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Windows 8 Off to an Awkward Start, Analyst Says

By - Source: Forbes | B 39 comments

PC vendors have been slow to launch devices powered by Microsoft's latest operating system.

Microsoft's Windows 8 debut is off to an "awkward" start, Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund said.

The software giant last month launched the latest version of its operating system that sports a UI featuring a healthy proportion of tablet-inspired components such as touch capabilities. However, analysts have criticized the platform for being confusing, as well as playing its part in ailing PC growth.

Sherlund said PC vendors have evidently been slow to introduce new devices such as tablets and ultrabooks with touch screen support. Moreover, Windows 8 has a learning curve, as well as the fact that it's faced "abundant bad press."

Consequently, Nomura decreased its forecast for PC unit sales during the current quarter, noting that sales should drop by 7 percent instead of being flat.

In looking at Microsoft, we have assumed essentially no growth going forward in traditional PCs (or actually down about 6 [percent] if we exclude new ultrabooks) and the more relevant market growth of about [3 percent to 5 percent] if we include Windows-based tablet devices. We assume that many consumers will prefer an iPad to a Windows device, but that Office is still an anchor for enterprise and prosumers that may chose to upgrade notebooks to either ultrabook touch or tablet/hybrid devices for longer battery life, thin, light-weight and touch that addresses the desire for new form factors and new tablet based usage and apps. 2013 could be a good upgrade year for old notebooks.

In addition, Sherlund cut his estimates for Microsoft's earnings in 2013 by around 4 percent, stating per-share earnings will grow by just 8.5 percent. That said, he stressed that Microsoft's stock has already reflected the "awkward" launch of Windows 8.

"We think investors that can have a thick skin through the awkward quarter or two of the Windows 8 transition will likely see better traction ahead," he stated.

Despite the negativity surrounding Windows 8, Microsoft has sold 40 million licenses for the OS since its October 26 launch. Comparatively, 60 million Windows 7 licenses were sold during its first two months of sale.

More than half of consumers are said to have not heard of Windows 8, while those who are aware of the platform not having an interest in the OS.

 

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    halcyon , November 29, 2012 1:26 AM
    Windows 8 isn't so bad. ...but certainly not worth a premium over 7. Didn't Vista receive a similar welcoming and look how successful it was. Oh wait...
  • 10 Hide
    livebriand , November 29, 2012 2:23 AM
    Fuck Windows 8. If they don't want to put a decent UI on it, no matter how good the kernel is, I am not upgrading.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2012 1:20 AM
    No way.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2012 1:20 AM
    No way.
  • 5 Hide
    fuzzion , November 29, 2012 1:24 AM
    A portion of those licenses sold were due to consumers being heavy handed and forced to accept win8.
  • 21 Hide
    halcyon , November 29, 2012 1:26 AM
    Windows 8 isn't so bad. ...but certainly not worth a premium over 7. Didn't Vista receive a similar welcoming and look how successful it was. Oh wait...
  • 2 Hide
    kcorp2003 , November 29, 2012 1:31 AM
    my company (prefer not to name) is making the switch to Windows 7 soon. Our team is in charge of making sure all of our proprietary software works when the switch happens. I think we can switch to 8 but the deals are shaky.
  • 6 Hide
    Gundam288 , November 29, 2012 1:54 AM
    halcyonWindows 8 isn't so bad. ...but certainly not worth a premium over 7. Didn't Vista receive a similar welcoming and look how successful it was. Oh wait...

    Vista wasn't that bad after SP1. Even then Vista does not even compare to the changes to Windows that Windows 8 has done compared to Windows 7.

    They Completely changed the way people have used Windows for almost if not over a decade.

    Vista, ME, 98, 95, etc. are used the same way. You have a start menu, desktop, etc. The same can not be said about Windows 8 which has changed the even the basic ways the OS interacts with the user.

    Yes, you can get a start menu thru a 3rd party program and desktop and etc.. But, people expect Windows 8 to be just like 7/Vista/XP/etc.. Also, not many people have touch screens with their desktops which adds another barrier to using it if you are just upgrading.
  • 2 Hide
    chewy1963 , November 29, 2012 2:04 AM
    Gundam288Vista wasn't that bad after SP1. Even then Vista does not even compare to the changes to Windows that Windows 8 has done compared to Windows 7.They Completely changed the way people have used Windows for almost if not over a decade.Vista, ME, 98, 95, etc. are used the same way. You have a start menu, desktop, etc. The same can not be said about Windows 8 which has changed the even the basic ways the OS interacts with the user.Yes, you can get a start menu thru a 3rd party program and desktop and etc.. But, people expect Windows 8 to be just like 7/Vista/XP/etc.. Also, not many people have touch screens with their desktops which adds another barrier to using it if you are just upgrading.


