Mixed signals on inital Windows 8 PC sales

Windows 8 launched with a ton of fanfare a few weeks ago, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said later the company had sold four million Windows 8 software upgrades in its first four days. However, just how many new PCs with Windows 8 have been sold to the general public?

Investors.com posted some mixed signals on that front, based on reports from two different financial analysts. On the one hand, Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brendan Barnicle reports that, in his own survey of retailers in the US, Canada and Germany, 75 percent of them said that Windows 8 PC sales have met their expectations, while 25 percent have actually exceeded expectations.

Barnicle adds, "In our third round of retail checks, Windows 8 and Surface continue to meet expectations, with Surface actually slowing from prior weeks."

But will that trend continue? Cowen & Co. analysts Robert Stone and James Medvedeff wrote a note to investors this morning based on the results of a survey of 1,225 US residents. The results show a full two thirds of them don't plan to purchase a new PC anytime in the next 18 months. The analysts state, "Windows 8 does not appear to be spurring an upgrade cycle."

If that holds up, it might be bad news for both Microsoft as well as PC makers who have seen overall PC sales decline in 2011 so far ahead of the Windows 8 launch.

Source: Investors.com

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33 Comments

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I upgraded my machine. I have two more that I will upgrade in a month or so. I have no need for a new PC right now. Next year perhaps...

I've upgraded 3 of my computers, but just for the low price and free media Center Add-On - wich should be activated before january end in order to keep the key alive.

However in the next 2 weeks I will downgrade them to their original Winows installations - one 7 and 2 XP. Most probabli the ones with XP I will re-upgrade to 8 when Xp support will end, but 7 will remains. Until it's support ends. Hopefully i have retail licences so I can migrate them to my future computers.
I dont'like Metro, and even if I can use a third party app to get back old menu, I will do this only when the time will come.

eiffel_g said,
I've upgraded 3 of my computers, but just for the low price and free media Center Add-On - wich should be activated before january end in order to keep the key alive.

However in the next 2 weeks I will downgrade them to their original Winows installations - one 7 and 2 XP. Most probabli the ones with XP I will re-upgrade to 8 when Xp support will end, but 7 will remains. Until it's support ends. Hopefully i have retail licences so I can migrate them to my future computers.
I dont'like Metro, and even if I can use a third party app to get back old menu, I will do this only when the time will come.

... and you're just ignoring the fact that Windows 8 is a TON faster across a series of day-to-day computing operations, like moving files, startup time, MUCH faster IE...

Seriously. Give the new start screen a chance. It only gets in your face for about 3 seconds while you type the name of the app you're looking for anyway.

CasualViking said,

... and you're just ignoring the fact that Windows 8 is a TON faster across a series of day-to-day computing operations, like moving files, startup time, MUCH faster IE...

Seriously. Give the new start screen a chance. It only gets in your face for about 3 seconds while you type the name of the app you're looking for anyway.


Ignoring ? What ? W8 just boot faster - as long as it does not have to many programs installed. On my main computer - the one with 7 licence, i've installed about half of the programs I've had and... NO MORE difference. Or, worse - some programs have few glithces when loading.
At the start screen - I've gived him a lot of chance during previews. It's for tablets and touch screens - and even there is not very well done yet. No way to use it on desktop.
I need productivity, not "nice". And never used search. It's the first thing I disable completely when I install an OS. I don't use explorer, or many other "stuff". Again due to lack of productivity. I prefer Total Commander to search, navigate copy, pack... Much more faster.

So... people with fairly new pc's only updated, and people with older pc/laptops also upgraded due to the speed improvements in W8.
Nothing new here.

What everybody seems to forget there's a recession going on. It makes more sense to shell out $40,= on an upgrade, instead of $ 1200,= for a new pc.

My old HP9085 laptop has been noticeably faster after the W8 upgrade, and will serve me for another year or so in this manner. When the Surface Pro comes out, I'll have a good look at the tablets with a digitizer, and decide if I will make that investment.

Money can only be spend once, and for now for a lot of people food and housing are top of the list.

Analysts... really...?

Anarkii said,
HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA XD
Im sorry but I told you months ago... HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!

So you told us that, based upon the surveys, 1/3 of all computers would be upgraded, with an unspecified number of computers would just have the OS upgraded? Being there are around a billion (literally, not using that word for dramatic effect, there really are a billion windows computers being used), that means around 333 million Win8 computers being purchased in 18 months, with more existing computers to be upgraded, and new form factors (such as Surface) being added to people's computer use).

Yes, you told us. What a prophet you are.

Anarkii said,
HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA XD
Im sorry but I told you months ago... HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!

I advice you don't do that again.

derekaw said,
http://allthingsd.com/20121112...-leave-microsoft/?mod=tweet

Sinofsky leaving Microsoft, effective immediately, I wonder if this means anything re the launch of Surface and Win 8 and possibly lack lustre reviews and sales?

