According to Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrot has Windows 8 not met its internal sales expectation. The usually well informed tech writer heard this from sources inside Microsoft, that also said that Microsoft blames PC makers. According to Thurrot’s sources Microsoft blames them for ‘ not being able to deliver’. In this case that means they didn’t release innovative, exciting hardware which Microsoft had hoped for. Probably also the reason why Microsoft is now manufacturing their own Surface tablets.
PC makers have created hybrid hardware, exactly the type of hardware one would expect from Windows 8, which has a hybrid interface. Windows 8 still has the old desktop to which we’re all used (minus the start menu) but also has a new touch optimized interface that is usually referred to as Metro. Hardware vendors have created hybrid devices that can utilize both the desktop and the Metro interface, so consumers should get the best of both worlds. But the result is a confusing amount of new types of computers. And the confusions is for both consumers and PC makers which now sell laptops, Ultrabooks with and without touch, convertible laptop/tablets, slate tablets and more which make it hard for consumers to understand what to buy.
Then there’s also the confusion between Windows 8 and Windows RT. Windows 8 runs on computers and tablets with Intel CPUs and Windows RT runs on ARM based tablets. Both share the same Metro interface but Windows 8 and Windows RT are usually not compatible. So where users expect they have a compatible OS, they aren’t able to run e.g. desktop applications on their Windows RT device.
Still, it might not be the hardware, nor Windows 8 itself, the low sales could also be explained by the current economic crisis, but we doubt it. Still if you just blame the OS, even of Windows Vista hundreds of millions of copies were sold…