NPD: Windows 8 not yet providing boost to slow PC market

Microsoft is pretty happy about how Windows 8 is doing, but 40 million license sales isn't exactly translating to a boon for the PC market. According to NPD, sales of Windows-powered devices are 21 percent lower than they were during the same time period last year -- October 21 through November 17. Of course, Windows 8 didn't actually hit shelves until the 26th, which may have skewed the numbers a bit as consumers held out for the latest and greatest from Redmond. The weakness of the desktop and laptop market are partially to blame, but while license sales for Windows 8 are outpacing its predecessor, there is some cause for concern. Specifically that, after a few weeks, the touch friendly revamp of the OS is only shipping on about 58 percent of new machines. Four weeks after the launch of Windows 7, it was preloaded on 83 percent of new hardware. Worse yet, according to the NPD, tablet sales "have been almost non-existent." Of course, things could pick up as we enter the holiday season, but it's not entirely clear that Windows 8 will be able to lift the sagging PC market on its back. The full PR awaits you after the break.

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Windows 8 Gets off to a Slow Start, According to The NPD Group
The consumer Windows PC and tablet market* didn't get the boost it needed from the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 in the U.S.

Port Washington, NY (PRWEB) November 29, 2012

The consumer Windows PC and tablet market* didn't get the boost it needed from the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 in the U.S. Since the Windows 8 launch on October 26, Windows device sales have fallen 21 percent versus the same period last year**, according to leading market research company The NPD Group's Weekly Tracking Service***. Notebooks, which have been weak throughout most of 2012, saw that trend continue as they fell 24 percent. Desktop sales have fared better this year, dropping just 9 percent.

"After just four weeks on the market, it's still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "We still have the whole holiday selling season ahead of us, but clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for."

Since its launch, Windows 8 has captured just over half (58 percent) of Windows computing device unit sales, compared to the 83 percent Windows 7 accounted for four weeks after that launch. Windows 8 tablet sales have been almost non-existent, with unit sales representing less than 1 percent of all Windows 8 device sales to date.
"The bad Back-to-School period left a lot of inventory in the channel, which had a real impact on the initial sell-through rates for Windows 8," said Baker. "The strong performance of Windows 8 notebooks with touchscreens, where Windows 8 truly shines, offers some reason for optimism. These products accounted for 6 percent of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of $867 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. Last year, overall ASP was $433 while this year's ASP over the past four weeks has risen to $477. Windows 8 notebooks have seen a nearly $80 rise in selling prices versus the prior year, propelled by the aforementioned strong performance of touchscreen devices and a solid uptick in the pricing on mainstream notebooks. Windows 8 desktop ASPs were also strong with selling prices up nearly 10 percent, driven by the same factors as notebook sales.

*Excludes sales of Microsoft Surface.

**Windows 8 initial four week launch sales include the time period of October 21 – November 17, 2012.

***NPD's weekly POS information is derived from a subset panel of retailers that also contribute to NPD's projected monthly POS panel.