back to article What can save the Xmas PC market? Not Windows 8, say analysts

Analysts are lining up to denounce Microsoft's latest OS, claiming Windows 8 has been slow out of the blocks. The NPD Group estimates that in the four weeks since Microsoft coughed the software it was on 58 per cent of devices sold - compared to the 83 per cent achieved by Windows 7 after its launch. Stephen Baker, veep at …


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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Call the Wizard of Hope!

    I'm sure Mr Obama can order change into this morose outlook.

    1. Tom 35

      Re: Call the Wizard of Hope!

      Can Mr Obama really order MS to offer an option to turn off Not-Metro?

  2. Tom 35

    there's no Vista effect

    There is, just not the one they want.

    They want "Vista is done, I can buy a computer now"

    They got "I have XP I'm not buying that Vista crap" only it's now I have Win7 I'm not buying the Win8 crap"

    1. Charles Manning

      Reverse Vista effect

      People were spurred on to get W7 because Vista still had the smell of shit about it - even when most of the problems were probably sorted. That gave W7 an artificial boost.

      W8 is an entirely different matter. Many people fearing W8 bought a W7 machine while they could.

      I did that. I needed a new PC which runs dual-booted Linux most of the time. But from time to time I need to use some utility or other that only comes on WIndows. I know they work on W7 and with all the changes in W8 I was not so sure... so I bought a PC early.

      1. Chemist

        Re: Reverse Vista effect

        @Charles Manning

        If you don't mind telling what do you need to do that isn't available on Linux ? I know there must be some things but it'd still be good to know.

        1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

          Re: Reverse Vista effect

          1 Photoshop

          2 Indesign

          3 iTunes

          Yes there are things that do similar jobs, but IMHO not quite up to what I require for these jobs.

          1. Chemist

            Re: Reverse Vista effect

            I've no experience of recent Photoshops as I stopped using WIndows a few years back but I did have a legit copy of Photoshop Expressions which worked perfectly under Wine - I seem to recall it had just one massive .dll Certainly if you must have something it's a powerful argument.

          2. Tyrion

            Re: Reverse Vista effect

            --1 Photoshop--

            I prefer GIMP and Inkscape. They are amazing software packages, and free to boot.

            --2 Indesign--

            GLabels and LibreOffice is sufficient for my needs, but then again, I don't do desktop publishing.

            --3 iTunes--

            Any old music manager will do. Linux has hundreds of them. I'm strictly a mpd/ncmpc man myself. GtkPod manages my Nano well enough.

            --Yes there are things that do similar jobs, but IMHO not quite up to what I require for these jobs.--

            Can't stand Adobe software myself. I go out of my way to avoid it.

            1. csumpi

              Re: Reverse Vista effect

              --I prefer GIMP and Inkscape. They are amazing software packages, and free to boot.

              It depends on what you need it for. Make a couple of buttons or some lolzcat images, sure, But there is absolutely no replacement for photoshop for professional work. It can handle a bunch of 10k images at the same time, and there are some amazing tools like healing brush, smart layers, fx layers etc. And then there's the gpu acceleration.

              I don't like adobe for flash and the pdf mess they created, but tried every possible phtoshop alternative and nothing comes even close. (That's actually generous. All other tools are 5-10 years behind.)

              1. Tyrion

                Re: Reverse Vista effect

                --It depends on what you need it for. Make a couple of buttons or some lolzcat images, sure, But there is absolutely no replacement for photoshop for professional work--

                I use GIMP and Inkscape for my business. I can assure you they are more than capable of creating professional content on par with Photoshop.

                --It can handle a bunch of 10k images at the same time, and there are some amazing tools like healing brush, smart layers, fx layers etc. And then there's the gpu acceleration.--

                Nothing that can't be done in the GIMP with the right plugins and the latest versions. In fact, gpu acceleration was added to the GIMP back in 2.8 RC 1 ;)

            2. Criminny Rickets

              Re: Reverse Vista effect - Linux

              "Any old music manager will do. Linux has hundreds of them. I'm strictly a mpd/ncmpc man myself. GtkPod manages my Nano well enough."

              I've been using Linix Mint 13 for a couple of months now. I actually like Linux better than Windows. The one thing I miss about Windows 7 though is Windows Media Player. I am currently using Banshee. I am big into listening to music and I have yet to find a music program that even comes close to WMP. The other thing is that the audio experience was way better and way easier to customize for surround sound speakers (playing mp3's in 5.1 surround). In Windows. I just had to install the Realtek sound card drivers and use their customization program. In Linux, you are stuck with Alsa and Pulseaudio, which just does not have the same level of customization in it. Realtek does provide Linux drivers, but they are built using Alsa. It is possible to get sound from all your speakers in Linux, but it is not 5.1 surround. In Windows, you can actually simulate the 5.1 sound.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Reverse Vista effect

              3 - No : there is encryption on the later ipod nanos that stop linux based music managers from talking to them properly leading to all sorts of problems.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reverse Vista effect

        I did the same... I know stuff I have runs under win 7 so I went for that and dual booted it once I'd got round the nastyness of the fact that all the primary partitions had been used by the oem install.

