No surprise: Windows 8 touch screens in high demand, lesser PCs not



Microsoft has blamed slow initial Windows 8 sales on poor delivery by OEMs of new hybrid Windows 8 PCs with touch screens with Tami Reller, chief marketing and financial officer for Windows, saying last week that there are "not enough" touch devices were on store shelves.

Now two analysts have confirmed to CNET that touch screen Windows 8 PCs are in fact in high demand, with stores have difficulty keeping them on the shelves, while cheaper, older-style Windows 8 PCs are not.

"Touch machines are actually selling above expectations," said Bob O’Donnell, a program vice president at IDC. "Some vendors are actually facing shortages because touch panels are in limited supply. Vendors are saying they can’t get as many touch-based machines as they would like to meet the demand that they’re seeing."

The view was confirmed by Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS iSuppli.

“We’ve talked to a number of PC makers that are having trouble obtaining touch panels and some of the vendors I’ve talked to said they can’t keep them on the shelf," she said.

IDC’s O’Donnell said non-touch traditional PCs were not in as much demand. "The non-touch machines are selling below expectations," he said. "If high-end machines are selling better than expected. Great. But that doesn’t make up for low-end volume machines."

Touch-screened PCs sell for nearly double the price as traditional PCs, meaning OEMs have every incentive to deliver them, but so it seems that the demand had just left them flatfooted.  Hopefully they will recover by January and start delivering the new user experiences which buyers current crave.


  • Don’t fear the future

    I feel that this article is “Right on the Money”. I agree that the most desired Windows 8 devices are scarce. However, as OEMs shift their focus, in time we are going to see a huge selections of Arm, Atom, Core-I, and AMD based processors on tablets, ultra-books, convertibles, All-in-Ones, etc… all utilizing touch. Right now, you can get an Acer Iconia W510, Atom based 10.1″ Windows 8 tablet w/ 32 gigs of SSD for $499, and the 64 gig for $599. Killer prices for tablets that can run legacy applications. But most people don’t know about these devices because most people only buy what they see in a store first. That’ll all change in a few months. These devices will be everywhere you look. That’s when Windows 8, in my opinion, will change everything. Especially the x86 based tablets and convertibles.

    • TrickyD

      I have been making trips to the local PC world here in the UK on a weekly basis since October 26th looking to play with a Yoga or Envy x2… and I have still yet to see one. How stupid are these OEMs to not realise people buying Windows 8 want touch!

      I would not even consider a non-touch device now. It works on a laptop and it works on an all in one – I now grudgingly reach for my mouse. It really does take more effort to coordinate a mouse than simply reaching out with your hand.

    • wp77

      Sales will be massive once a slew of Win8 touch devices appear. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes :-)

  • vpuik

    Pc Manufacturers need to realize that average people are willing to pay a premium for what they consider to be a premium product. How else would you explain sales figures of Apple computers?
    There will always be a market for low end laptops, but that is increasingly squeezed tight by phones and laptops.
    I wouldn’t even consider getting a non touch screeen W8 machine.
    That is the whole point.

  • http://WillBrown.Co/ Will Brown

    Yeah, I can’t imaging buying a new PC that didn’t have a touch screen. I have Windows 8 on my four year old Sony Vaio laptop and I keep touching the screen.

    • Don’t fear the future

      I have a non-touch laptop upgraded to Windows 8. I went to Synaptics webs site and downloaded the latest touchpad drivers. They allow you to use the “Windows 8” gestures on the touch pad; for example, swipe from the right edge of the touch pad (just like you would swipe the right edge of a touchscreen) to bring up the “charms”, swipe from the left edge to quickly multitask, etc….

      Here’s the link in case your interested. Your touchpad MAY have to support multitouch for these to work.

      P.S. If you do install this, when Windows 8 does an update, it’ll say they found new driver for your touch pad. If you allow the update to proceed, it’ll just put the other drivers back on, and you’ll be back at square one. No gestures. You’ll have to reinstall the above drivers again. So now when I install Windows 8 updates, I have to manually deselect the driver update for the touchpad. So annoying, but worth it. These drivers give you a little bit of touch, without actually having touch.

  • PharoahWarrior06

    I ordered an Acer Aspire V5 from Tiger Direct for $549 (regular $799) for my son’s Christmas present on Black Friday. I was amazed at how difficult it was to find a touch screen W8 laptop. I was so impressed while setting it up, that I didn’t want to put it away. I downloaded the beta version in February and the experience between touch and non-touch is like night and day. All future devices in this family will have touch screens (I may even give my son my Mac and keep the Acer for myself 😉 ).

  • Danny Dodge

    With an amazing OS built for touchscreen no one will want to buy one that doesn’t have it, just like I wouldn’t buy a camera that doesn’t take pictures. They should only make low end laptops and notebooks without touchscreen and replace all current PCs/Laptops/Ultrabooks with touchscreen models as fast as they can, and do their utmost to reduce the cost as close as possible to what the non-touch version would have been. I purchased my laptop a year ago and it is fast as anything, but without touchscreen windows 8 is definitely lacking (due to my hardware, the OS itself is amazing) and I’m going to consumeristically buy into a surface pro or whatever really good touchscreen windows 8 hybrid is the best within my budget at the time within the next year.

  • Windows 8

    YES !! its time the companies realize this fact that we al want super Windows 8 touch computers in all forms, the better it will be for them and us.