There is an interesting contrast, within two reports I’ve read this morning, concerning the fortunes of Windows 8 on tablets and on PCs. Windows 8 and RT with its touch screen friendly interface is very at home on tablets, with (of course) a touchscreen as a standard feature. In contrast PC and notebook users aren’t showing much Windows 8 love. Statistics from two different sources bear this out.
Windows tablets on the up
A new report by Strategy Analytics pegs demand for Windows 8/RT tablets as capturing 7.5 per cent of the market in Q1 2013. In this period a total of 3.4 million WinTabs were sold worldwide according to the research firm. This is a big jump from Q3 2012 where only 400,000 Windows tablets were sold.
Microsoft should expect even better results in Q2 2013 as it looks to build momentum suggests Strategy Analytics research. I think there will be an even bigger uptake when we get Intel and AMD devices at keen entry level prices and with standard ARM-rivalling battery life.
A couple of sticky problems with the prospects of Windows tablets remain. Peter King, Director of Tablets at Strategy Analytics suggested in his report that “Very limited distribution, a shortage of top tier apps, and confusion in the market, are all holding back shipments”.
The Strategy Analytics statistics above are for branded tablets. When “white box” tablets are added into the mix the share of Windows (and Apple iOS) tablets sold is heavily impacted by the budget Chi-tabs, which almost exclusively feature the Android OS.
Windows 8’s slow and steady progress
A report today on ZDnet takes a look at new statistics from Net Applications which shows usage of Microsoft’s latest OS gained less than a single percentage point in the last month. In the PC/Notebook industry things are currently moving markedly slower compared to tablets and smartphones, so this lack of movement is not so surprising.
Windows 7 held 44.72 per cent of the market and Windows XP 38.31 per cent of the market, these are down a tiny 0.01 and 0.24 per cent each, respectively. The same figures show Windows 8 held just 3.82 per cent of the market. The decline of Windows XP is expected to accelerate dramatically as Microsoft forces user’s hands by withdrawing support for the OS. XP users have got less than a year to migrate to another OS or system. Windows 7 is set to become “the new Windows XP”.
Meanwhile Microsoft is changing quite a few things with Windows 8.1 aimed at popularising it and addressing common complaints, perhaps it will even introduce a Start button. In the summer we can also expect several new important hardware updates from the likes of Intel and AMD which may help entice people to buy a new system with Windows 8.X or Windows 9 installed during 2013.