PC sales have crumbled, and it’s all because Microsoft fumbled Windows 8, says a Context report
Computer manufacturers, distributors, resellers and retailers screwed up their chances of a mini revival of the PC market by mishandling the launch of Windows 8, according to a Context market report.
The latest study of Western European distribution data shows that all PC form factors continued to decline in the early second quarter of 2013. But there are signs that the launch of Windows 8 could have rejuvenated the genre, if the products had been marketed more skilfully, said Context analysts.
Do not touch
“Demand for Windows 8 was not channelled particularly skilfully; with mixed press prior to launch, insufficient marketing activity at store level, and scant availability of touch systems,” said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior PC analyst at Context.
As a result the decline in the PC market was more dramatic than it needed to be. There had been positive signs over the period studied, with clamshell notebooks sales holding up, though still showing a small drop in sales figures.
However, the Windows 7/Windows 8 step-up scheme was a hit with customers. This offered a free licence upgrade to the new operating system for those investing in pre-installed Windows 7 and created a surge in demand, said the analyst, reporting an adoption rate for Windows 8 in the Windows consumer segment that reached 95 percent by mid-May across Western Europe.
Samsung, HP, Sony and Toshiba achieved the highest Windows 8 shares in their Windows consumer portfolios in mid-May. But the potency of Windows 8 as a PC flagship was undermined by the clumsy way in which channel marketing was conducted, says Context.
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