back to article Will Santa be working overtime to shift Win 8 kit? No. Yes! Maybe

Cash-strapped punters are unlikely to dig deep for a premium-priced Windows 8 PC this Christmas, says Gartner. The bean counter reckons sales into UK channels will be flattish in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year ago when the market slumped by a fifth - the worst decline in half a decade. Clearly Gartner, …

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  1. Matt_payne666

    I should be an analyst... I bet these people get paid more than me!

    I predict sales will happen, irrespective of how good or bad win8 is... Hardware spec isn't a factor for the os, its not a niche, it's the defacto oem shipping os for manufacturers.

    Standard economic factors are what will dictate spending abd in my opinion the big reason consumer sales have slowed is that over the past 4 years, there hasn't been a real need for people to upgrade hardware... Pre core2 machines dated pretty quickly, but anything with that processor and above is more than capable of perfoming all non gaming tasks more than adequately.

    1. EvilGav 1
      Thumb Up

      Exactly!!

      My score on Windows 8 is 6.8 and that is limited by the main drive (which is still an SSD), the CPU scores 7.1 (a Q6600 from the quarter they were released) and the GPU scores 8.1.

      Why on earth would I update the hardware to a whole new PC?

    2. Mikel
      FAIL

      Microsoft will declare victory

      They have sold a great deal of Software Assurance and Enterprise Agreements and will present those as W8 sales even though A scant 5% of those licensees intend to install the software ever - And they buy 2x seats to keep the BSA away.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft will declare victory

        You have a Linux smell around you...

        x million downloads of Linux distros, but 99% of those were windows users checking out their download speed with a big file that nobody actually uses...

        Linux desktop - the operating system you cannot even give away...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft will declare victory

          "x million downloads of Linux distros, but 99% of those were windows users checking out their download speed with a big file that nobody actually uses.."

          It is common that Windows users use the wrong tool for the job. You might want to check out speedtest.net and stop wasting money for people distributing an OS you clearly have no interest in.

  2. James Gosling
    Holmes

    Personally....

    I hope it sinks like a stone. Microsoft need to face humility before they can change into a more positive company and a key part of that is getting rid of Steve Ballmer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personally....

      Yep so do I. Love to see them have to eat humble pie over the Fisher Price interface that desktop users are forced to endure for absolutely no fucking practical reason.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personally....

      A positive company...? What hippie crack are you smoking...?

      You want them to turn into a freakshow like Apple? Or an advertising super-data mining corp like Google..?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obviously

    This is why they can never hope to beat Apple: they are trying to beat Apple. As such, they will never ever come up with something that is beyond Apple, like a new product or service. If all you're doing is copying your biggest competitor, then all you get to compete on is price, and Apple has that part locked down pretty good.

    1. pixl97

      Re: Obviously

      It's been a while now, but Microsoft almost beat Apple. It wasn't until Jobs came back and developed new and exciting Apple was on the verge of non-existence. It is yet to be seen if the Jobsless Apple can continue to develop new products, or if they will become the bureaucracy they once were. If they don't develop new products, Microsoft and Google will take over their market with time.

    2. Mikel

      Re: Obviously

      Asked the secret of his success Wayne Gretsky replied (paraphrased): "The other guys skate toward the puck. I skate toward where I think the puck is going to be."

      1. spidercrab
        FAIL

        Re: Obviously

        "The other guys skate toward the puck. I skate toward where I think the puck is going to be."

        Unfortunately, I don't think that Steve Ballmer even knows what a puck is. His solution for success is to get off the ice and smack rugby balls with a golf club, from the goal posts into the center of the pitch. Sadly there is not one Microsoft employee with the pucks to get him to understand what needs to be done.

        I have a houseful of XP with Office 2003, machines that I was considering upgrading. BUT - MS wants me to buy a WIndows 8 for each machine for £25 each, a new copy of Office for each, and reinstall all of my programs on each machine. That will take hours and hours and I am still unaware of a compelling reason to upgrade. There was a time when I would always upgrade to the latest MS OS because of real tangible benefits. That stopped at XP. Shame on Microsoft.

  4. Mark C Casey

    Done my tech buying

    I've done my tech buying for the year and honestly why would I switch to Windows 8 anyway? There's no incentive to switch, I get an inferior experience from Windows 7.

    Bought a few toys this year like a Nexus 7, an SSD for the pc etc. My next purchase will not be Windows 8, i'll see what Windows 9 is like for my next OS update. Heck, I could even end up on Ubuntu for all I know by that point.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: I get an inferior experience from Windows 7.

      Then upgrade to windows 8!

