Windows 8 sales numbers disagreements

Microsoft, analysts don't see eye to eye on popularity of new desktop OS.

By John P. Mello Jr., PC World |  Windows, Microsoft, windows 8

Microsoft and analysts have sparred this week over whether or not Windows 8 is winning the hearts and minds of PC users, but truth be told, it may just be too early to tell.

Redmond raised some eyebrows Tuesday when Windows top dog Tami Reller announced that the company had sold 40 million licenses for the new desktop operating system to date.

Microsoft's public elation with the market's greeting of Windows 8 appears to be contrary to internal opinions about sales. There, sales are described as "disappointing," according to Microsoft watcher Paul Thurott.

How the numbers are counted

The problem with that 40 million number is that it's not very transparent, according to Rob Helm, managing vice president for research at Directions On Microsoft in Kirkland, Wash.

"Microsoft hasn't explained how it's counting licenses," he said in an interview. "Without that information, it's a little hard to tell what that 40 million figure really means."

Many of those licenses could have been obtained before Windows 8 was even launched, he said. "A lot of companies bought the rights to Windows 8 before it was available and may now be in the license count even though they haven't deployed Windows 8," he observed.

He noted that a survey his company took of its customers, which are mostly large businesses, indicated adoption of Windows 8 would be slow. It showed that only 13% of the firms had plans for a company-wide deployment of new operating system in 2013.

Those survey findings jibe with observations made Wednesday by the CFO of Asus David Chang and Nomura security analyst Richard Sherlund, a widely respected Microsoft watcher.

Chang told the Wall Street Journal that the demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now. Meanwhile, Sherlund shaved his earnings estimates for Microsoft because he said Windows 8 was off to an awkward start.

Similar views were expressed by Brian White, a managing director at Topeka Capital Markets in New York City, after a visit to parts suppliers in the Far East.

"The sentiment around Windows 8 was overwhelmingly negative during our trip as the supply chain is experiencing little life ahead of the October 26 launch," he wrote in a recent research note.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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