NPD: 'Windows 8 Gets Off To a Slow Start'

Microsoft has been trying to make the case that Windows 8 sales are quite solid, stating earlier this week that it has sold 40 million licenses for the OS, along with a claim that upgrade sales are outpacing those of Windows 7 so far. Now the well-known retail research firm the NPD Group has said Microsoft's numbers may not tell the whole story.

In a new press release with the rather blunt headline, "Windows 8 Gets off To a Slow Start," NPD states:

Since its launch, Windows 8 has captured just over half (58 percent) of Windows computing device unit sales, compared to the 83 percent Windows 7 accounted for four weeks after that launch. Windows 8 tablet sales have been almost non-existent, with unit sales representing less than 1 percent of all Windows 8 device sales to date.

The press release adds that overall Windows PC sales have gone down 21 percent from this time last year since the launch of Windows 8, with notebook sales down 24 percent and desktop PC sales down nine percent. NPD vice-president Steven Baker did admit that it is "still early" to place the blame on Windows 8 on these lower sales numbers, but added, " ... clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for.

Baker did say that Windows 8 notebooks that have touch screens have seen "strong" sales so far, adding:

These products accounted for 6 percent of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of $867 helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market

Source: NPD Group

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I love watching the anti-8 brigade salivate and little tantalizing morsels are dangled in front of them...like a mouse going through a maze for cheese it thinks it will find at the end.

Dance, my little puppets, DANCE!!!

pc sales != windows 8 sales

more people are upgrading than buying new hardware, because A. its cheaper than buying a new PC,especially when windows 8 is actually faster than 7 so it does fine on older hardware. and B. the OEMs have screwed themselves by not having the new devices in stock anywhere.

if someone upgrades windows instead of buying a new PC, then it hurts the OEMs and not Microsoft.

vcfan said,
pc sales != windows 8 sales

more people are upgrading than buying new hardware, because A. its cheaper than buying a new PC,especially when windows 8 is actually faster than 7 so it does fine on older hardware. and B. the OEMs have screwed themselves by not having the new devices in stock anywhere.

if someone upgrades windows instead of buying a new PC, then it hurts the OEMs and not Microsoft.

Oh really? Last week it was "most only upgrade their OS when they get a new PC and don't bother upgrading an existing OS." Now the excuses are claiming the opposite.

Lord Method Man said,

Oh really? Last week it was "most only upgrade their OS when they get a new PC and don't bother upgrading an existing OS." Now the excuses are claiming the opposite.

that's how it was in the past, but with Windows 8, there are massive amounts of people upgrading than buying new PCs because the upgrade price is very cheap and they probably have a recent machine. Ballmer said the first 3 days there were 4 million upgrades, that's excluding sales to OEMs. Those are directly to consumer. That's a lot of upgrades right off the bat.


that's how it was in the past, but with Windows 8, there are massive amounts of people upgrading than buying new PCs because the upgrade price is very cheap and they probably have a recent machine. Ballmer said the first 3 days there were 4 million upgrades, that's excluding sales to OEMs. Those are directly to consumer. That's a lot of upgrades right off the bat

I myself upgraded a few of my machines in the mean time because the new windows 8 computers that are supposed to be here I can't find at the stores.

Ive said it elsewhere commenting on other posts, but there is a real stock problem. There is a real lack of hardware to sell to customers. So far, its not a lack of interest in 8 that is holding us back, its a lack of compelling hardware.

Hopefully these hardware makers step up before Christmas. I'm sure MS is doing everything they can to make it happen. I also wish they would push Surface to vendors so other stores could carry it. at least it would be another option for customers.

trooper11 said,
Ive said it elsewhere commenting on other posts, but there is a real stock problem. There is a real lack of hardware to sell to customers. So far, its not a lack of interest in 8 that is holding us back, its a lack of compelling hardware.

Hopefully these hardware makers step up before Christmas. I'm sure MS is doing everything they can to make it happen. I also wish they would push Surface to vendors so other stores could carry it. at least it would be another option for customers.