      1. Mark C Casey

        Re: I get an inferior experience from Windows 7.

        You misread, what I'm saying is by switching from windows 7 to windows 8 I'm getting an inferior experience.

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: you misread.

          Hey, don't blame me for your crap sentence construction! What I did was read the words you've written. I know you meant to say "I get an inferior experience with Windows 8 than with Windows 7" but that's not what you said. You said "I get an inferior experience from windows 7". Those words in that order mean that Windows 7 gives you an inferior experience. You should have used "compared to" instead of "from".

  5. billium
    FAIL

    I've only seen one Win8 pc, and that was an Acer laptop. It was broken, waiting to be returned, .. something about UEFI security not seeing a proper boot device.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      I hate to be pedantic (well, actually I love to be pedantic....) but:

      If it couldn't boot an OS because of the UEFI, it's not a Windows 8 laptop, it's just a lump of hardware.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No touch screen ?

    Then W8 is a complete pain in the ass. It's really inconvenient to use with only a keyboard and mouse.

    Has Ballmer seen the prices of a 22in touch screen or a 15in laptop touch screen ? We are not all billionaires Steve.

  7. James 51
    Joke

    I am pretty sure people will pay a premium, but they have to see Windows 8 and experience it.

    See above.

  8. Joe K
    Trollface

    Dooooooooooooooooom

    The days of the average couch potato needing a full laptop are over, these people only ever use email, facebook and twitter anyway, and your £159-£300 tablet does all that just fine, without the headaches of Microsoft OS's.

    This upgrade cycle will not be like the last.

  9. 20legend

    could be because Win 8 sucks balls..........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ball sucking

      Actually for that, you should go iPad..

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/26/ipad_fleshlight_design/

  10. DrXym Silver badge

    I think I'd avoid a Windows 8 PC

    At least unless the PC came with a touch screen and / or Microsoft fix Windows 8 and stop treating keyboard / mice PCs like illegitimate ginger step children.

  11. EvilGav 1
    Facepalm

    Oh dear

    I see a good portion of the commentards on here haven't actually used Win 8 yet.

    Inferior to Windows 7? It's faster on the same hardware. Different, yes; inferior, no.

    Inconvenient to use with keyboard and mouse? Errr, why? It has a start screen instead of a start menu (press and release windows key alone, just like all Windows versions since Win 95), which allows for a larger clearer display of all your applications. It's actually more convenient to use than Windows 7, as above it's just different.

    Win 8 sucks balls? Well, that's a well thought out argument.

    As for an incentive? It's currently £24.99 to buy the download upgrade (to Win 8 Pro no less), cheaper than Windows 7 was offered for and history suggests that'll be for a 3 year lifecycle with all updates thrown in for free, you can even get the Media Centre for free just now as well. That download can be burnt as a stand-alone build disk, rather than as an update disk as well.

    Rather than vague arguments as to what's wrong with it, actually state specifically what's wrong with it from your experience and not from what some blogger has told you about it. I and a number of my friends have now upgraded and after the initial niggles of "where the hell have they moved x to this time" (which they did in the move from Win 98 to XP and the move from XP to Vista *and* the move from Vista to 7), it's a very nice OS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear

      Interesting shill attempt, but please try harder. "I and a number of my friends have now upgraded" - you mean you and your colleagues at the local grey MS Borg Cube have had it foisted on you.

      1. EvilGav 1
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Oh dear @AC 12:56

        Shill? Nope, not even slightly.

        Unlike you I haven't posted anonymously, feel free to view the posting history on a variety of different topics when I find them interesting.

        I, of my own free will and volition, chose to install Windows 8 on my home PC. I get no commendation from anyone for making this comment, nor do I receive any inducement to make this comment or any others I may make.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear

      I have Windows 8 on a laptop and yes in my opinion it is inferior, at least for mouse and keyboard behaviour.

      This can be seen in some very straightforward ways.

      1. I run the weather app which has about 3 screens arranged horizontally. Since I have a mouse I must wheel across to see the other screens and so *oops* the middle screen contains a large a vertical scroll panel and by wheeling over now my mouse is over it and Win8 is sending mouse wheels to the vertical scroll panel. So I was scrolling horizontally and now I'm not.

      2. I want to pin several apps to the start menu. I must right mouse click, mouse down to click All apps, mousewheel over about 4 horizontal screens of apps to find the one I want to pin, right click on it, mouse down to the bottom strip and choose Pin to Start. But I said I wanted to pin several apps - do you suppose I can multi select apps with right clicks and pin them all at once? No of course not because that would be really useful. I must repeat this bloody process once for every app.

