Windows 8 was a bold new direction for Microsoft, and the company was certain that the new platform would bring an avalanche of new products to the market soon after the debut of the OS late last year.

But while end consumers around the world are slowly and steadily adopting the operating system, the OEMs have been, some would say, disappointingly sluggish in embracing the platform.

With Windows 8.1 just around the corner, the attention is once again shifting to the Windows ecosystem and how it will perform. Microsoft, for its part, expects many more OEMs to adopt the new operating system this time around.

And as a result, bring as many touch-enabled devices they can to the market.

Nevertheless, the software titan admitted that the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ecosystem was still 18 months behind what it had internally hoped. A Microsoft executive, however, guarantees that partners will catch up really fast and achieve the target.

Talking to The Channel, Janet Gibbons, Microsoft UK and Ireland director of partner strategy and programmes said:

“The OEM ecosystem is still 18 months behind where we want to be but is catching up fast.

In many ways as the expansion of touch devices happens, the iPad device will kind of feel somewhat marginalised, because it is what it is and does what it does, but it’s been a bit leapfrogged by the possibilities of other devices on the Windows platform.”

Microsoft’s Surface tablet has been a bit of a mixed bag. While the Surface Pro is said to be performing as expected when it comes to sales, the Surface RT so far seems that it has failed to excite.

The company is now getting ready to debut updates for both the tablets later this year, along with an 8-inch slate powered by Windows 8.1.

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