Saturday, February 9, 2013

4Q2012 Numbers Show Microsoft is Truly Failing with Windows 8

We're starting to get real numbers from 4Q2012 and it is increasingly clear that Microsoft has failed with Windows 8. Bizarrely, Microsoft seems to be blaming OEMs for the failure, even though their own hardware efforts failed spectacularly.

Phones

Despite the launch of Windows Phone 8, the numbers are bad for Windows Phone in 4Q2012.

ComScore: Windows Phone US market share falls (year to year) from 3.6% to 2.9%.

Canalys: Windows Phone Worldwide market share stays steady (3Q to 4Q) at 2%.

Tablets

The numbers here are all worldwide numbers.

Canalys: In 4Q2012 only 3% (about 4 million) of tablets used a Microsoft Operating System. [There are tablets that ship with Windows 7, in 2011 they were about 1% of the market.]

Canalys: Windows RT sales: "just over 720,000 units". Note: the number of Microsoft Surface RT tablets sold would be less than this number as there were at least two other Windows RT tablets shipping.

I can find no other reports of Windows tablet sales... they were too low to make the data tables that were publicly published.

PCs

Microsoft claims that it has sold a cumulative 60 million licenses of Windows 8. There are several serious problems with them claiming it is doing as well as Windows 7. It is true that most consumers and SOHO users are forced to use Windows 8. These systems usually come with Windows 8 Core. Currently on Amazon, there are 3,441 Windows 8 laptops, only 16 come with Windows 8 Professional. This is important because only Windows 8 Professional comes with "downgrade" rights. This means that users are forced to accept Windows 8. Well, not really, many of the top selling laptops on Amazon come with Windows 7. In fact the majority of laptops available on Amazon, run Windows 7 (currently 5,628). Those stuck with Windows 8 are desperate for help on how to downgrade or otherwise cope with Windows 8. The post on this blog about how to cope, How to Live with Windows 8, gets more pageviews than any other post.

So if Windows 8 is selling so well, there must be a lot of usage then? Well in the same blog post where Microsoft is claiming 60 million licenses sold, they claim 100 million Windows Store Apps downloaded. Wait, that is only 1.67 apps per license "sold". Something is massively wrong here. I do have Windows 8 on a laptop so it will boot faster. This is the laptop that was the basis for my How to Live with Windows 8 post. Even it still has 3 "Metro" apps on it (one game and Netflix/Hulu Plus for viewing while traveling). During my experimentation phase, I downloaded at least 20 apps (probably more like 40). There is little reason to believe that anyone actually attempting to use Windows 8 would have tried fewer apps. So for sake of argument, using 20 as a typical number of downloads, that would mean there are only 5 million licenses of Windows 8 in active use. To put that number in perspective, in 4Q2012, 90 million PCs were sold.

Well how about internet usage of Windows 8? As of the end of January 2013, Windows 8 has only 2.28% of Internet usage. But get this, the "Metro" Internet Explorer has only 0.02% of usage. Clearly those users with Windows 8 do not use the "Metro" portion very much.

Another internet usage firm says that Windows 8's uptake is slower than Windows Vista.

Search

The title says it all: Russia's Yandex Passes Bing in Search Engine Rankings.

The important thing here is that it is yet another example of where Windows 8 is failing. The "Metro" user interface on Windows 8 comes with several apps that use Bing. For example: News, Finance, Sports, etc. These apps have live tiles, so every time the user returns to the Start Screen, or just sits there, search queries are made using Bing. If Windows 8 (especially the "Metro" portion) were doing well, Bing should be going up, not down in the rankings.

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