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Stuck in Mud: Microsoft Struggling to Shift Windows 8 and Tablets Says NDP

Sites include , . Published on November 30th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

No publicly traded company is going to call a press conference and announce to the world that sales are flat, or even worse “we aren’t making any,” hence the reason many are now looking to third-party research and marketing firms to give us all a true feel for what is happening at Microsoft. The software giant as you know launched Windows 8 a few weeks ago and since then it has been busy playing the media game with numbers after numbers—all claiming of course that sales are up. But are they? Not according to NPD, a third-party research and insights company.

Windows 8 off to slow start

According to NPD, there has been a dramatic slowdown in PC sales in the last few months and this has impacted on sales of Windows 8. U.S. sales in particular have been affected and NPD is reporting that Windows devices have are down 21% of sales figures recorded at the same time last year. Windows notebooks have seen a steady decline since the rise of tablet PCs and smartphones and are down 24% all round. The only division of sales that didn’t suffer too badly were Desktops, these saw only a 9% drop in sales over the comparative period.

Perhaps the worse news Microsoft could hear coming from the mouth of a third-party is that sales of its much vaunted touch-enabled operating system on tablets are also not going very well.  But this is precisely the report coming from NPD who says that the Windows 8-enabled tablet sales have accounted for less than 1% of all Windows 8 device sales to date. And whilst these numbers don’t include the sales of Microsoft’s own Surface tablet, the sentiment generally is that those too are decidedly flat.

NPD is optimistic

A lot is expected from Windows 8 and not just from Microsoft; the entire PC industry is hoping that the new OS can turn things round and make the sale of laptops and desktops relevant again—perhaps even slow the growth of the tablet market which seems to balloon by the day.

NPD has joined the chorus of hope, suggesting that things could still pick up before the holiday shopping season is over. “After just four weeks on the market, it’s still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market. We still have the whole holiday selling season ahead of us, but clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for,” says Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis at NPD.

2012 will be a year that Microsoft wants to put behind it as soon as possible and since there are only a few weeks to go, the software maker will certainly have its wish. We can only hope that there is a solid plan in 2013 for meeting those initial Windows 8 sales targets; nothing less will do in an ultra-competitive OS market.

Have you bought a Windows 8 powered device yet, if not what is holding you back? Share your thoughts with us below.

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