Tag Archives: Windows 8

How’s Windows 8 Doing After Its Launch?

4 Dec

As we wrote in late October, Microsoft has a lot riding on its new Windows 8 operating system. The company has a huge financial investment on the line, as well as its reputation as an industry leader and innovator.

So, should Microsoft be concerned that early results are “sagging”? Steven Jones and Shira Ovide report for the Wall Street Journal that: “The company’s executives and some PC makers have said they didn’t expect a fast start for Windows 8 PCs and tablets. For one, corporations are the biggest buyers of Windows computers, often taking a year or more to upgrade to new versions of Windows. Still, a slow start for Windows 8 fuels worries that the operating system won’t be the catalyst for reviving PC sales, which have slowed sharply as consumers have opted for tablet computers, such as Apple’s iPad. The continued sag of Windows PC sales despite a wave of new devices ‘raises questions about whether this is a transitional issue, or have we seen a leg down in core PC demand,’ said Rick Sherlund, an analyst with Nomura Securities. Windows 8 comes with an interface designed for tablets and laptop or desktop PCs that have touchscreens. It also works with a traditional keyboard and mouse. Some industry executives predict that consumers will take time to get used to touching laptop screens, just like displays on tablets and smartphones. But the new interface takes time to learn, analysts add, and touchscreens increase hardware prices. Also, many PC makers have yet to roll out a full complement of PCs and tablets with touchscreens. NPD found that touchscreen devices with Windows 8 sold well but made up just 6% of notebook sales at an average price of $867. Partly for that reason, average selling prices for Windows devices rose to $477 from $433 a year earlier, NPD said. That is good news for PC makers weary of consumers buying low-cost computers.”

Click the chart to read more from Jones and Ovide.


Marketing Laptops in a Complex Market Space

25 Nov

What is a laptop computer? This used to be a straightforward question to answer: a portable personal computer. But, today the way laptops are marketed and bought is rapidly changing.

As Walter Mossberg reports for the Wall Street Journal: “Just when you thought it was safe to shop for a new laptop, a fresh problem stands in the way of laptop buyers: confusion. The shelves are now filled with shiny new PCs and Macs running revamped operating systems, but it’s suddenly more complicated to choose a new laptop, especially for Windows shoppers. There always have been some core differences among the many Windows laptops and Apple’s AAPL +1.74% MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops. Now, with the release of the new Windows 8 operating system, there is an even more fundamental difference. MacBooks remain traditional laptops, controlled by touch pads and keyboards. Apple has kept the Mac separate from its touch-screen computer, the market-dominating iPad tablet. But Windows 8 laptops combine the two approaches, with two different user environments in the same computer. One is the traditional Windows desktop mode, best used with a touch pad or mouse and a keyboard. The other is the Start Screen mode, which operates like a tablet, has tablet-like apps and is best used with a touch screen.”

Click the image for a video with Mossberg’s tips on laptops.

Source: Microsoft


Microsoft Bets the House on Windows 8

26 Oct

To some, it’s hard to believe that Microsoft was once the world’s most valuable company. In fact, in inflation-adjusted dollars, Microsoft’s total market value of $616 billion in 1999 is still the record (yes, even higher than Apple today, in real dollars). However, Microsoft’s current market value is less than $240 billion.

Although Microsoft is still the leading company in operating system software, Internet browsers, and office software, it is a limited presence in the mobile, tablet, and other markets compared to Apple, Google, and others. And the PC demand for software is declining as PC sales give way to other forms of hardware.

Thus, TODAY is a R-E-A-L-L-Y BIG DAY for Microsoft. It is the official launch of Windows, a breakthrough operating system that is modern, uses touch-screen technology, and is made for the mobile era. Yet, long-time users may be confused over how Windows 8 actually works and be concerned about the loss of some features with which they are comfortable (such  as the Start button).

Microsoft’s goals are to not only drive its own sales but to stimulate PC sales and generate consumer enthusiasm.

Here’s Shira Ovide’s  take on Microsoft’s strategy for the Wall Street Journal: “Microsoft spent billions of dollars and more than three years remodeling its flagship product. Now the hard work begins: Getting consumers, software developers, and other allies excited about Windows again. The software giant on Thursday formally introduced the touch-oriented overhaul of the operating system that powers nine out of every 10 computers in the world and goes on sale Friday October 26. Microsoft’s new Windows 8 software is widely viewed as a test of whether the PC-era kingpin can become a factor in new-wave mobile devices — not just tablets but convertible devices that can operate in clamshell or slate-style modes. Microsoft says more than 1,000 new computers and tablets have been designed around Windows 8. The company and its allies are counting on Windows 8 to juice computer sales, which have hit their worst patch in more than a decade.”

Click the chart to see an interesting WSJ video on Windows 8.

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