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Operating Systems Software GUI Microsoft Upgrades Windows Technology

NPD Group Analysts Say Windows 8 Sales Sluggish 269

Posted by timothy
from the whiffling-through-the-tulgey-wood dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "While Microsoft claims it's sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the month since launch—a more rapid pace than Windows 7—new data from research firm The NPD Group suggests that isn't helping sales of actual Windows devices, which, in its estimation, are down 21 percent from last year. Desktops dropped 9 percent year-over-year, while notebooks fell 24 percent. '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,' Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at The NPD Group, wrote in a Nov. 29 statement attached to the data. '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.'" That seems to match the public grumbling of Acer and Asus about early sales. And though these figures exclude Surface sales, the newly announced prices on for new Windows 8 Pro-equipped Surface tablets might not endear them to anyone. Have you (or has your business?) moved to Windows 8?
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NPD Group Analysts Say Windows 8 Sales Sluggish

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @05:18PM (#42134701)

    Really? Most people I've talked to (normal people, not neckbeards) have refused to upgrade to Windows 8 because it's incomprehensible. Go on Youtube and look at the number of hits people are getting on "x relative tries to use Windows 8..." These aren't completely computer illiterate people (some of them are I'm sure), yet compared to what they're used to, Windows 8 is impossible to navigate. It's as if Microsoft dived head first into the tablet market without checking to see if there was any water in the pool first.

  • tanking (Score:1, Interesting)

    by GarretSidzaka (1417217) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @05:18PM (#42134709)

    windows 8 is single handedly tanking the entire pc market. my wife just switched to linux mint, and she likes it okay.

    my biggest interest in in steam-on-linux! are they going to have a full library?

    this will put the windows gaming market in jeopardy.

    will linux make things like masquerading as easy as windows Internet connection sharing?

  • Yes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Cinder6 (894572) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @05:21PM (#42134745)

    I actually like it more than Windows 7, to the point that I wonder if I'm using the same OS as other people. I will grant, though, that I don't use the Metro stuff. Doesn't seem to be much point. But the other features are nice to have.

  • Why would we switch? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zakabog (603757) <john@j[ ]g.com ['mau' in gap]> on Thursday November 29, 2012 @05:21PM (#42134753)

    Have you (or has your business?) moved to Windows 8?

    I don't know why we would switch. Vista was such a shit show that Windows 7 was a blessing, but Windows 8 just seems to do nothing better than Windows 7 on a desktop compter (which is my primary use at home and at work) so why would I spend the money upgrading? I don't even want to pirate Windows 8 for my home computer just to play around. Used it a few times and I didn't like it, and I'm dreading not having Windows 7 included with our new computers.

  • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @05:22PM (#42134761)

    But the local computer shop or data recovery firm sure cares, as secure boot eliminates their ability to bypass windows to recover data direct from storage.

    Joe Shmoe will care that the latest virus to infest his system leaves his data corrupted and secure boot prevents any remedial actions.

  • What about WP8? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hsmith (818216) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @05:28PM (#42134819)
    I've heard nothing on their sales so far, which means to me they are terrible. Much like the Surface production being halved [qz.com].

    I don't criticize MS for trying something different. It is a bold move. But, what they are putting out ISN'T the solution to the problem. They just can't figure out what to do it seems.
  • Re:Yes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cinder6 (894572) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @05:48PM (#42135081)

    The new task manager is very nice. Windows 8 is a lot better at loading the proper drivers out of the box (didn't have to download a thing on the two systems I've done clean installs on), I like the way search is separated wrt. files, applications, and settings (though some don't like it). It's a bit snappier than 7. Picture-based login is nice in some cases. Easy to create custom install images. I thought I would miss Aero, but I actually prefer the flat colors (though some more customization would be nice). Better multi-monitor support. Expanded keyboard shortcuts (mainly for new UI elements). You don't have to pay an arm and a leg for Bitlocker. And I actually like the Ribbon on the file explorer, but YMM-definitely-V on that one.

    Basically, if you ignore Metro, Windows 8 is 7 with a full-screen start menu and some refinements. The only thing that's missing is jump list on start screen icons, though they're still around on the taskbar.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @06:09PM (#42135275)

    IE10 is actually faster than chrome and firefox

  • Re:Our Experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ducomputergeek (595742) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @06:15PM (#42135335)

    I was at a Microsoft event earlier this week and there was a session on design for Windows 8 across the various platforms and it answered a lot of questions I had been scratching my head about. It's clear over the next few years that Microsoft is aiming to design a single UI across all of it's platforms from Phone, to Desktops, to tablets, to TV. They want it to all be the same experience. Part of that is the expectation that going forward devices will all have touch screens from the phone to the desktop. They want to fundamentally change how all applications function to their new model, which from a purely design perspective has some merits. It's also I think banking on the idea that websites as we think of them today are going away being replaced by single use apps.

    Problem is it's their new design philosophy is completely different from what people have come to expect. For instance, Windows 8 Metro apps are to scroll horizontal instead of vertical. (unless it's a phone app then it's vertical). Tool bars are supposed to go off screen until you use some kind of mouse/keyboard/touch gesture. Don't include functionality in your app that can be done by another app via contracts. And that is going to through a lot of people who aren't creative types, especially businesses. Most people get into their routine and don't want change. And the fact it's going to be a while, if ever, before existing applications update to this new design guidelines. So it's going to be a disjointed experience between old and new for a couple years.

