Login

Windows 8 sales woes: are netbooks to blame?

pile of netbooks

The latest numbers indicate that Windows 8 isn't boosting the weak PC notebook market, causing some manufacturers to blame Microsoft for poor sales. But Paul Thurrott, longtime Microsoft enthusiast and founder of SuperSite for Windows, argues that Windows 8 isn't dragging down manufacturers — it's the other way around. "Many of [Microsoft's] 20 million Windows 7 licenses each month," Thurrott writes, "went to machines that are basically throwaway, plastic crap." Blaming netbooks particularly, he says that cheap notebook sales conditioned customers to "expect to pay next to nothing" for Windows machines, a strategy that backfired when Microsoft started optimizing Windows 8 for more expensive touch-based displays. His sentiment echoes that of NPD, which concluded in a private report that netbooks did "an incalculable amount of damage" to the PC market.

We've written before about the potential of touch displays, as well as the problems they pose for current-gen hardware. Thurrott's suggestions for solving the touchscreen conundrum are largely cost-based: prices, he says, need to come down enough to occupy a place between cheap Android tablets and higher-priced iPads. For that to happen, though, manufacturers would have to shave several hundred dollars off the prices of touch-enabled machines, shifting focus from high-specced ultrabooks to cheaper notebooks and ARM devices. And considering the problems both netbooks and the ARM-based Surface have seen, that introduces a whole new set of issues.

The Verge
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.