In a world where tablets and smartphones reign supreme, one would think that all (if not most) consumers would be fond of touch features. After all, if people use touch features on their favourite gadgets, naturally they would appreciate them in other hardware, such as laptops. Microsoft was the most optimistic about consumers warming up to the idea of a touch-enabled PC—the company believed that touch would make Windows 8 more appealing to consumers. This is the reason they featured Windows 8 on all their platforms.
However, it was recently found out that touch features are not helping the sales of Windows hardware, particularly laptops. It seems like Microsoft needs to change their strategy to bring Windows 8 closer to consumers.
Initial optimism and the given numbers
Microsoft was eager to push touch features on buyers because the developer originally thought that all buyers need is exposure to the operating system in order to appreciate it. With touch-centric hardware available, the people can and will see how fantastic the OS really is.
Microsoft was not the only one optimistic about touch-enabled laptops, though. Gregg Keizer of Computerworld reported that even Acer’s president Jim Wong thought sales will be high and strong demand will compel the company to boost its touch-ready shipments; earlier this year, Wong announced that by the end of 2013, about 30 to 35 percent of their notebooks would feature touchscreens.
If one would look at the numbers though, it is clear that Microsoft and other developers may have been too optimistic. IDC reports that shipments of touch-enabled hardware such as laptops are much lower than optimistic estimates.
What’s to blame?
When Windows 8 initially failed to burst out into the scene, Microsoft claimed that the lack of touchscreen PCs were to blame. They figured that if there were more touch-ready hardware that will allow consumers to try Windows 8, the launch of the OS would have been more successful. Many months after this claim was made, in a time when there are more than enough touch-ready laptops in the market, consumers still have yet to embrace touch.
IDC’s Bob O’ Donnell pointed out that price was a major reason why buyers still opt for the non-touch variety. Compared to non-touch PCs, touch PCs are significantly more pricey; a touch notebook can be worth double its non-touch counterpart. While the current prices of touch hardware are lower compared to last year, these still prove to be too high.
Interestingly, high prices are not solely to blame. The high expense is not what makes people turn away from touch. O’Donnell points out that consumers are not interested to get touch-ready PCs because they do not see much value in it. He also speculated that if Microsoft provided quality apps that would persuade people to embrace touch, consumers may consider investing in the touch-ready variety. Otherwise, there is no point in getting a PC with features that will not be used.
The Last Word
It seems like the next big challenge for Microsoft is to make Windows 8 work in non-touch hardware, which people still support. At this day and age, most individuals still prefer using their keyboards and mouse when using their PCs.
Betty Fulton penned the article above. This tech-savvy lass is a full-time writer who learns many new things by researching for the articles she completes. She is currently enjoying her gig as a contributor for PC Doc based in Edinburgh.