Windows 8 hasn’t been the complete train wreck some were predicting, but it also seems clear it wasn’t a run away success either. Microsoft dropped word that it moved over 40 million copies of Windows 8 within the first month, however there has been a great deal of debate on whether or not this actually constitutes a success. It’s approximately the same number of licenses Windows 7 sold during the same launch period, but as you’ve no doubt read us discussing ad nauseum, times have changed. Evidence has surfaced that Microsoft blames OEM’s for sales falling below internal projections, and OEM as you can imagine see things differently.
Wired contacted a number of Microsoft partners looking for comments both on, and off the record, and the consensus seems to be “don’t blame us”. The disconnect here seems to be between what Microsoft projected they would sell, and the more realistic expectations set by the individual OEM’s. Toshiba, Dell and Sony all agree that slow initial sales can be easily attributed to a number of factors beyond their control, and that the device market is a much more crowded place than it was when Windows 7 launched.
Sony VIAO product manager Dave McFarland for example says its been seeing comparatively slow Windows 8 device sales, but it is more or less what they were expecting. “The expectations of what we forecasted for — I don’t want to say we’re right on track — we’re probably close to being on track to where we predicted,” he said. “If I had to compare Windows Vista to Windows 7 versus Windows 7 to Windows 8, our sales numbers aren’t as high as from the Vista to Windows 7 era.” McFarland was still optimistic about the future of Windows 8, but claims a such a major revision will take time and support to gain consumer acceptance.
“Both parties need to work together,” McFarland says. “It’s one without the other, you don’t have the hardware, the software can’t be there, and vice versa. Both groups shouldn’t be blaming each other, both groups should be closer. If it’s not doing well, we should figure out how we can all better figure this out and see why.”