Who’s to blame for Windows 8 flop? PC makers, says Microsoft

Publicly, at least, Microsoft is enthusiastic about its hardware partners.
Publicly, at least, Microsoft is enthusiastic about its hardware partners.
Image: AP/Julie Jacobson
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It appears that the finger-pointing over the slow start of Windows 8 has begun. PC makers ignored Microsoft’s advice to make large numbers of high-end tablets that would show off Windows 8’s new interface and touch capabilities, which left Microsoft executives fuming, reports The Register. (We’ve contacted Microsoft for comment, and will update accordingly.) (Update: Microsoft declined to comment.)

While the launch of a new version of Windows is usually accompanied by a bump in PC sales, the launch of Windows 8 coincided with a 13% year-on-year drop in retail sales of PCs, and was one of the factors that put fourth-place PC maker Acer into the red.

There has been near-unanimous agreement among analysts and PC manufacturers that users have been scared off by Windows 8’s new interface, and that a slow economy has convinced PC buyers to wait to upgrade.

“Microsoft is very frustrated with major OEMs who didn’t build nearly enough touch systems and are now struggling to find parts and ramp up. Microsoft says they provided very specific guidance on what to build,” said The Register’s anonymous source.

PC makers, for their part, have apparently pushed back against Microsoft, arguing that if they had followed the company’s directions, they would now be sitting on a stock of high-end tablets and “convertible” laptops (which can function as both notebook PCs and tablets) that consumers simply don’t want.