Windows 8 was tasked with the uncanny job of lifting up sales of PCs when it launched last year, and even the recently released Windows 8.1 is seen by some as an operating platform that can potentially lend a hand to the declining PC market.

And one of the most important parts of the puzzle is the emphasis on touch capabilities that Microsoft’s new operating systems bring — and luckily this is something that vendors have started to embrace.

But according to the latest numbers by NPD DisplaySearch, things are going to be rather slow in the near future when it comes to the penetration of touch capable notebooks.

In the first half of 2013, for example, total shipments of notebooks with touchscreens came in at 6.2 million units, which accounted for some 7 percent of all laptop sales. And this year shipments of such devices is on track to hit numbers of 19.8 million units — an 11 percent share of the market.

As Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch put it:

“Touch penetration in notebooks was modest in the first half of the year, and we expect a slight increase to 10% in the second half. Premium pricing and a lack of compelling uses for touch screens on notebooks continue to hinder adoption.

As touch interfaces become increasingly common across all mobile devices, however, it is just a matter of time before the technology also becomes more prevalent in notebooks.”

Things are only expected to radically improve by 2017, whereby touch enabled notebooks are likely to account for a 40 percent share of the overall pie. Still, despite market expectations like this, Microsoft and its hardware partners seem keen on highlighting the advantages of touch on notebooks.

And if consumers take to the several smaller and affordable touch enabled laptops that are starting to hit store shelves, we may just be in for some pleasant surprises later this year or the next.

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  • Ray C

    Still there was growth