Could it be that the world is getting smarter? Doubtful….
“Sales of Windows 8 PCs are well below Microsoft’s internal projections and have been described inside the company as disappointing,” Paul Thurrott wrote on his Supersite For Windows today, citing a source inside Microsoft.
The culprit? “Lackluster PC maker designs and availability,” according to Thurrott.
But he lists plenty of other reasons too, including Windows 8 itself as “confusing” because of its mix of touch and a standard Windows 7 desktop.
The simultaneous release of Windows 8 Pro (which can run older Windows software) and Windows RT (which cannot) might ALSO be confusing people. And there have been reports that U.S. consumers are reluctant to upgrade to Windows 8…. (See, you CAN train U.S. consumers! )
Microsoft, at least publicly, doesn’t seem to agree with these assessments. CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking at the Churchill Club in Santa Clara, Calif., this week, said Windows is off to a spectacular start.
And at Microsoft’s Build conference last month, Ballmer boasted that 4 million copies had been sold in the few days since launch on October 26.
Some analysts think that, although lack of interest in upgrading to the latest Windows version is not unusual on the basis of past performance, the barrier may be higher this time, particularly among businesses, as the result of the touch-centric interface.
So Windows 8 is facing the two-edged sword of selling to businesses: 1) on the UP side, selling to businesses is GOOD because each business buys a LOT of licenses and can FORCE its employees to use a particular operating system, whether the employees KNOW better or not, but 2) on the DOWN side, the people who run businesses often are not so good with innovation or with steep learning curves and, along with some other groups of linear thinkers, might not generally be found in the “Early Adopter” group of customers.
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