Source: USA Today.
First, I thought Windows 8 was an interesting take on the whole UI experience - a drastic departure from the Start menu that we are so familiar with and the desktop. There is still that but that's how what Microsoft would like us to see going forward. It'll be a new dawn for Microsoft and Windows.
However, things could be setting pretty fast if these survey pan out. And they almost never pan out exactly. But if it does, Windows 8 could be the worst version since, well, the original Windows. No one remembers that. Tech pundits will compare it to Vista. Windows 8 may make Vista look like a glowing success.
So, if people aren't buying Windows 8, what will they be considering as an alternative? Some are just trying to stick with what they have. We've got a few XP machines and even Vista. As bad as Vista is, we're used to it. And no one is talking about getting Windows 8.
A good portion of the market will stick with what they have. As far as alternatives, it's Apple's iPads and Macs.
USAT has more gory details that could keep Microsoft execs up at night.
I do think it's too early to tell. We'll have to see how the Christmas quarter affects sales for everyone. I'm not sure if Macs will see any uptick other than the pinned-up demands from Macbook and iMac refresh by Apple in the fall.
It's the iPads that I think could do in Windows 8 sales if PC sales are affected. Only three weeks or so ago, Apple introduced the 4th generation iPad with better specs. Not that it matters much but it could be enough to entice Windows people who never own an iPad to give it a look instead of getting a Windows 8 machine now or waiting until spring for Apple's traditional iPad refresh.
And let's not forget the iPad mini. Starting at $329 for the 16 GB WiFi-only model, it's priced almost exactly between the $199 Android tablets and Surface tablets and Windows 8 laptops. The iPad mini will be a very disruptive tablet given its size, price point, the huge iOS ecosystem, and, of course, the name "iPad".
Again, the information from USAT is from a survey and I don't recall anyone ever going back to these survey and see if people end up actually doing what they said they would. Microsoft could well be dinged by Apple's products this Christmas quarter. And it doesn't help that Microsoft confused the market a bit with the whole RT version running ARM chips and another version running legacy x86 chips.
Whatever you end up buying, you can be thankful that competition for your hard-earned dollars is heating up and you'll get more innovative features than ever before. And if you're an Apple fan, you want to see Microsoft with some measure of success if anything to keep Apple's designers and engineers on their toes.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
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