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The consumer Windows PC and tablet market did not get the boost it needed from the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 in the U.S.  Since the Windows 8 launch on October 26, Windows device sales have fallen 21% versus the same (October 21 – November 17) period last year, according to NPD Group market research company. 

“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. 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,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD.

During the four weeks Windows 8 launch period, notebooks, which have been weak throughout most of 2012, saw that trend continue as they fell 24%. Desktop sales have fared better this year, dropping just 9%.

Since its launch, Windows 8 has  captured just over half (58%) of Windows computing device unit sales, compared to the 83% Windows 7 accounted for four weeks after its launch. Windows 8 tablet sales have been almost non-existent, with unit sales representing less than 1% 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. The strong performance of Windows 8 notebooks with touchscreens, where Windows 8 truly shines, offers some reason for optimism.  These products accounted for 6% of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of $867 helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market,” explained Mr. Baker.

Average selling prices of Windows computing devices have jumped significantly this year.  Last year, overall ASP was $433, while this year’s ASP over the past four weeks has risen to $477.  Windows 8 notebooks have seen a nearly $80 rise in selling prices versus the prior year,  propelled  by the aforementioned strong performance of touchscreen devices and a solid uptick in the pricing on mainstream notebooks. Windows 8 desktop ASPs were also strong with selling prices up nearly 10%, driven by the same factors as notebook sales.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 8, NPD

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An NPD report released Thursday found Windows device sales have fallen 21 percent compared to the same period last year.
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