While the official sales figures for Windows 8 are yet to be revealed, industry insiders have noted that sales of the new operating system are unexpectedly low. In fact, Microsoft is said to be already disappointed with Windows 8 sales.

How much of that is because of the quick success of Windows 7, and how much of that is because of the radical changes in Windows 8 is up for debate.

Official figures may not be out, but Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer did say a little while back that the company managed to sell 4 million units of Windows 8 in the first week. But that is all we have for now.

The Vice President of NPD Group, Stephen Baker talking to AllThingsD said that Windows 8 was a bit of a failure in the sense that everybody had high expectations given the very strong launch of Windows 7 a few years back.

“I would say that Win 8 has had a faster ramp than Win 7 since launch, but Win 7 had a much stronger launch,” Baker was noted as saying. “When Win 7 was released the retail channel was fairly clean with few Vista systems remaining. This year, there was a lot of older inventory that needed to sell through before Win 8 product could really start to sell. That is slowly fixing itself as Win 8 keeps growing each week. But it started off with a much weaker share of volume than Win 7 did.”

One thing is clear: Windows 8 has failed to achieve the success that the previous iteration of Windows accomplished right off the blocks.

It will pull in the numbers (it has the unconquered tablet frontier on its side), but my guess is that it will take a fair while.

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  • Jenn

    I think a lot of the issue with the sales of Windows 8 being low is a lack of understanding of how it works. National retailers are beginning to give courses on how to use it in an effort to boost the sales – which I think is great! What else could be contributing to the low sales numbers?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-Campbell/100002288284461 Edward Campbell

    As a reactionary 60-year-old non-techie, I have given Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and downloaded the Windows 8 Preview-thingy. It is currently the only system on my new PC that hasn’t self-destructed. My Windows XP and Windows 7, as usual, have
    committed seppuku over the last few months, in two bloodied partitions.

    However, one cosmic caveat I will always level at Microsoft, until it emerges at street level, instead of remaining aloof on Mount Olympus, is the way it operates at far too many levels within the O/S for the average person to navigate their stored information efficiently. “Where are my files? Where has Windows hidden the last thing I was working on”? “Why do I feel the desire to assassinate Bill Gates for wasting mine, and millions of other people’s billions of hours, struggling to keep working, a technically-rigid fix for a fuzzy-logic storage need – the desire to record and retrieve information in a simple and fool proof manner?

    We used to have filing cabinets and picture albums, cine film and vinyl records. Their limits were determined by finite storage space. Now, all we have to do is buy an additional 2 TB drive, to house enough information to fill a further public library. If only
    we could access the stuff easily! Call me ‘old-fashioned’.

    How many times have you seen this notice? Windows stored a file only to tell you:


    Another typical Windows perversity is WMP for Windows 8, which still comes without a DVD player to this day, like its predecessors – let alone a Blu-ray player, god forbid.

    To use an American mean-street business expression, “I expect to get screwed; however, I resent the fact that they don’t even kiss you first”.

    As ever, without training and the gift of a photographic short-term memory, Windows 8 still feels like trying to guess what lies between the layers of 1″ thick plywood: What colour? What texture? In what direction is the grain running? As with the nature of plywood, it is set out as a supreme engineering-strength solution, with crisscrossing grain, for maximum resistance to breaking – could the same analogy be used to charitably describe Windows 8? Except that Windows 8 still usually breaks with no indication of where and at what layer the system broke, in the eyes of the average user.

    Similarly, as with all modern cars, one now requires a laptop and a fault-finding program to resolve engine-running problems – where previously it was typically sorted by the deft twist of an adjustment screw on a carburettor – to fix the emissions failure for an MOT test.

    However, despite the inherent strength and stability of multilayer plywood, most people prefer a solid piece of wood for aesthetic reasons, and because of its organic homogeneity. Unless glued with boil-proof adhesive, plywood tends to de-laminate once it gets wet, like Windows 8 today in all its iterations when it develops a fault.