    Apple figured out that while iOS and OSX share many of the same technical underpinnings, they made the UI and design standards different. The desktop functions the same way OSX has for the past 10 years and iOS is different. People don't expect OSX to behave like iOS and vice versa.

    Android really only has to worry about mobile devices with tablets and phones being their only two product lines.

    Microsoft had a chart: there are about 700M Windows 7 devices and within x months they expect there will be 500M Windows 8 devices. Android's number was around 350M devices and Apple about 200M devices. (Now there are some problems there because what counts as "Android". I mean Kindle devices run a version of Android, but not exactly as they have their own SDK etc. So does that still count as "android". Also Android is starting to show up on other devices such as cameras and I'd imagine inside of TV's before long.)

  • by timholman (71886) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @06:20PM (#42135385)

    Really? Most people I've talked to (normal people, not neckbeards) have refused to upgrade to Windows 8 because it's incomprehensible. Go on Youtube and look at the number of hits people are getting on "x relative tries to use Windows 8..." These aren't completely computer illiterate people (some of them are I'm sure), yet compared to what they're used to, Windows 8 is impossible to navigate. It's as if Microsoft dived head first into the tablet market without checking to see if there was any water in the pool first.

    My own observation - two weeks ago, I went to the mall to check out the iPad mini (wife is thinking about one for Christmas). Microsoft had rented a kiosk to show Surface tablets not 200 feet away from the Apple store (gotta admire the chutzpah).

    In the Apple store, I saw a dozen people playing with iPads or iPad minis, with Apple employees hovering nearby in case of questions. People were tapping and gesturing and doing what you'd expect on an iPad, almost entirely without any assistance from the employees.

    Outside, about a half dozen people were clustered around the Surface kiosk talking with Microsoft employees. The difference? The Microsoft employees were having to show the users what to do, step-by-step . No one seemed to be able to just pick one up and make it work. Everyone needed help. The contrast was absolutely remarkable.

    Windows 8 is the new Vista. I expect to see the Metro GUI turned into an option for Windows 9, and more heads to roll at Microsoft.

  • Re:Yes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @06:45PM (#42135625)

    Ya, I don't really like Aero and the flat style in win8 looks fine to me, I like minimal UIs (I do like the Mac OS X style myself with no borders to windows).

    However from what I see there's still some problems with using the "Metro" as a start menu. It doesn't have full access to all the programs and utilities, you have to open up a separate list, it's more like access to frequently used applications, things you may as well pin to task bar or put on desktop anyway (only advantage are phone-like live icons I won't use). Critical things are hidden or difficult to find, like a "run" menu or even the shutdown option. If you start IE10 from the desktop and also Metro you will have two separate browsers with separate pages and history and look, so you wont' want to use Metro as the "start menu" for IE10 if you want to use refer to it on the desktop.

    You're also swapping between two different UI styles, this is sort of like someone coming up with a cute fullscreen hack on Windows 7 that you try for an hour before uninstalling. It's a goofy design decision, schizophrenic. Yes, I agree with you that you can learn to live with it. But that does not mean it's not an inconvenience and hindrance to the user.

    I've looked at features of Start8 and RetroUI and those look like decent replacements. Boot to desktop, disable hotcorners, either similar style of start menu as windows 7 or an updated look if you want, etc. RetroUI even lets you put Metro style fullscreen apps inside a window (which I don't care about, but someone might). And only $5 (I haven't checked out open source replacements yet).

  • Vista all over again (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crossmr (957846) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @07:53PM (#42136369) Journal

    XP showed that people were happy keeping on OS for a very long time on their machines.

    Windows 7 is working for a lot of people who are using it. They've got no real motivation as the home user to switch. It's still new, and most of them probably expect they could get the life of their machine out of it.

    Windows 8 will be the skip version then Microsoft will come to their senses and gives us another regular version of windows next.

  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @07:56PM (#42136419)

    > There was nothing redeeming about that OS.

    Yes there was. Microsoft finally gave us real symlinks, so we no longer had to kludge them with NTFS junctions.

    > If Metro is such a problem. Buy Windows 8, Install Start8 and never worry about metro again

    And how, pray tell, do you restore Aero glass, proper handling of multiple monitors, and all the other little refinements that Microsoft *finally* got working again in Win7 after Vista broke them, then the preview releases of Win8 apparently took away again?

    The fundamental problem with Windows 8 is that Microsoft took everything it's learned over the past 20 years about usability with high-end mouse-driven computers with multiple hi-res displays, and flushed it all down the toilet so phone apps can pretend they're real Windows applications worthy of respect instead of third-rate substitutes for the real thing. In effect, Microsoft's "solution" to the problem of desktop apps sucking heinously when run on phones with tiny touchscreens was to abolish desktop apps.

  • by tftp (111690) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:34PM (#42137413) Homepage

    On the other hand, no one seems capable of figuring out Windows 8 without significant confusion

    For starters, how about two Internet Explorers, one in Metro and one on Desktop, that have nothing to do with each other? :-)

    (Besides, Metroified IE is an abomination on a large screen, and a waste of time.)

    I also found that the easiest way to shut the Win8 down is with Alt-F4. All other methods are an exercise in frustration.

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