Nah, it mostly is a lack of interest. How many people do you know on Windows 7 saying "Man, I can't wait to upgrade to Windows 8 and get rid of this Windows 7 crap!", basically no one. How many people do you see saying "Windows 8 looks so cool, I can't wait to upgrade to it!", well, I don't know about you but for me it's not many. Far fewer than the number of people who think it's terrible, that's for sure, and that's just a fact of what I've observed. Of course those who don't like something are typically more vocal, but it was well know that people were waiting for Windows 7 to replace Vista. Not so many people were waiting for Windows 8 to replace 7.

Microsoft has to give a compelling reason for people to spend any amount of money, even if it is small this time around, to upgrade. The "techy" market is pretty much split between those who love 8 and those who hate it. The general public market likely sees little reason to upgrade, and if anything, a drastic new look will scare a lot of people. Most people don't care about upgrading if what they have works.

AJerman said,

Nah, it mostly is a lack of interest. How many people do you know on Windows 7 saying "Man, I can't wait to upgrade to Windows 8 and get rid of this Windows 7 crap!", basically no one. How many people do you see saying "Windows 8 looks so cool, I can't wait to upgrade to it!", well, I don't know about you but for me it's not many. Far fewer than the number of people who think it's terrible, that's for sure, and that's just a fact of what I've observed. Of course those who don't like something are typically more vocal, but it was well know that people were waiting for Windows 7 to replace Vista. Not so many people were waiting for Windows 8 to replace 7.

Microsoft has to give a compelling reason for people to spend any amount of money, even if it is small this time around, to upgrade. The "techy" market is pretty much split between those who love 8 and those who hate it. The general public market likely sees little reason to upgrade, and if anything, a drastic new look will scare a lot of people. Most people don't care about upgrading if what they have works.

Hey, I understand that if that is what you are hearing from people around you.

I was pointing out what is going on around me and the store I work at. So far, our customers haven't been against Windows 8 on new pcs. We have a demo unit up and when we show them the changes, they are fine with it. I haven't heard anyone yet say that they hated it (its ranged from indifference to genuine interest in playing with the new ui via touch). As far as upgrading existing pcs, we have already had a couple customers do that on pcs they bought very recently. As far as older pcs, we would never suggest doing that regardless of the os.

The key is how you explain it to the customer in my opinion. We don't pitch windows 8 as Metro with a desktop added on. We show how the new interface is basically about the start screen and that you mostly live on the desktop side as you did in 7. So far, there hasn't been an immediate rejection like I see others saying. Maybe its because we make the effort to answer questions upfront and the customer isn't shocked by the changes, I don't know.

Going back to my point, we already have customers asking about touch screen monitors for instance. Unfortunately, there is little choice and the only real choice right now is an Acer model in the $600+ range. Until we can offer more choices across the price range, customers will see less reason to get a new pc/laptop/etc.

Motivating new purchases requires something special, just as you said. I believe touch options with things like tablets, all-in-one models, touch screen monitors, and convertible tablets will be something new to get customers excited, but without stock to demo and sell them, its hard to create enthusiasm.

I actually RETURNED my UNOPENED COPY of WINDOWS 8 PRO EDITION to AMAZON.COM (which was $69.99) when I found out that I could get a DIGITAL COPY of WINDOWS 8 PRO EDITION from MICROSOFT.COM for only $39.99 + $14.99 for a WINDOWS 8 BACKUP DISK. :-)

It's likely that many of the Windows device sales over the past few weeks are people buying older Windows 7 based laptops and desktops that have been reduced in price as sellers prepared for the new Windows 8 systems. It's funny to hear all of the people claiming that Windows 8 is a massive failure when it has been out for a little more than a month.

I've installed it on my 1-year old ASUS laptop and while it does have it's quirks, it's faster than the previous Windows 7 installation. I'm using Stardock's Start8 utility to bring back the functionality of the start menu and I'm discovering that I can pin shortcuts to the Modern UI start screen just like icons on my traditional desktop. It's probably a better experience with newer hardware that is specifically designed for touch, but it's usable with the keyboard and mouse. I doubt that I'll put it on my desktop machine right away but if I continue to like the experience it will probably become my OS for current systems...

If you want Windows 8 with Touch what are the actually real options, despite all the reviews and all the talk, they are hard to come by.

