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PC Makers: It’s not our fault Windows 8 computer sales are slow

Microsoft might claim to have sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses with an upgrade rate outpacing that of Windows 7′s, but according to a recent Wired story, sales of new Windows 8 computers haven’t been meeting the company’s expectations. If Winsupersite’s report is to be believed, Microsoft blames the slow sales on “lackluster PC maker designs and availability,” to which the manufacturers reply something to the effect of: “Don’t blame us.”

As we mentioned earlier, Reuters reported that a big chunk of the the 40 million licenses sold were bought by PC makers. These Windows 8 computers are almost reaching projected sales, manufacturers told Wired. However, Toshiba America claimed it had lower expectations than previous Windows versions since there are a lot more platforms and devices now. “In the past Windows was the only game in town, when it was Windows 7 or Vista it was the big event of the year,” Jeff Barney, VP and general manager of Toshiba America, told Wired. “These days it’s a different environment.”

In the same story, Dave McFarland, Sony’s VAIO product manager, said that sales have been meeting the numbers they projected before Windows 8′s launch, but that sales of computers with the new operating system have been comparatively slow. People might have been more eager to switch to Windows 7 from the universally panned Windows Vista, McFarland said, than from the well-loved Windows 7 to Windows 8

As for reports that Microsoft is blaming manufacturers for their “lackluster PC design,” Barney believes that Toshiba America and other hardware companies will come up with more commercially viable computers in the future, and that Windows 8 will continue gaining traction in 2013. “This first generation is a rush to get there in the beginning,” Barney said. McFarland also believes that money might have played a factor in the slower-than-projected adoption rates, as Windows 8 was released in October, when people were saving up for the holidays. 

Both Barney and McFarland agree that Microsoft and computer manufacturers should work together instead of blaming each other to figure out why they aren’t doing as well as they’d like. Barney also thinks it’s wise for both parties to focus on one key feature to sell consumers: touch. 

What do you think Microsoft and PC makers can do to speed up sales of Windows 8 computers? Let us know in the comments.