        Need windows for iTunes as the fruity firm have encrypted stuff on the later iPods and won't release the keys and iTunes doesn't work under wine. Also need it for kies for my S3 as t-mobile removed the ota update feature.

        Wife hates the idea of getting a win 8 laptop when we come to replace hers so will be keeping a close eye on the sales and maybe buying early

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barclays bought ipads?

    To be honest if I walked into my bank and saw the staff using ipads I'd change banks.

    If their IT department isso dumb as to supply apple gear I'd serious doubt their ability to process my money properly.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Barclays bought ipads?

      You may look into what's up with the "Fractional Reserve Banking" thing.

    2. RonWheeler

      Re: Barclays bought ipads?

      I'm sure their It department fought it but got overruled by greedy green-eyed execs who want to show off to their mates.

  4. fishman


    I walked into the computer department at a store last week. They had a bunch of PCs and laptops all running Windows 8 with the TIFKAM screen showing. To me at least it isn't as attractive as the traditional desktop with some attractive background picture.

    1. Criminny Rickets

      Re: Ugly

      I was in the computer department last week with a couple of friends who were both looking to get a new laptop. I showed them Windows 8 and explained how to do things in it, then I showed them the Windows 7 ones that were luckily still there. One said he would be getting a Windows 7 one. The other one said he didn't care as he was going to have me wipe it and install Linux on it like is on my home computer. I told hom to make sure to get a Windows 7 one to save on the headaches of switching.

  5. Ojustaboo

    "She claimed that in the first couple of months of life some 60 million Windows 7 licences were sold.

    It is, however, difficult to tell how many of these Win8 licences were sold and how many were merely free upgrades"

    There are also a lot of people like me who bought win 8 pro from MS as we can get it dirt cheap before something like Jan 2013 who have zero desire to actually install it yet and will probably wait until SP1 before even considering it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8... only great inside the heads of a few people at MS. Otherwise, it's mildly interesting to the rest of us but fundamentally in the workplace it gets in the way of real productivity, unless you need a tablet. Go buy the tablet then find out that you can't run what you would like then default to an iPad or android each with half a million apps to choose from.

    Personally I hung on for 2 years waiting for a Windows tablet solution, but now I can see it I have determined that Android suits my business and personal needs better.

  7. Telemark

    Same old, same old.

    I am not a big fan of MS, or its, sometimes abortive offerings. But, we heard the same rhetoric about XP as we did about Win7 and now we hear the same about Win8

    I have used Win7 Home Premium with no (real) problems for half a year, It really does what it says on the cover - mostly.

    I would like a clearer definition between the upcoming Win8 variants for the consumer - Windows RT vs Windows 8: upgrades and boxed versions.

    Nuff said

    1. Nuke
      Thumb Down

      @Telemark - Re: Same old, same old.

      Wrote :- "we heard the same rhetoric about XP as we did about Win7 and now we hear the same about Win8"

      Same rhetoric? I don't think so. The rhetoric about Win8 is mainly that it is a radically different GUI from that which had progressively evolved through Win3.x, Win9x, XP, Vista, and Win7. I am a strong critic of MS and Windows, but I have never criticised their GUI before, but with Win8 I now criticise that especially. In the past, MS have employed some of the best graphic designers in the business. Now Win8 throws all that away.

      I welcomed XP because, with its kernel coming from the WinNT line of development, it finally ended at last the awful pedigree line of Win3.x - Win9x - WinME in the consumer market.

  8. Robot

    You mean I have a choice?

    If only 58% of new computers had Windows 8, how did the others get Windows 7? In Canada, almost all notebooks in retail stores have Windows 8 (apart from old inventory). So how does one get a system with Windows 7?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You mean I have a choice?

      Its getting hard - Walmart had some HP Pavillion g7 running Win 7 so I grabbed one of those...

      I assume MS are no longer shipping Win 7 OEM licences but who knows what might change in the next few months. If Win 8 turns out to be the complete failure it seems to be shaping up to be then we might see Win 7 kit re-appearing - OEMs can't afford to have warehouses full of unwanted kit.

      Of course if MS offered Win 7 "downgrades" on consumer kit rather than just on "business" kit then everything would be good....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was one of those that was offered the free upgrade to Windows 8. I even went as far to retrieve my download link - but didn't bother installing in the end after I saw it working on another (no touchscreen) laptop.

