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NPD claims Microsoft Windows 8 failed to increase laptop sales

Microsoft's sales magic runs out
Sat Jan 05 2013, 17:39
Windows 8 Start screen

DESPITE Microsoft's best efforts with Windows 8, analyst outfit NPD has reported that the operating system failed to reverse the slump in laptop sales during the lucrative US holiday buying season.

Microsoft's Windows 8 has been touted as the operating system that will reverse the downward trend of laptop sales as consumers opt for tablets. Now NPD reported that despite Microsoft's multi-million dollar marketing effort and many PC makers pitching brand new systems, consumers continued to shy away from laptops.

NPD's figures make for grim reading, with the firm reporting an 11 percent decline in laptop sales. Not only did unit sales fall but revenues also fell, meaning that those who bought laptops bought cheaper units from Black Friday to Christmas. Overall, the firm reported that the average selling price of a laptop was just $420, with touchscreen Windows 8 laptops accounting for just 4.5 percent of total Windows 8 sales.

NPD had few positives to pull out about the effect Windows 8 had on US laptop sales, instead saying, "Despite the hype, and hope, around the launch of Windows 8, the new operating system did little to boost holiday sales or improve the year-long Windows notebook sales decline."

Apple's Macbook range of laptops also suffered a sales drop of six percent according to NPD, but that drop was met with a 40 percent increase in average selling price, most likely due to machines shipping with high-resolution displays.

NPD's figures and comments are especially damaging to Microsoft because they question its ability to drive sales through new Windows releases. Microsoft has been able to push around OEMs and system builders in the past through its ability to assure a sales boost with every release of Windows, however if its operating systems and marketing can no longer pull in the punters then OEMs have little reason to obey Microsoft's every whim. µ


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