      3. Wheeling over a multiple screen when I have large monitor is boring and makes no sense. Can Can I zoom out the start menu to spare me this effort? Of course not. I can get a 1000ft view, or close up, but zoom? No, too useful.

      4. Another way to spare me the pain and suffering of wheeling is if I can organize tiles into groups. Naturally this is not supported either despite the fact that other touch based operating systems manage to do it pretty nicely.

      5. I've just run the weather app and now I want to flip back to an app I have running in desktop mode. I mouse over to the left side of the screen were some new app picker comes up. Is it there? Of course not. I have a "Desktop" thumbnail but not for apps within the desktop. So I must click Desktop, and then do a second navigation from the task bar to find it. Extra mouse travel because clearly Weather apps need greater prominence in the UI than trivial apps like Eclipse, consoles, browsers etc.

      6. Can I multiple select tiles with a rubber band or similar in the start menu. No I must manually right click on each and often discover the action I wish to do is not available for multiply selected icons.

      7. I want to launch VirtualBox with an Ubuntu image. In Windows 7 I'd have an icon with a recent documents history so I could do it with a hover and a click. Now I have to manually do this in multiple steps in a different way for each app. More time.

      8. Mousewheeling up and down to scroll side to side is counterintuitive anyway.

      I could go on listing things like this. Basically Windows 8 involves a LOT more mouse travel and clicking that Windows 7 ever did. While I don't object to Metro per se it is half baked for "classic" machines and it is clear to me MS went straight for tablet land and filled out some perfunctory mouse and keyboard behaviour for everyone else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh dear

        I got a MS touch mouse (currently £25 from amazon) it deals with the vast majority of the not having a touchscreen issues.

    3. Wade Burchette
      Stop

      Re: Oh dear

      Why is that every time someone says "I hate Windows 8", there has to be someone who comes along and says "I see you don't use Windows 8."

      Uh, WRONG! I installed Windows 8. I played with it. My hatred for it comes from personal experience. For example: in Windows 7 type "uninstall". You will get "uninstall a program" on the start menu. Do the same in Windows 8. The only thing that will appear are shortcuts with uninstall in the title. So now instead of just typing "uninstall" and clicking on the first icon that appears, now I have to type "control panel" and look for "programs and features". What was once one step is now 2 longer steps. I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how to close IE10 in Metro (or whatever it is called) mode; never did. And I have more. Type "system restore" in Windows 8 and tell me what comes up. My hatred for Windows 8 comes from using Windows 8. By the way, I tried typing "uninstall" and "system restore" on both retail Windows 8 Pro and TechNet Windows 8 Enterprise.

      Windows 8 is not all bad. I like the performance improvements. But now the time saved booting is more than wasted by the time to do anything meaningful. Microsoft just forgot than a hammer is not a screwdriver. You don't make a hammer something it is not so you don't put a screw in with a hammer. A desktop or laptop is not a tablet. You don't make a desktop something it is not. Different tools have different purposes.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear

      Sadly, you have to remember that 'The Register' is nothing more than a blog infested by Linux acolytes... anything Microsoft has to be converted to 'M$'...

      Apparently anything to do with with a Windows release is yet another opportunity for Linux to fail to do anything,... which they seem to be grasping eagerly through their keyboards, and have practiced for many, many years...

      1. RICHTO
        Mushroom

        Re: Oh dear

        Well all those old timers with outdated skills have to do something now that the UNIX boxes they managed for years are being replaced in most places by Windows Servers.

        There will always be a cheapskate market section that would rather go through lots of pain and have a higher run admin cost, have ten times the security vulnerabilities to evaluate / patch, etc. than pay for a Windows licencing fee...so the single digit Linux market share will likely see them into retirement...

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. foo_bar_baz

          Re: Oh dear

          And RICHTO the MS shill arrives on cue to prove my point, firmly in his alternative reality.

          http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linux-servers-keep-growing-windows-and-unix-keep-shrinking/10616

          1. RICHTO
            Mushroom

            Re: Oh dear

            Nice selective quote. Shame for you it doesnt represent the long term or reality:

            http://blogs.computerworld.com/16263/windows_widens_lead_over_linux_in_the_server_market

            http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS22998411

            http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23665812

            http://www.serverwatch.com/server-news/idc-worldwide-server-revenues-sluggish-but-still-up.html

            http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23347812

            1. foo_bar_baz

              Re: Oh dear

              Yes, revenue and sales. Windows tends to lead on those when the competition is mostly free. We have 300 Linux instances and several dozen Windows in our setup. The former cost nothing, so obviously Windows must be more popular since it brought more revenue and sales. D'oh.

