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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