Deviate_X said,
If you want Windows 8 with Touch what are the actually real options, despite all the reviews and all the talk, they are hard to come by.

pretty fair point.
all this talk lately with low or high sales and how well it's doing..
if people can't get it in stores then its not fair to judge windows 8 kinda.
too soon to tell also.
But if they don't get the retailers stocked for xmas shopping there stupid lol

Lord Method Man said,
Anyone notice how the ONLY good Windows 8 news is coming from Microsoft?

why report good news when you can report what is in conflict with actual results and make a fortune in ad revenue from the haters who cannot wait to comment claiming they were right.

We have analysts who spend hours and hours outside an Apple store counting what is sold. But then they spend 2 hours outside a Microsoft store, only a fraction as long, not at the some time period, and claim that sales were down while Apple is selling like there is no tomorrow. But those analysts are right, except when there is something bad to say about a MS competitor, then they cannot be trusted, don't believe them, they don't know what they are talking about.

a perfect example of web sites ignoring good news happened last week. Yahoo had an article buried way down deep that there were 2.5 million preorders just for the Lumia 920. Did you hear about? Did we see an article about it here on neowin? It was passed around on some of the Windows Phone web sites, but in general, no one heard about it. It would not be good for the "Microsoft is doing poorly for the OS that we want to be bad because it generates clicks for our web site" shtick.

@nohone
What you say is not true when win 7 was launched. The public was already convinced from begin, and happy to get rid of vista. Now, I'm sure Microsoft would at least hit a psychological wall regarding win 8. It's popular to publish bad news regarding win 8, because that's what lot of people want to hear.

Lord Method Man said,
Anyone notice how the ONLY good Windows 8 news is coming from Microsoft?

^ best comment ever about windows 8.

Lord Method Man said,
Anyone notice how the ONLY good Windows 8 news is coming from Microsoft?

i see the user name and well we know what to expect lol
the same people around here are heavily invested in promoting windows 8 at all costs.

i read what you said and i thought about it..
I didn't start typing a snotty reply lol
what i did was click on the Microsoft tag on the right
and i read every topic title as i scrolled down etc
My conclusion ? i think you may be on to something here.
At worst your right and if anything there is some grey area as to whether its true or not ?
What i can tell is your statement is not so obviously false that you deserve some snotty and rude belittling fanboy "expert" retort.
Its about seeing things as they are. And some people around here need to take off their Metro blinders as see things as they are.

For people that just want to surf and consume media, iPad, Kindle, Galaxy, Nexus have them covered for a good price. People that need more for work, typing, editing, printing already have something and when money is tight, you aren't going to upgrade right away.

Hardware doesn't look appealing at all from what I've seen, I wouldn't give them any money right now. It's about time hardware makers got a kick up their arse and make some good stuff for a good price. All I see is cheap rubbish, expensive mediocrity or worse. How many years has it been since other hardware makers made nice designs and shown some improvement and common sense yet now, most of the hardware is same old mediocrity. Just not good enough, you're not getting my money.

WooHoo!!! said,
For people that just want to surf and consume media, iPad, Kindle, Galaxy, Nexus have them covered for a good price. People that need more for work, typing, editing, printing already have something and when money is tight, you aren't going to upgrade right away.

Hardware doesn't look appealing at all from what I've seen, I wouldn't give them any money right now. It's about time hardware makers got a kick up their arse and make some good stuff for a good price. All I see is cheap rubbish, expensive mediocrity or worse. How many years has it been since other hardware makers made nice designs and shown some improvement and common sense yet now, most of the hardware is same old mediocrity. Just not good enough, you're not getting my money.

don't forget though TONS of people have plenty of money to throw around on anything.
go talk to own owners running nvidia gtx 690's in SLI $1,100 at newegg right now lol
even if i had the money i would buy them after a year of being out..
Why rush in there to flush your cash down the drain ? bragging rights ? whatever lol

I had a customer call me last week asking me to come over and setup his computer. He told me he's had it for over a week, but it was still in the box. He said he was nervous because it had the new windows 8 on it.

Went down to talk to my competitor yesterday and if you thought I disliked windows 8, holy crap this guy takes the cake. So far I've done 2 windows 8 upgrades on people who have requested it. He told me "If people come in asking for windows 8, I tell them you won't be getting it from me". He said " he doesn't start selling a new Microsoft OS until it's been out of 2 months." i'm 99% sure he has never even used windows 8. It's just not something he would install and try.. you'd have to know him.