              1. RICHTO
                Mushroom

                Re: Oh dear

                Firstly Linux is not free compared to Windows unless your time is of no value.

                Secondly anyone that uses standard Enteprrise distributions of Linux such as SUSE, Redhat, etc, will be paying licensing fees for support that cost far more than the equivalent Windows server version + support. Plus these reports discuss hardware revenue by OS - not just OS revenue.

                Thirdly - what has Linux to do with it anyway? - I stated that Windows Server was growing market share at the expense of UNIX. Which is demonstrably correct for at least the last decade.

                I would expect with the major web server fixes in Server 2012 (for instance how it handles high numbers of SSL certs) that will start to take chunks out of the Linux web server market too, by all those hosters fed up with being constantly hacked and defaced on Linux...

                1. foo_bar_baz

                  Re: Oh dear

                  It's all relevant because you talked about single percentage figure share for Linux, when in fact Linux has 20ish percent server "market" share based on the very articles you link to. It's not just cheapskates who to for Linux, it's people who appreciate quality and control.

                  Cost is relevant because you tried to demonstrate superior Windows share based on sales figures - please read the articles you link to. Secondly, as I said, we use a zero purchase/support cost Linux distro. TCO was not the issue, even though you assertion there is bollox too. Plenty of excellent tools from Satellite/Spacewalk to puppet and cfengine to make maintenance a diddle.

                  Fair point about hardware. Note however, that like us many shops use virtualization so the hardware is a separate cost from OS licenses. In fact Linux saves us hardware costs because we can run more Linux virtual machines on far less CPU and RAM compared to Windows.

                  I'd be very interested in seeing how many UNIX shops migrate to Windows vs. Linux. I appreciate that Microsoft has improved their game significantly - largely if not solely due to competition from Linux - but that strikes like a strange example to pick.

      2. foo_bar_baz
        Linux

        Re: Oh dear

        These boards are infested with shils and opinionated socially dysfunctional nerds of every description. That includes MS, Apple and Google mouthpieces as well as Linux fanbois.

        I've made my living from Linux and open source for some years, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy using Windows 7 on home PC, the Mac I bought for my missus, or my Android phone. Linux on the desktop serves me perfectly well at work. These are just tools, not something you validate your identity or self worth through.

        I'll buy a Win 8 license upgrade, it's so cheap I'd be stupid not to. A McDonald's visit in cost for several years' support.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 works.

    So I moved back from Apple to windows recently, having built my PC from scratch.

    Windows 8 was just released, so I picked that.

    Yes, it's different, but in no way is it inferior.

    Yes, you get a big shiny touch freindly not-metro interface, but on the desktop mode (which is full fat, not hobled like the RT version) you get your all singing all dancing classic Windows machine.

    Want your old start menu back? Fine - just install one of the myriad stat menu replacements that work exactly as it did in the 'good old days'.

    But why woudl I? Metro makes things much esier to find - and much more fluid and dynamic.

    There's a lot brimming under the surface, such as consolidated storage, a better backup, smarter task switching etc, but its far from the broken mess that some here think it is.

    That said, there's not enough to persuade us to install it en mass on our PC estate at work - and I doubt many will for some time. Windows 7 was a big jump and lots was invested in that, nobody is going to start that all over again for a year or two at least.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8 works.

      I think you hit the nail on the head: It's different.

      A very large proportion of people who work in IT find it very difficult to deal with step change. Incremental changes, such as things getting faster, having more RAM, etc. etc. can be dealt with, but a new UI? Forget it, it's going to be a bitch fest about everything that's wrong with it, real and imaginary.

      One of the most common retorts to this accusation is: "I'm happy with change, when change is needed, but this is just change for the sake of change." This is, of course, a lame way to weasel out of the argument and try to present the person making the comment as willing to accept "good" change, however they never are.

      1. Chika

        Re: Windows 8 works.

        Have tried Windows 8: Yes I have

        Found it counter intuitive to use in a desktop/laptop environment: Yes I did

        Considered that it might be better to split between touch environments and traditional environments: Yes I did

        Already have a perfectly good PC so don't need to buy new: Yes I do and no I don't.

        Windows 7 was already a bit of a leap because of the number of legacy systems I use that needed fettling to get to work (or just a complete replacement). With all the work done now, why would I spend my time moving again?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "This is, of course, a lame way to weasel out of the argument "

    What argument ? You are just putting forward a viewpoint ( facile in my opinion )

    The world isn't obliged to immediately buy someone's new product, indeed it would be the height of stupidity to do so.

    Maybe MS should introduce a new GUI every couple of months - a fool and his money ......

