Despite stubborn claims by Microsoft that its Windows 8 launch is going along just fine, analysts have expressed doubts on the manner that the revamped operating system has been unfolding so far.
The dismal signs are too palpable to ignore, according to Computerworld's Preston Gralla, citing reports by Net Applications that Windows 8 has a mere end-user global penetration of 1.2 per cent more than 30 days after it was rolled out.
In comparison, Windows 7, the OS it is gunning to shove aside, fared much better when it clocked 4.3 per cent of global usage share during the same period that it debuted in October 2009.
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has recently reported that some 40 million Windows 8 licenses have been shipped out so far but the PC industry has yet to feel the benefits, according to NPD Group Chief Stephen Baker.
Notwithstanding the glowing figures from Microsoft, sales of machines running Windows dipped by 21 per cent since Windows 8 hit the market, Mr Baker said in an NPD report.
"We still have the whole holiday selling season ahead of us, but clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for," Computerworld quoted Mr Baker as saying.
If indeed Windows 8 is emitting signs of foundering and in the process failing on its attempt to arrest the declining PC sales worldwide, Microsoft needs to immediately address the issue, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes said, writing for ZDNet.
One quick fix is to erase the 'confusion complaints' generated by the new Windows 8 interface, which Mr Kingsley-Hughes said can be solved via patch that needs to be dispatched soon.
This update will resurrect the classic desktop and Start screen, the absence of which proved a big disappointment even for long-time Windows users.
With this move, "all the legitimate fears associated with adopting the new operating system on mainstream devices such as desktops and notebooks are eliminated," the ZDNet analyst said.
Microsoft should also witness dramatic boosts in cutting down the costs of enjoying the new Windows 8 environment, both as a stand-alone OS and as bundle with its Surface tablet, by reconfiguring the retail price of the two products.
Mr Kingsley-Hughes is convinced that the software giant is more than capable of reducing its immediate financial gains just so to draw more attention on Windows 8 and the devices running it.
The company also needs to focus on its mobile business thrust and this will be bolstered by pushing further its partnership with Nokia. By buying out the mobile phone maker, Microsoft will be in the same league with Apple and Google, which means it has full control of its hardware operations, Mr Kingsley-Hughes said.
Such decision would transform Microsoft as a well-oiled machine able to take on the current giants of the mobile device industry. The tech firm should be buoyed by the fact that the Nokia Lumia 920 is doing relatively well, he added.
Microsoft needs to act decisively soon, analysts said, lest Windows 8 will take the same path of Windows Vista, the same OS that saw the company ceding tech leadership to its rivals Apple and Google.
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