it, but it wasn't great tech. It was just the best thing we'd had up until that point.

That's if it turns out to be better and is marketed successfully. Cassette tapes were succeeded by better technology - but on this the jury's still out.

smot said,
In a few years, people who look back fondly on the old Start Menu will be regarded the same as people who get nostalgic for cassette tapes ... for similar reasons.

It's fine if you liked music that way, and were used to it, but it wasn't great tech. It was just the best thing we'd had up until that point.


I also remember as Laser discs were heralded as "the future" and they ended the way they ended. I still have few of them and a player though; who knows,maybe one day it will be worth a lot of money; I do not think there are many still around...

How true, most especially with that cutesy Metro UI. So, until the Metro UI goes away, business will be sticking with Windows-7 and XP.

osuwildlifer said,
This is funny. There is no use for Windows 8 in big business.

Actually, I use it every day because of Hyper-V on the desktop, Windows to go, and Improved DirectAccess. At work I hardly ever see Metro, it's just a better version of 7.

As soon as an OEM release a 10-11" Core i5 Tablet with enterprise class docking, we are going to start replacing laptops. Why make mobile users carry a laptop and a tablet when one can do both?

osuwildlifer said,
This is funny. There is no use for Windows 8 in big business.

What? Explain to me how, please. Because there are many here, and in the job market that beg to differ.

TsarNikky said,
How true, most especially with that cutesy Metro UI. So, until the Metro UI goes away, business will be sticking with Windows-7 and XP.

Great so anything that isn't the dull, bland, Windows Classic grey/blue theme is too "cutesy" to use on the job? Please.

Microsoft needs to lead by example on this one. "Mail" might be vaguely pretty, but Outlook Express from Windows '98 absolutely destroys it with flexibility and power. Make the first party applications powerful and flexible, and developers will raise their efforts to meet the bar.

And do something about the godawful window management. Putting modern apps in the taskbar and ripping off the Playbook's edge gestures would go a long ways to improving usability.

I might get a touch enabled device this year.

Might.

If so, I'll finally be able to see what Windows 8 is like, but I doubt it.

My issue is them actually working. My Mail app would crash on sync, Reader app refused to open PDFs it had opened once before, and Messenger would just crash as well.

Got a few things working half-assed now, but I'm still very annoyed at how it went from a great experience to feeling like shoddy third-party apps.

And no, I don't have hatred for Windows 8 before someone labels me as just another "hater". (though, you might think otherwise if you saw me cussing my computer out 2 days ago hah!)

Edited by dead.cell, Jan 25 2013, 1:13am :

I do feel the 1st party apps need work, but I also see the updates to those aps coming thick and fast (although the main grips are not dealt with yet). They are certainly more speedy now and I've not had any of the crash on me, I do like the mail app for my personal email use though (Use outlook for business email but its overkill for my personal outlook account).

Music and video need work along with smartglass (trying to see the playlist in xbox music on the xbox using smartglass and queue up songs is a pain), also managing playlists in music is messy. I don't mind bigger items onscreen (as obviously designed for touch) but give us drag and drop, i.e. in playlist edit mode you see a list of all songs which you can split into artist or album and simply drag them to the right (where the playlist if sitting) or remove from playlist.

Dot Matrix said,
AKA: Screw the haters, we're committed! Here's hoping for a grander immersive UX in '13!

We can always hope but considering the mess that Music, WP8 syncing and other apps still are I am not sure they will be able to deliver something substantial within the year.

I wonder how long Microsoft can use this "low supply" argument for the relatively lackluster sales of Windows 8.

COKid said,
I wonder how long Microsoft can use this "low supply" argument for the relatively lackluster sales of Windows 8.

Until you can purchase the device of your choice without a 4 week or more lead time?

I ordered a Dell tablet in October and didn't receive it until January. Lenovo still has a multi-week lead time on most of there touch devices. The only highly available devices are non-touch laptops that were built for Win7 and had Win8 slapped on them.

OEM's got caught with their pants down when it came to ordering touch panels.

COKid said,
I wonder how long Microsoft can use this "low supply" argument for the relatively lackluster sales of Windows 8.

As the above post says, I'd say they'll stop using the argument when it stops being true - that'd be the general way this would work.....

COKid said,
I wonder how long Microsoft can use this "low supply" argument for the relatively lackluster sales of Windows 8.

The danger of this argument is that the people who were primed for Windows 8 will have lost interest by the time the good stuff gets here,