If you need to get a new Windows 8 computer, you could save yourself some money by waiting until Spring to bring one home. At least if you believe DigiTimes‘ report from anonymous sources at various computer manufacturer in Taiwan.
After word got out earlier this week that Microsoft has started offering manufacturers discounts on the Windows 8 and Office 2013 software that are pre-installed on new computers, it seems possible that these same computer makers will pass down their savings to consumers as they too need to boost sales to their devices.
As IDC’s latest Quarterly PC Tracker report highlights, PC shipments are on a downward streak: 3.7-percent less PCs were shipped in 2012, and sales will continue to drop by another 1.3-percent this year. The research company singled out the “underwhelming reception to Windows 8″ as one of the contributing factors to the shrinking demand for desktops and laptops. The other factor had to do with the the relatively small crop of Windows 8 computers with touchscreens available at launch – a key feature that really shows off the new OS – due to touchscreen supply issues. In IDC’s opinion, the lack of selection and low supply made those touch-enabled models too expensive for cost-conscious consumers to buy.
Microsoft seem to agree with IDC’s assessment and looking to get more affordable touchscreen latops into stores. That is why it is offering the software discount to computer makers to “spur the development of small, touch-enabled laptop computers,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal. In the opinion of DigiTimes‘ retail sources in Taiwan, the “sweet spot” for touch-enabled laptops is around $500. Currently, only the Asus VivoBook touch laptops start at sub-$500 so Microsoft is encouraging its partners to follow suit.
Once Microsoft’s discounts reach manufacturers, you should start to see prices for touchscreen laptops drop by about 10 percent, with more budget models getting price cuts by more than 20 percent, according to DigiTimes. That said, its report wasn’t very clear on whether these discounts will apply to existing devices on store shelves or that the next wave of Windows 8 computers will launch with lower price tags, just that touch-enabled Windows 8 laptops will become cheaper to buy soon.
While we obviously won’t say no to price cuts, the most important thing that Microsoft should do to spur sales is to fix the bugs that have been plaguing Windows 8 since launch, so its manufacturing partners won’t be bogged down by software that consumers are reluctant to use.