Windows 8 Off To A Slow Start
By Will765 On 4 Dec, 2012 At 02:05 PM | Categorized As News | With 0 Comments

After a month of being available to consumers, Windows 8 has only managed to penetrate to 1.2% of all Windows pcs. It also has not had the hoped-for effect of boosting pc sales-they are down 21% compared to the previous year, since the launch on October 26th.  Several factors are at play here.

First, Windows 8 doesn’t really provide much incentive to desktop users to upgrade.  With it’s emphasis on touch control, it’s actually a bit cumbersome to use on a non-touchscreen setup, unless you revert to the classic mode.  So even at a very modest price to upgrade from Windows 7 online-$40-it just doesn’t have any compelling reason to attract buyers.

Secondly, many people aren’t planning to buy a new pc, or upgrade their old one.  The big sellers are smartphones and tablets.  This is actually the main reason Microsoft developed Windows 8, realizing that the market for desktops is declining, and likely will never go back to it’s dominant position.  Mobile computing is the future, and the only way for the software giant to maintain relevance going into that future is by developing a mobile friendly platform.

Another problem I see with Windows 8 is the decision to have an ARM version, Windows RT.  Basically, it can’t run x86 programs, only those apps you can download from the Windows Store.  So now Microsoft is trying to compete against both iOS and android.  With the cheapest Surface RT tablet at $499, being price competitive with Apple’s iPad is possible.  However, it can’t be the same with android tablets.  There are a vast amount of android tablets available, and some very good ones, for  under $200.

The Surface Pro, which can run any x86 application, is a more tempting device.  However, at a starting price of $899, it’s a pretty large investment for many consumers.  Hmm, let’s see-do I get a Surface Pro, or a Google Nexus10, plus a really good android smartphone, and still have at least $400 still in my pocket?  The choice for many will be easy.  The Surface Pro will likely do well in a corporate environment, where many pcs are already running Windows, and this can be a seamless way to integrate a mobile device without sacrificing usability.  But it will be hard to establish as a mainstream device.



So what will be the future of Windows 8?  Pc sales will never return to the previous highs they once experienced.  Windows 8 will slowly work it’s way into the desktop market, but that will continue to be a declining portion of the overall computing world.  Mobile devices will continue to evolve, and grow to dominate the computer landscape.  If Microsoft is able to gain a foothold in this new market with Windows 8, it may have a chance at success for the new OS.  But the price of mobile devices running a fully x86 windows-compatible OS must become more competitive with the other options-android, iOS- already available.  Windows 8 will not be a success unless it manages to establish a strong presence in the tablet/phone marketplace.  The combination of a desktop pc, tablet, and smartphone all seamlessly sharing the same programs, apps and data would be a very strong selling point.  While that is obviously the point of Windows 8, Microsoft needs to be smart about pricing, or it will not succeed.









About - Bill Anderson posts under the clever alias will765. Gets to work from a home office for a piano moving company, in glorious Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Pretty new to android, but love technology and have been building my own(and friends)pc's for about 15 years

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