Teeth make smiles, and smiles make sales - Unidentified Harrods person in Alan Sugar's The Apprentice
MICROSOFT'S WINDOWS 8 operating system (OS) launched today and it seems the UK's biggest computer retailer Currys and PC World is struggling to shift devices running the new software.
Visiting our local store on Oxford Street in London at midday today to see how the new OS was going down with the general public, The INQUIRER discovered that the popular high street chain was yet to sell one device running Windows 8. "It's been a slow start, but we're hoping it will pick up later in the day," a shop assistant admitted.
The same underwhelming reaction was echoed in Currys and PC World's larger Tottenham Court Road store around the corner, which hosted an exclusive Windows 8 launch opening at midnight today with big discounts on new devices, free Beats headphones as well as sausage rolls and doughnuts for those who couldn't wait to get their hands on Microsoft's latest OS.
Talking to a sales representative in store, we were told the retailer "hadn't really sold that many" Windows 8 devices since opening this morning, as those really wanting the new OS had queued up most of the night.
The shop assistant said that customers who had visited the store so far didn't seem that interested in Microsoft's new OS and were unable to upgrade to it from Windows 7 because many of them were still running XP. However, he did mention that the retailer is expecting sales "to pick up in the run up to Christmas". It might be that it has to tempt potential Windows 8 customers with free finger food, Beats headphones and heavy discounts on the products in order to sell them.
From our experience today, it seems already that the hype created in the build-up to Microsoft's launch has blown over, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth for retailers like Currys and PC World that were expecting "really strong sales of Windows 8 products".
In what could possibly be described as a flop, the Windows 8 launch brings a host of new PCs, laptops, tablets and convertibles that have been waiting in the wings for some time. The launch today has proved to be in complete contrast to Apple's third generation tablet launch back in March when The INQUIRER found people were still queuing at the Apple store on Regent Street in London at 4pm on the day of the new Ipad went on sale, even after queues had formed outside all night. Funny how the public reacts to one new Apple product in a completely different way than to the array of new devices from Microsoft's OEM partners running the firm's latest OS.
Perhaps the poor initial sales in high street stores such as Currys and PC World have something to do with the lack of in-store advertisements for Windows 8. Wandering around the shop floor, we were surprised not to be struck by any big signs promoting the slew of new Windows 8 devices, which we find particularly strange considering the hype Microsoft has generated in the build-up to the launch over the last year. µ
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