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...to shift Win 8 kit? No. Yes! Maybe

    I don't know,

    Can you repeat the question?

    You're not the boss of me now...

  15. Enrico Vanni
    Mushroom

    I feel sorry for....

    ...those who will buy a new PC in the next 18 months and be lumbered with Windows 8, in the same way as I feel for those friends and family who curse the VIsta their otherwise perfectly serviceable machine came with and (rightly) feel they shouldn't have to spend on a 7 upgrade.

    Windows 8 - the bastard operating system with added identity crisis.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Enrico Vanni

      Re: Win 8 is lighter on hardware.

      So it beats XP on security? No shit, so does Vista and 7. It beats 7 on hardware issues? Again, no shit but not something most users are going to care about when whatever microseconds saved as a result are swamped by the cumulative hours wasted on the clunky unintuitive user interface. Just accept it - Microsoft have dropped a bollock on this one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Win 8 is lighter on hardware.

        Research has already shown that someone who has never used a PC before finds Windows 8 easier and faster to work with than Windows 7....

        1. Vic

          Re: Win 8 is lighter on hardware.

          > someone who has never used a PC before

          How many of them do you meet?

          Vic.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Have you heard the rumours yet?

    "Will Santa be working overtime to shift Win 8 kit? No. Yes! Maybe"

    Rumour has it that Microsoft donated (yes, you heard right) a whole Windows 8 infrastructure (dozens of PC's running Windows 8 Professional and Office 2012, and a server with Windows Server 2012 on it) and even helped Santa replace his old stuff (though unfortunately it was never revealed what Santa was using).

    But here's the thing... Rumour now has it that Santa's now working major overtime just to try and meet his schedule. Unfortunately the old guy doesn't seem to know how you can make shortcuts on the desktop or the taskbar because he tries to copy stuff from the metro void. To make matters worse; he even seems to have a tendency to get lost in the metro void everytime he starts it.

    Here's hoping Santa will still make it in time for Christmas eve....

    (man, that would make a really cool geeky Christmas story IMO ;-))

    1. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      Re: Have you heard the rumours yet?

      Well you can bet that it was a superior choice to a 'Gnome' based desktop or he wouldnt have accepted it. Father Christmas is after all in a good position to know.....

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Have you heard the rumours yet?

        Richto stop going into those overdrives, you are not helping your employer.

  18. Monty Burns

    I don't get it.....

    As this is a tech website, chances are you are some sort of techie which means you probably have your own copies of licensed O/S and are happy to install it.....

    So why bitch and moan about something thats not YOUR problem? Don't like Windows 8? Don't use it! No one is forcing YOU to use it.

    Home users are a diferent issue of course but then, doesn't everyone know an IT geek who can just change it for them?

    And for the sake of the children! Stop identifying yourselves with the hardware/software you use.... really? Everone is diferent and some will like something, other won't. I don't like iOS but I don't go around saying its shit, quite the oposite infact, i'd recommend it for a lot of my less techie friends/relatives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it.....

      I do agree with your general thrust, the geekly tribes are ridiculous... however there is a real problem coming down the road for "consumer" end-users.

      Monty, we can't just change it for them unless they have bought machines with the Windows 'Pro' edition (try finding those in PC World/Tesco/etc. or even explaining why it may be worthwhile spending extra for a downgradeable version). It's just not economical to spend another £100+ buying a second, downgradeable, license for a typical consumer machine (not sure whether Windows anytime upgrade licensing would be cheaper and still have downgrade rights....)

      And since work environments are typically XP or W7, even for those who use computers at work they aren't going to be getting the training and support needed to get up that UI learning curve.

      So for people like this the Apple proposition is definitely more appropriate than Windows. .As the Italians used to say, "at least Mussolini made the trains run on time". Much the same is true of Apple - they want to control everything, and are prone to stupid bombastic self-imprtant stuff (lawsuit idiocy), but for the point-n-drool end user *it just works*.

      1. Monty Burns

        Re: I don't get it.....

        "It's just not economical to spend another £100+ buying a second, downgradeable, license for a typical consumer machine"

        I was under the impression that Windows 8 gave you a downgradeable license?

  19. Obvious Robert
    FAIL

    Touch Win8

    I had my first opportunity to have a go on a touch enabled Win8 machine over the weekend. Excuse my language, but it was fucking shite. Unlike Android which I find intuitive, iOS which I don't like so much but is still easy to use, Win 8 touch was a nightmare, I felt like I fought the OS rather than used it. By contrast I actually found the mouse/keyboard interaction easier, not that I could ever recommend it to anyone what with it still being totally unintuitive and a complete abomination of design.

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