Microsoft announced this week that it has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses since the OS launched on Oct. 26, but new stats from NPD claim that the updated operating sytem has not helped boost laptop or tablet sales just yet.
Since the launch of Windows 8, sales of Windows devices in the U.S. have dropped 21 percent compared to the same time period last year, NPD said today. Notebook sales dropped 24 percent, but desktop sales fared a bit better with a 9 percent decline.
"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," Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, said in a statement. "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."
About 58 percent of the Windows-based devices purchased in the last month were Windows 8 gadgets, NPD said. When Windows 7 launched in 2009, about 83 percent of gadgets purchased in the same time period were for the new OS. NPD described sales of Windows 8 tablets as "almost non-existent," making up less than 1 percent of all Windows 8 devices to date. But NPD said that its stats do not include sales of the Microsoft Surface.
"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," said Baker.
The touch-based Windows 8 laptops offer "some reason for optimism," Baker said. "These products accounted for 6 percent of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of $867 helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market."
The average sale price of Windows-based devices has increased from $433 last year to $477 this year. Windows 8 notebooks are getting $80 more this year than their counterparts fetched in 2011, thanks in part to the touch screens.