Sales of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:
) Windows 8 appear to be off to a slow start, according to a
The New York Times
The paper cited Acer's President of the Americas division,
Emmanuel Fromont, who told The New York Times there's "no
question" that sales are sluggish.
Across the board, 2012 has been a brutal year for PC
Chip makers AMD (NYSE:
) and Intel (NASDAQ:
) are down about 50 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Both
companies have no major exposure to the emerging mobile computing
market, and continue to rely on chips produced for classic PCs
(to be fair, they both have plans for mobile chips, but such
devices are not among their current portfolio of products).
Likewise, U.S.-based PC OEMs Dell (NASDAQ:
) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:
) have also given shareholders abysmal returns. H-P has been hit
by other factors -- the accounting issue at Autonomy chief among
them -- but Dell hasn't had H-P's unique issues, and shares are
still down almost 30 percent year-to-date.
Microsoft has thus far managed to avoid the struggles of its
partners, as shares are up a modest 4.5 percent year-to-date
(including a one percent drop on Monday).
Windows 8 might prove to be another Vista -- Vista being an
operating system that was largely panned, only to be followed by
Windows 7, a more polished version.
Yet, it may be too early to write off Windows 8 just yet.
The operating system was released just two months ago. Its
predecessor, Windows 7, was largely well-received by tech
critics, many of whom labeled it the best version of Windows
ever. Although Microsoft has made it fairly cheap to upgrade,
most PC users may simply have no good reason to make the
Windows 8 has a number of "under the hood" performance
upgrades, but the average user is likely to only see Windows 8
for its Metro interface. That interface -- optimized for a touch
screen device -- brings little additional utility to a classic
Thus, Windows 8 might see its growth primarily from the sale
of new devices. On that front, Microsoft's flagship device, The
Surface, may have struggled from limited availability.
Until very recently, the Surface was only available online or
through a Microsoft retail store. With many states and urban
areas lacking a Microsoft retail location, millions of consumers
simply weren't able to get their hands on the device.
As for traditional PCs, and the host of new touch-enabled
devices designed with Windows 8 in mind, demand may be curtailed
by still fledgling economy.
Shares of Microsoft traded near $27 on Monday.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.