Yóu'd really think he'd leave based on sales after two weeks? This has to go further back, especially since its 'effective immediatly'. He likely announced his plans to leave long before Windows 8 launched but was forced to stay on until it was out.

He has been replaced by someone who is 100% behind the modern UI. So if anything Microsoft is now more committed to their new strategy, branding, unified platforms and ecosystem. So I don't see how this has any correlation with potential low sales.

On top of that, all sale signs so far have been positive. No hard data of course but especially no reason to suspect low sales.

Further, the source of the article agrees with me. The source is titled "Microsoft Windows 8 Tablets, PCs Meeting Expectations". Is this some headline to get more views? I really think it's completely misleading.

Windows 8 and Surface continue to meet expectations

I can't put this into perspective. What exactly their expectations are? To sell one copy or to sell one gazillion copies?

Did Cowen do the same survey the last few times Microsoft released a new operating system? If not, what are they comparing their numbers against? A third saying they'll upgrade in 18 months seems like a decent amount. Some of that is surely people who would upgrade regardless of Windows 8, though.

Anthony Tosie said,
Did Cowen do the same survey the last few times Microsoft released a new operating system? If not, what are they comparing their numbers against? A third saying they'll upgrade in 18 months seems like a decent amount. Some of that is surely people who would upgrade regardless of Windows 8, though.

No.

In regards to a new PC: once again, PCs have become so powerful and low cost that for most people doing everyday tasks, units purchased within the last 2-3 years won't be slow. If you go back 5-10 years ago, it was worth upgrading from a Celeron to Pentium D/Core 2. Today's Celeron (M) and Pentiums seem just as powerful as some Core 2s.

Seriously, why does the average consumer NEED to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8? There is no compelling reason. Windows 7 does internet, email, music/video, Office, and Skype, and it's pretty secure. And it has full Microsoft support.

68k said,
Seriously, why does the average consumer NEED to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8? There is no compelling reason. Windows 7 does internet, email, music/video, Office, and Skype, and it's pretty secure. And it has full Microsoft support.

Try the usual reasons one upgrades their OS - better performance doing all the above on the same hardware. Not everyone is so hung up on the Start menu (Windows users); the previous sentence applies to users of any OS - even Linux distributions. Are you of a mind that you should only upgrade your OS/distribution when you upgrade your hardware?

PGHammer said,

Try the usual reasons one upgrades their OS - better performance doing all the above on the same hardware. Not everyone is so hung up on the Start menu (Windows users); the previous sentence applies to users of any OS - even Linux distributions. Are you of a mind that you should only upgrade your OS/distribution when you upgrade your hardware?

Since when does the Average user upgrade their OS unless they are buying a new machine?

warwagon said,

Since when does the Average user upgrade their OS unless they are buying a new machine?

seems to happen a lot on the Mac and iOS worlds.... everytime the slightest revision happens they MUST have it....

I've upgraded my home and work computers, there's no reason to buy a new one, I mean, a Core i7 is now 4 years old, but still damned fast.

Waiting on the Surface Pro to get rid of my iPad.

Mordkanin said,
a Core i7 is now 4 years old, but still damned fast.

You do realise that the Core line of CPU's get updated every year with improvements, sometimes with a new architecture. A Core i7 from this year will be significantly faster than a Core i7 from 4 years ago.

NoClipMode said,

You do realise that the Core line of CPU's get updated every year with improvements, sometimes with a new architecture. A Core i7 from this year will be significantly faster than a Core i7 from 4 years ago.

I know, but the original Nehalem Core i7 processors are still damned fast. There's not much you can throw at them in day-to-day use that'll bog one down. Unless you're in media editing or sciences/engineering, the past 4 years of CPU advances haven't bought you any speed. They've given you power reduction and such, but no perceivable speed. Even a hardcore gamer can't make use of the extra power.

majortom1981 said,
Some of the more popular windows 8 pc's and tablets are not out yet

I...wait what?

Does that statement hurt anyone else's brain?

Cuz it doesn't make any sense. The Surface Pro isn't out, but what else are you talking about the more popular Windows 8 PCs? What? I think you're confused as much as I am about that initial statement.

Joshie said,

I...wait what?

Does that statement hurt anyone else's brain?

I'm pretty sure he said something along the lines of sales being mediocre because there are no windows 8 systems on the market en masse. Most of the heavy hitters aren't out yet and supply has been very limited. To put it bluntly, the market is waiting on amd and Intel to get their efficient clue to market so Ms is relying on arm to push sales right now. Its not rocket science and anyone studying the retail channels should be able to find this out easily.

spudtrooper said,

I'm pretty sure he said something along the lines of sales being mediocre because there are no windows 8 systems on the market en masse. Most of the heavy hitters aren't out yet and supply has been very limited. To put it bluntly, the market is waiting on amd and Intel to get their efficient cpus to market so Ms is relying on arm/NVidia (surface) to push sales right now. Its not rocket science and anyone studying the retail channels should be able to find this out easily.