    No matter how you feel about how good/bad Vista was, the marketplace spoke and deemed it crap. The same thing is currently happening with Win 8. Those 40 million copies of Win 8 'sold' since the release include the copies of the OS sitting on store shelves and the new model computers also sitting on the shelves. And this is with all the 'upgrade' specials that Microsoft is running now... It would be interesting to see what percentage of people took up MS on their $15 upgrades on recently sold Win 7 machines. I suspect that number is rather lower than MS expected.
  • 7 Hide
    noreaster , November 29, 2012 2:17 AM
    What are the real functional advantages to Windows 8 vs Windows 7? Greater native hardware support?
    Obviously the UI is the big feature but I view that as more of a marketing gimmick than a practical function. What does Windows 8 allow me to do that I couldn't do on Windows 7? Since Xp, those have been fewer and fewer with each new release.
    I understand the desire by Microsoft to cash in on some of what Apple is reaping with its semi-universal OS but if I am on a traditional desktop or traditional laptop, I really do want a desktop on my PC, I can live without a Start menu but what do I get in return that is so much better?
    Those are the questions Microsoft needs to account for in those environments.
  • 10 Hide
    livebriand , November 29, 2012 2:23 AM
    Fuck Windows 8. If they don't want to put a decent UI on it, no matter how good the kernel is, I am not upgrading.
  • 4 Hide
    tomfreak , November 29, 2012 2:28 AM
    Gundam288Vista wasn't that bad after SP1. Even then Vista does not even compare to the changes to Windows that Windows 8 has done compared to Windows 7.They Completely changed the way people have used Windows for almost if not over a decade.Vista, ME, 98, 95, etc. are used the same way. You have a start menu, desktop, etc. The same can not be said about Windows 8 which has changed the even the basic ways the OS interacts with the user.Yes, you can get a start menu thru a 3rd party program and desktop and etc.. But, people expect Windows 8 to be just like 7/Vista/XP/etc.. Also, not many people have touch screens with their desktops which adds another barrier to using it if you are just upgrading.
    the performance problem in Vista is not fixable. But the Win8 missing startmenu is fixable.

    Compared to win7, win8 does not offer much improvement, but if u are getting a new machine now, it is better to take the cheaper win8 + start8 route than buying the more expensive win7.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2012 2:48 AM
    I wonder if those 40 million licenses happened to include all the licenses to PC vendors for their Win8 products. Maybe customers aren't really buying the actual licenses but rather PC vendors hoping customers will buy their new Win8 PCs. Interesting though.
  • 3 Hide
    bison88 , November 29, 2012 2:51 AM
    Quote:
    Windows 8 has a learning curve, as well as the fact that it's faced "abundant bad press."



    I have a problem with that because in the past year I've heard, read, and watched countless media outlets, journalists, and bloggers rant and rave about how "great" Windows 8 was and most of us who disagreed and pointed out the negative aspects were stuck in the comment sections of all the Pro Windows 8 stories. I definitely do not feel there was an "abundant" amount of negative articles, news pieces, and reviews of the OS throughout its Beta to RTM.
  • 8 Hide
    velocityg4 , November 29, 2012 2:52 AM
    I imagine a large portion of those licenses sold where due to the heavy discounts for the upgrade. Mainly techy people trying it out. I bought it for that reason $40 why not. Also I need to know it so I can help people on support calls and teach them how to use it.

    Frankly as an onsite technician. I think this is the greatest operating system Microsoft ever made. With how reliable and easy Windows was getting with Windows 7 I thought the support market would soon be dead. Now Windows 8 has breathed fresh hope. With how utterly complicated Windows 8 is I envision many more support calls and raising my rate.

    Thank you Microsoft for breathing new life into the support and training market.
  • 5 Hide
    jhansonxi , November 29, 2012 2:59 AM
    M$ is increasing CAL prices 15% for most server products. I wonder how much of that is being used to subsidize Win8 discounts.
  • -1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , November 29, 2012 4:17 AM
    Windows 8 makes me miss Windows Vista.
  • -2 Hide
    darthvidor , November 29, 2012 4:26 AM
    if regular monitors will have touch input, that's when win8 might sell more
  • 2 Hide
    Bloob , November 29, 2012 5:08 AM
    chewy1963No matter how you feel about how good/bad Vista was, the marketplace spoke and deemed it crap. The same thing is currently happening with Win 8. Those 40 million copies of Win 8 'sold' since the release include the copies of the OS sitting on store shelves and the new model computers also sitting on the shelves. And this is with all the 'upgrade' specials that Microsoft is running now... It would be interesting to see what percentage of people took up MS on their $15 upgrades on recently sold Win 7 machines. I suspect that number is rather lower than MS expected.


    There are basically no new models yet. Many of the OEMs have yet to ship any of their Win 8 models, even if there's been quite a bit of hype around them. Even the analyst in the article points that out.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2012 7:23 AM
    As an apple hater, user of microsoft OS since win95 and IT-Admin, I should be first to try out Win8 and do the switch.. but I'm not gonna touch it, since i'm a PC user above all. Good job microsoft....
  • -2 Hide
    john15v16 , November 29, 2012 8:30 AM
    No thank you MS...I'll wait for the release of windows 9...
  • -2 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , November 29, 2012 9:21 AM
    I don't know how many clients i have gotten calls from sp far asking me to put windows 7 on their new pc's that came with windows 8, This reminds me of Windows Vista all over again in terms of the amounts of downgrades i've already did to peoples pc's when they asked for Xp to be put back on their systems. Good for me i'm making profit off of MS's bad OSes. lol
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