Windows 8 sales off to a slow start in Australia, but momentum picking up

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WAToday.com.au reports that early Windows 8 sales returns were below expectations in Australia.

Australian IDC market analyst Amy Cheah, who has spoken to local retailers, vendors and channel partners as part of her work compiling sales numbers, said Windows 8 take-up was "not as strong as Microsoft would like it to be".

"Actual sales to date is not matching the hype, but the momentum is picking up in November," she said.

IDC has yet to release its latest quarterly numbers for Australia and New Zealand, but Cheah said it was already clear that Windows 8 was "a steep learning curve and the initial phase is going to be a bumpy one".

Ben McIntosh, general manager of computers at Harvey Norman, said interest in Windows 8 in his stores was "very encouraging" but stock was "coming through a lot slower than I would like to see". He said he always expected a slow start for Windows 8 and some customers were shying away from Windows 8 in favour of Windows 7.

"If people were expecting huge line-ups at stores and a saviour of the industry then they’re going to be disappointed," McIntosh said.

Speaking from personal experience, a large part of the issue is the lack of the new attractive hybrid form factors in stores, and the very high price premium these devices attract when they are.

A Microsoft Australia spokesman said "we won’t be discussing sales at this point" .

Do any of our Australian readers have any first hands information on the take-up of Windows 8 in the continent? Let us know below.



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  • NegLewis

    What I would have imagine MS would do on Windows 8 launch is something like… a week/month free upgrade to Windows 8… until 2014… 1 year free license.
    After that $8 for next month. Then $40 for the next and in 3 months a full price.
    This is impossible now because it would be interpreted as a sigh of weakness.

  • AS147

    There is a very good reason for this. The first real touch oriented MS OS and they have almost 0 touch capable devices out there. In all the large stores until 2 weeks ago there were only 2 touch enabled devices. Now the have the Dell XPs (swivel screen) laptop.
    That is PATHETIC! MS gets all the hype, spending $$$ and the OEMs deliver almost nothing !!!
    They showed 100’s of models months ago so WT!????

  • yo

    because the retailers are still selling non touch enabled laptops, none of the hybrids/convertibles can be seen except for one sony hybrid

    • stanvx

      Exactly true we need some cheap Intel Atom tablets… That would really get sales going!

      • arcana112

        Bring on Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2.

  • damaster

    Went to Harvey Norman in Sydney the other day, and NONE of their Windows 8 PCs are touch-based. Out of the 15 or so devices on display, only one – the Sony VAIO Duo 11 – is a touch-based Windows 8 convertible device, and is hell expensive for the general consumer.

    On the other end of the shop, they’re trying to get rid of their existing Windows 7 PCs by having a massive clearance sale. These PCs are perfectly capable of upgrading to Windows 8, but at half the price of what the “new” non-touch Windows 8 PCs are selling at. (Especially when Windows 8 upgrade is only selling at $40)

    And they wonder why people aren’t buying Windows 8 PCs….

  • Bugbog

    Just as well Microsoft produced and launched the Surface (and is selling the upgrade directly), otherwise this would have been a limp launch, hardware-wise!

    That said it’s been exactly one month, today, from launch! (Seems like forever?!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank.le.16 Frank Le

    Aussies are known laggers, =)

  • Super2online

    From my perspective, until they talk to people to try and understand exactly why they aren’t buying. you have accomplished nothing. This weekend I walked into a Best Buy, Walmart, and Target to see what they were offering. The results were dismal from a touch capability stand point. Not one store offered a touch screen on any laptop or PC and only Best Buy and Walmart offered one touch tablet for Windows 8. Explain to me how they are expecting people to get excited about a touch interface when 98% of what you offer is non-touch?

  • NGM123

    I went into a JB Hi Fi on the weekend and asked a girl about W8 sales, she said she was flat out showing everyone how to switch it to the normal W7 desktop because everyone was freaking out.
    MS are crazy, W8 might be brilliant for tablets, but not the PC environment. They should have just released W8 as their tablet OS version and kept the normal version for PCs.

    • arcana112

      Use Win 8 in desktop mode. Pin your programs to the task bar. Problem solved.

      • NGM123

        Its education and familiarity for us all

        • arcana112

          That didn’t stop Win95. It just took some time. I would worry if Win8 was sluggish, non touch-optimized or the desktop was missing. As it stands now all is good.

          • NGM123

            Except W8 is optimised for touch, and in the PC environment it predominantly isn’t. Hope I’m wrong, I’m a big MS fan, W8 seems great for the tablet and private market, but all I see is a major headache for the corporate world, the pretty interface and any extra steps just aren’t wanted or required.

            KISS-Keep It Simple Stupid.

  • arcana112

    It’s the same story as XP and Win 7 all over again… It WILL pick up and it WILL be huge. XP and 7 both started slow also.

    This is no Vista where the hardware just wasn’t there and the OS wasn’t smooth.

  • Bob

    Premature prediculation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Khoundarzz Arnie Khoundavong

    went into jb hi-fi and they had no touch based windows 8 devices in stock. So dissappointing. One other thing, ms really need to start pushing the surface to retailers especially in Australia. Aussies will only consider products if its there for them and they see it everywhere they go. Sure the tv ads are always on and there are paper ads too but people wont make an effort to actually go out and see what this amazing device has to offer and where they can get one from.

    • AS147

      Believe it or not the ads are working. I was at a kids birthday party on Sunday and they were talking about what tablet to get and how cool the iPad mini was and one of the 5 kids said the Microsoft tablet (didn’t know the name !!!!) was really cool with the stand and detachable keyboard!
      That blew me away that kids picked up on this. However MS is only using its own stores to distribute the Surface otherwise there could be problems for MS with its OEM partners.
      The only people who are going to buy the Surface are hardcore MS fans. That’s not a problem as there are gazillions of those.
      As stated, the stores need to get the touch capable laptops made available ASAP.

  • Keifwoki

    when all you hear is Android this and iPad that over here in oz should you expect any different?

  • jamsjordn

    At JB HIFI where I live they have many touch screen laptops and the Sony convertible. No pure tablets displaying windows 8 and even more annoyingly is that we get ads for the surface and a few other RTs but there is no where to try them out.
    They need to show what a great tablet OS it is and then demonstrate how easy it is with a mouse.

  • jimski27

    Win 8 is not hard to learn and the touch interface works great with mouse and kb. When “all” monitors are only available as touch enabled in another 18-24 months, people will look back at 10/26/12 and say, “now I get it”.
    With that said, no idea why Microsoft didn’t create a simple 5 minute video demonstrating how the Start screen works with mouse and kb to address all the current non-touch devices. Should be running in a loop on a machine at each retailer.
    I love having the availability of an app store on my work PC. Coming from XP, Win 8 was a shock, but a welcome one. Those 500M XP users (and the remaining 798 Vista users) should all migrate to Win 8, businesses and consumers alike. If they just take 10 minutes to understand it, they will realize that by upgrading they are future proofing their OS. If the industry had pushed touch in front of Win 8, instead of behind it, just think how that would have turned out.