Windows 8 sales – feedback from Dell, Acer and Fujitsu

Let’s start with Dell. According to Bloomberg, Michael Dell was vaguely bullish about Windows 8 “interest”. The quote:

“The interest in Windows 8 is quite high, even among commercial customers …”.
Vaguely bullish because Mr. Dell didn’t release any numbers or stats to back that claim up.

What about Acer?

So, according to Digitimes, Jim Wong the president of Acer has a more cautious wait and see attitude. The quote:
As Microsoft did not launch Windows 8 until the end of October – a point where one third of the fourth quarter had already passed – it has left players with only a very short time to promote related products for the year-end holidays and it will also take some time for consumers to develop interest in Windows 8-based products. As a result, vendors are unlikely to know whether consumers are interested in their new products until the sales reports are completed in early December, and the short working period from early December to the end of 2012 will also affect vendors’ strategy planning, resulting in weak performances in the fourth quarter of 2012.
and regarding Windows RT:
As for the Windows RT operating system developed jointly by Microsoft and ARM, although Acer has a plan to release Windows RT-based products, the company’s current strategy is to focus on Windows 8 with x86 architecture since the major demand from Windows users is still related to data management and therefore Acer’s new products in 2012 were mostly x86 architecture based.

And finally, Fujitsu

According to Bloomberg, Fujitsu President Masami Yamamoto told reporters that demand for 8 wasn’t robust. The quote:
Initial appetite for the software, introduced in October, is “weak,” Fujitsu President Masami Yamamoto told reporters in Tokyo yesterday. Slumping demand in Europe amid the sovereign- debt crisis will also erode sales, he said. PC deliveries for the year ending March 31 may be more than 6 million units, compared with an October estimate of 7 million, he said.

So what to make of all this?

The initial reaction to Windows 8 seems to be caution and mild indifference on the part of the consumer. This is only part of a larger decline in PC sales due to the invasion of superior tablets from Google and Apple. Does that mean there’s no hope? I think it’s too early to say but you can bet your ass that we will be watching Microsoft’s sales numbers when they are released. I started out thinking that we would know more after the holiday season of 2012. Microsoft’s claim of 40 million licenses sold has made it a little confusing about evaluating just how well the software is doing. I think we will know more by March/April of 2013 when consumers have had 6 months to fully evaluate and react to the software. If there isn’t a substantial pick up in the next few months, it will be safe to say that Microsoft may need to do some serious thinking about next steps. I still think there are simple steps that can be taken to fix things but Microsoft doesn’t really have a great track record of listening at this point. Because those steps are available and the underlying architecture of Windows 8 is pretty solid, I remain cautiously optimistic that this situation can be remedied. Now, let’s put this all in context, Microsoft can sell 100 million +  licenses of any software simply because they are Microsoft. The real issue is, as a bridge to the future and as the riskiest bet they have ever made, has it been worth it? Windows 8 needs to be viable because it is part of the basic foundation of Microsoft’s consumer technology stack going forward. If it crumbles, the company has a big problem in the years ahead. We’ll revisit the numbers three months from now and see where we all are. Anyway, Happy New Year to you and yours. Have a good time and stay out of trouble. See you in 2013. :-)]]>

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