    It's probably ok for tablet hardware but it's staying off my laptop! - I even got another email from MS asking

    why I hadn't installed it yet (sounds desperate!)

  10. Pl0ns1971


    oohh No....... Noo

    granfather Santa doesn't like square bathroom tiles on his game station as well... bad bad for him He has gestured it wrong way... probably ;) and Millions and millions Androids are comming - game stations for 50-70$, cheap tablets Samsung Cortexes multicores etc and others.. How to fit super bombastic plastic squares 8 on pen-size USB PC ? Is is playing Crisis about ? NO !T is basic computional tasks need and Android toys sells better, works better and more fun, there is more apps for that and practically no viruses and it is Linux anyway... Even Apple starts getting hard time about it.. Tiles 8 have no chance.. someone would argue ? ;)

  11. Al Jones

    Do people actually buy PCs for Christmas?

    I can see lots of people buying tablets of some sort during the "holiday buying season", but PCs? They're just another appliance, like TVs, fridges, washing machines, DVD players. You buy them when there's a sale on, or you need/want to replace your old one.

  12. Mikel

    No Metro for Chrimbo?

    Say it isn't so!

  13. David Strum

    all disappeared up your own dark fantasy holes!

    I can’t believe the absolute disregard of this industry to the plight of people in the real world. It's like people in this industry, by spending so much time in virtual reality, have lost touch with actual reality. There is no bloody money to buy the stuff! We’ve got better things to spend our cash on - like: fuel, home maintenance and food. These items, computers and iPhones are luxuries. Of course we the golden-gooses can’t lay the eggs of success, for the likes of MS and Intel, because we’re all out of money! Why does that fact need top paid analyst to work out? Why have people in the computer industry become wedded to the idea that computers will overcome the limits of real world finances? You’ve all disappeared up your own dark fantasy holes!

  14. Sil
    Thumb Down

    How to save the PC industry: sell decent PCs

    I have been looking forward to purchasing a Windows 8 Ultrabook or Tablet for a month but still can't because there are very few touch products out there (what's the point of a new non touch PC?) and most of them are incredibly badly designed, it looks like the PC industry didn't learn anything, is a zero innovation industry crying itself to sleep over decreasing commodity margins but still offering commodity PC:

    - Ultralow res screens. While I don't necessarily want a 'retina screen' and in fact dream about 1920x1200 screens, the fact is Full HD has become the standard and for many practical reasons makes a lot of sense on Ultrabooks/tablets. 1990's 1368x768 won't do, I have been using 1920x1200 screens on notebook for more than 5 years ffs.

    - Ultralow quality screen. It looks like the PC industry is happy with purchasing any cheap screen available and couldn't care less about its qualities (resolution, color accuracy, contrast, power usage, speed, viewing angles) and instead puts a gorilla glass on crap to make it sexier. It isn't.

    - Not dependable. You see a fantastic review of an Ultrabook with an incredible high quality screen and fast SSD. You order one and get a crappy Ultrabook with bad screen as slow SSD. Why? Because PC manufacturers have no qualms changing parts without informing people, and generally it is never for higher quality parts.

    - Ports compromises. There are way too many laptops with only one USB 3 port, no ethernet port and no display port or mini display port. This won't make it for a Professional use and even for leisure the lack of display port is a turnoff (adios ultra high res external monitors)

    - Underspeced. 4GB of RAM when the RAM is so cheap and in many case it is impossible to add more RAM?

    - Old hard drives or hybrid instead of SSD. Hello? Especially for Ultrabooks this is not acceptable. I don't know of anybody having worked with SSD who is willing to go back to HD.

    - Not enough autonomy. Yes there are many Ultra costly Ultrabooks that won't even last 5 hours or 4 hours without a DC because of underspecced batteries.

    - Inconsistent PCs. A few examples:

    . Thinkpad X1 Carbon: one of the priciest Ultrabook, high quality finish and keyboard but crappy sub FullHD screen, not touch enabled, bad quality screeen and very average battery life.

    . Surface RT: 2 GB of RAM sub FullHD

    . Dell XPS. If you want full HD you need to go 15.6 inches. Not touch enabled.

    . Asus Zenbook Touch: not available

    . Asus UV51: Noisy and sub 3h autonomy.

    . Acer Aspire S7. One of the most beautiful and expensive W8 Ultrabook but very bad autonomy and Noisy even with next to no use with the i7 model at least. And only 4GB RAM.

    . Samsung Series 9. A premium Ultrabook but unfortunately not touch enabled, sub Full HD.

    I could go on and on but the PCs available today are very disappointing.

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