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Finally, Some Good News for Windows 8

In the seven months since launch, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Windows 8 has been off to a sluggish start, with global PC sales plunging in the first quarter. There's some good news, though: IHS DisplayBank estimates that 10% of the 46 million laptops sold in the first quarter were touchscreen models. Consumers thus far have been faced with a tough trade-off between price and the desire for a touchscreen, but adoption may be beginning.

The data undermines the long-standing view that touchscreen laptops quickly lead to arm fatigue, which is the approach that rival Apple  (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) has taken. Apple may never release a touchscreen MacBook. Search giant Google  (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) has also bet on touchscreen laptops with its premium Chromebook Pixel.

In the following video, Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, wonders whether Microsoft and Google can prove Apple wrong.

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In a new premium report on Microsoft, a Motley Fool analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, so are the challenges. The report includes regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (10)

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  • Report this Comment On May 25, 2013, at 2:17 PM, Judytomporter wrote:

    I would rather put the computer out by the curb for the garbage man then go to Windows 8, It is studip and is not needed. Did they do it wrong with windows 7??? This windows 8 in my mind is

    just a Gimick and useless.

  • Report this Comment On May 25, 2013, at 2:57 PM, bluegill88 wrote:

    They are going to improve windows 8 soon. Touch is a nice feature for a lot of things a user might want to do. As for arm fatigue, the more you use it, the stronger your arm gets. And you burn some calories too :)

  • Report this Comment On May 25, 2013, at 5:24 PM, NoWindows8LockIn wrote:

    I am waiting for the day when Microsoft gets sued for causing mass arm fatigue.

  • Report this Comment On May 26, 2013, at 7:07 AM, DerkThunder wrote:

    Touch screens on tablets, or phones is an acceptable input method. It's fast, easy, and doesn't require any extra hardware except your fingers. Good for computing, on the go.

    But when it comes time to actually get work done I would take a good old fashioned mouse and keyboard any day of the week. It's faster, it's easier, it's more accurate, and it just puts way more power and control at your finger tips.

    If that means that I have to sit down and do my work from one place like a desk or a table so be it. I'd rather get work done quickly, than get work done "on the go".

    Again touch screens do have their place, but that place is not as a replacement for mice and keyboards and anyone who thinks that it can replace a mouse and keyboard must have never used a computer to get any actual work done in their entire lives.

  • Report this Comment On May 28, 2013, at 12:18 AM, MichaelTkirk wrote:

    Here's the REAL news: Win8 presents users with a radical, non-intuitive interface from previous GUIs that have become familiar over the past few decades. My company will stay with XP for now; we will either migrate current PCs to Linux, or replace all the PCs with Apples. Microsoft completely ignored the first rule of human factors engineering in Win8. Subsequently, neither large companies nor small business owners like me can afford productivity disruptions or expensive retraining to move to non-traditional, non-intuititve, cellphone-like screentops that Microsoft pushed upon its desktop users. PCs represent a mature industry, which we consider to be business tools that must be reliable, stable and maintainable to serve our everyday processes.

    With the introduction of Win8, there is no longer a financial reason to invest in new MS-based PC equipment to accommodate non-essential MS features and MS "stores" that do not support the primary functions of our businesses. Hear this message from American business owners: "Microsoft Windows 8 killed new PC sales and new operating system upgrades...we cannot afford to retrain our employees, nor can we tolerate the weeks of lost productivity from a difficult to implement and use radical Operating System."

    I admit that the Win8 OS "innards" have improved over previous MS operating systems; but this doesn't justify the enormous difficulties of lost company productivity and user anxiety because MS software engineers did not follow sound engineering principles. If MS doesn't fix Win8 with a classic interface, we will either move to Linux in Sep2013 on the same PCs we have now, or switch to Apples that are more stable in terms of user interface and software applications. Oh yes, I sold my Microsoft stock in January when I first saw a Win8 demo, and I bought a Mac for home use in March…the first time in over 20 years I won't be replacing or upgrading my PC.

    Microsoft's Win8 and similar user-interface mistakes (e.g., the "ribbon" on MS-Office, etc.) are clearly the reasons for the Windows PC demise. If Microsoft wants to rectify their demise, they should: 1.) hire a professional software systems engineering staff; 2.) fire the art history and political science majors in its software department; 3.) restore the "classic interface" for desktop PC users; and 4.) replace the CEO who allowed this massive failure to occur. Otherwise, Apple and Linux will prevail in 2014 and beyond. Those of you who are stuck with MS-Win8 can download freeware that restores the classic desktop interface we used for the past few decades (choose from Classic Shell for Windows 8, Start Menu 8, and several others).

    In the meantime, sell your Microsoft stock; the company has abandoned its once-loyal customer base by destroying a familiar and proven interface. Interface familiarity was one of the few appealing features that kept customers tethered to an otherwise inferior operating system and suite of software (when compared to stable software found on Apple). I didn't leave Microsoft; they left me! (and millions of others). MSFT: 1980 to 2013.

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