Initial Windows 8 Sales Indicate More Hard Times For Dell, H-P, and Intel


Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) was touting that it had already sold some 40 million copies of Windows 8 in recent days. Apparently that is not very good. NPD Group has a report out showing that the Windows-based PC and tablet market has not seen a boost from Windows 8 in the United States. The latest research from NPD Group showed that Windows device sales were down by 21% versus the same period of October 21 to November 17 last year.

The Weekly Tracking Service does not bode well for Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) nor for Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ). Both PC giants are struggling to find their footing and both companies are trying to get further and further away from the dependence upon the PC market. The news may also prove to be a downer for Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) at a time that it is struggling to gain relevance in the mobile processing market. Notebooks are down by 24% and the desktop sales have fallen by "only" 9%.

NPD Group said that it is too early to blame the weakness of the PC market on Windows 8 with the holiday season ahead. Still, NPD's team did say that it has been clear that Windows 8 "did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for."

The firm showed that Windows 8 has captured about 58% of Windows computing device unit sales since its launch. By comparison, Windows 7 units accounted for a whopping 83% of new unit sales in the four weeks after its launch. NPD further noted that Windows 8 tablet sales are almost non-existent as they are less than 1% of all Windows 8 device sales so far.

One caveat thrown out was that a poor Back-to-School cycle left a lot of inventory in the channel and it hurt initial sell-through rates for Windows 8. On the other hand it is the Windows 8 notebooks with touchscreens which accounted for 6% of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of $867. NPD showed that this is helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market.

Average selling prices of Windows computing devices have jumped significantly this year, to $477 versus $433 over last year. Some $80 of that has been attributed to Windows 8 and touchscreens. Even Windows 8 desktop saw average selling prices rise almost 10%.

The data on some of these figures did exclude sales of Microsoft Surface. It is also based upon a subset panel of retailers which contribute to the data. Still, this is not exactly a strong endorsement for the newest version of Windows.


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