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NEW YORK – The consumer Windows PC and tablet market didn’t get the boost it needed from the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 in the US. Since the Windows 8 launch on October 26, Windows device sales have fallen 21 percent versus the same period last year, according to US market research company NDP.
NPD’S Weekly Tracking Service for notebooks saw that trend continuing, with notebook sales drooping 24 percent. But desktop sales have fared better this year, dropping just 9 percent, the group said.

“After just four weeks on the market, it’s still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD.

“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.

“Since its launch, Windows 8 has captured just over half (58 percent) of Windows computing device unit sales, compared to the 83 percent Windows 7 accounted for four weeks after that launch.

Windows 8 tablet sales have been almost non-existent, with unit sales representing less than 1 percent of all Windows 8 device sales to date.

“The bad back-to-school period left a lot of inventory in the channel, which had a real impact on the initial sell-through rates for Windows 8,” said Baker.

“The strong performance of Windows 8 notebooks with touchscreens, where Windows 8 truly shines, offers some reason for optimism.

“These products accounted for 6 percent of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of US$867, helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market.”

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