Our Daily Beard – 06/03/13
Today, a proper article, sort of.
It’s just a little blurb I threw together for a job application!
Windows 8 has been on sale for three months- but do the figures tell us much?
The Windows Blog posted an interview with Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller to present the sales figures at day 90, but not without a dose of spin. While it’s true that Windows 8 has sold 60 million licenses (on par with Windows 7), that was reasonably inevitable for the default OS on new PCs.
Wiindows 8 has been heavily tied in with the advent of touch devices, such as Surface- Microsoft’s virgin foray into the hardware market. Tami insists that ‘from tablets, to touch laptops, to all-in-one PCs, customer interest in new touch form factors is increasing’. This could well be true- but any confidence in the statement is undermined by the follow-up ‘Windows 8 PCs are the best PCs ever – faster, more efficient, better battery life, and access to the ever-growing lineup of Windows 8 apps’. It’s hard to take positive statements seriously when coupled with textbook PR. The Telegraph’s report of a 4.3% fall in the sales of PCs in the fourth quarter of 2012 doesn’t entirely tally with this rosy outlook.
One promising statistic from Tami is that ‘the number of apps has more than quadrupled’. Then again, she also says that ‘we want to make sure customers have the apps they want and use most frequently’. Selling things that people want- cutting edge stuff.
All that can be gleamed from the interview is that Microsoft is sticking to the usual blurb with no strong positive or negative indicators. The statistics are promising in the short term, but tell us little about the long term.
The reason for this is that typically, families and businesses buy the stock OS in the shop. However, younger sub-40 audiences- the families and businesses of tomorrow- are far savvier. They are more likely to look at alternative OS options or stay with older software like Windows 7. On the tablet front, they are already saturated with Android and iOS devices.
With Gabe Newell, chief executive of Steam (and a man who worked on Windows for 13 years) branding Windows 8 a ‘great sadness’, even the gaming potential is in question. Gamers young and old are precisely the type of customers who know all about alternative OS options.
With Windows 8 designed to unify the desktop and mobile markets, they must secure younger consumers in both areas to be assured of long-term success. A demographic breakdown of the 60 million sales would be far more telling.