Then the other guy that worked there started going on and on about how we don't need windows 8 we already have touch OS"s like Android and IOS.

But then he told me something really funny. He said "he had a laptop that he sold with windows 7 home premium (64bit). Well a few months later they brought it back with Windows 7 pro (64 bit) Not sure where they got that from. "

He said he told them "that because Windows 7 Pro (64 bit) was on the laptop now and because that is not Windows 7 version it came with that they are going to have driver issues."

I told him "Umm... As long as they have a driver for Windows 7 (32bit or 64bit ) in general it will work no matter the version of 7 (Pro , Home) ...it will work. Then his helper said "That's not always the case"...ummm.....mind blown.

Edited by warwagon, Nov 29 2012, 5:57pm :

i liked your story and have had some recent experiences at 2 local computer shops and one local electronics retailers. sadly attitude is in stock and not much else..
if you want intelligence they will order it in for you but it will cost more and they don't recommend it lol

As much as i hate Windows 8 i have already informed all my source that i personally don't like it and i'm not using it *yet (will have to eventually so i can fix them when needed)
BUT i said its available and if anyone wants it etc no problem and that it may be a lot more suitable for some more than others (aka the web browsing facebookers etc)
And every single person has said no thanks not interested .

I have been working (out of home / on call) for a about a decade doing repair work
and always have machines to work on.. Like the HP laptop i'm waiting for a girl to pick up right now.. It was dead and broken (actually she let the battery power run out lol)
And SHE would be a good candidate for Windows 8.. She is one of those desktop icons people and would benefit from having advanced options taken away and an old start menu replacement (Metro)
basically anything simplified aka whatever you got dumbed down for the lowest common denominator lol

I am Not PCyr said,
i liked your story and have had some recent experiences at 2 local computer shops and one local electronics retailers. sadly attitude is in stock and not much else..
if you want intelligence they will order it in for you but it will cost more and they don't recommend it lol

As much as i hate Windows 8 i have already informed all my source that i personally don't like it and i'm not using it *yet (will have to eventually so i can fix them when needed)
BUT i said its available and if anyone wants it etc no problem and that it may be a lot more suitable for some more than others (aka the web browsing facebookers etc)
And every single person has said no thanks not interested .

I have been working (out of home / on call) for a about a decade doing repair work
and always have machines to work on.. Like the HP laptop i'm waiting for a girl to pick up right now.. It was dead and broken (actually she let the battery power run out lol)
And SHE would be a good candidate for Windows 8.. She is one of those desktop icons people and would benefit from having advanced options taken away and an old start menu replacement (Metro)
basically anything simplified aka whatever you got dumbed down for the lowest common denominator lol

Thankfully I'm out of that kind of work now (QA now), so I don't ever have to upgrade to Win 8 to learn it, haha. Metro is horrible and will be gone soon enough.

Then again, I do have Win 2012 in my test buckets, so I get enough experience in a slightly less awful format of it, so I should pick up enough of the important stuff to get me by.

I agree its off to a slow start.. the ONLY place you can buy decent tablets from are the Microsoft Stores.. BestBuy, Fry's, Staples, OfficeMax - heck even Dell, Lenovo, HP are BARELY getting their hardware out - don't have much in stock and are just now shipping devices.

Pretty sad you walk into frys and their ENTIRE PC department is empty awaiting inventory/displays..

but i'm definitely interested in seeing how things playout!

Well, when we see more x86 tablets I think we will see that trend change.

Also, a direct month comparison is next to meaningless given the entirely different market conditions in which both operating systems entered.

I'd say rude things about your journalism, but at some point it's just mean.

articuno1au said,
Well, when we see more x86 tablets I think we will see that trend change.

Also, a direct month comparison is next to meaningless given the entirely different market conditions in which both operating systems entered.

I'd say rude things about your journalism, but at some point it's just mean.

I agree, we do need to see more x86 Win8 Pro tablets. The whole Windows RT thing is crap. If you want to win the market making your tablet a computer, do it right, make the tablet a computer, not half a computer. The only Win 8 tablet I'd ever be interested in would be an x86 tablet.

Auch said,

Hope dies last, M$ boy Didn't you realize what SteveB did kicking out StevenSi? just face it - Win8 is jack of all trades, master of none.


I think I just got cancer by reading that.