updated 07:31 am EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
Microsoft slashes prices on several Windows 8 hybrids
Microsoft has taken the knife to the price of several Windows 8 hybrid devices available through its Microsoft Store. While it is hard to pinpoint the reason for the price cuts, it is could reflect the reluctance of mainstream consumers to buy into Microsoft's new dual UI, PC paradigm. Devices that have received a substantial price reductions include the Toshiba Satellite Convertible Ultrabook (down to $799 from $1,149), the HP Envy x2 (down to $599 from $849) and the Samsung ATIV Smart PC (down to $999 from $1199).
Data from IDC showed that following the release of Windows 8 in the second half of 2012, holiday season sales of PCs dropped for the first time in over five years. Typically, the arrival of a new Microsoft operating system has resulted in an uptick in sales. For a PC industry already stagnating with a 4.5 percent contraction over 2012, the controversial operating system, which places a greater emphasis on touch capabilities, has yielded worse than expected sales figures. A Samsung executive recently likened the launch of Windows 8 to Windows Vista saying that it failed to "bolster demand for PCs," and that "previous vigorous pitches by Intel and Microsoft for thinner ultrabooks simply failed and...that's most because of the less competitive Windows platform."
Further compounding problems between Microsoft and its hardware partners was the unveiling and release of Microsoft's own Windows 8 hardware in the form of its radical Surface tablet PCs. Acer was particularly outspoken in this regard claiming that the Surface could damage Microsoft's relationship with its OEM partners. Oliver Ahrens, Acer's senior VP and Europe president also added that "Instead of enhancing the user experience with Windows 8...they open a new battlefield," believing that it will result in a "defocus internally for Microsoft." [via CNet]