“There were two main concerns surrounding a successful Windows 8 launch," commented CONTEXT CEO and co-founder Jeremy Davies. "On the one hand, there were fears that the decline in PC sales had resulted in excess inventory which could have damped sales of newer machines considerably, but it seems inventory in the main has been managed and has not unduly affected the launch.” Davies added: “Secondly, despite the uncertain economy, PC sales through IT distribution in the two weeks prior to launch and including the launch week itself actually rose 7.8% compared to the same period one year ago."
CONTEXT notes that in the week prior to the launch of Windows 8 in October, 23.5% of all PCs supplied by Europe's top IT distributors were equipped with one of the versions of Microsoft's new operating system. In the same pre-launch week during October 2009, the then-new Windows 7 accounted for 17.1% of PCs supplied.
During the actual launch week this year, 41.3% of all PCs sold by IT distributors were Windows 8 versions. In October 2009, Windows 7 equipped PCs accounted for 43.8% of sales.
Of the Windows 8 PCs tracked by CONTEXT in the launch week, 80% were Windows 8 64 versions. In terms of the professional versions of both Windows 7 and 8 aimed at the business user, all versions of Windows 7 Professional edition accounted for 2.4% of Windows sales in the launch week, while this year less than 1% of Windows sales were made up of Windows 8 pro. Meanwhile, the RT version of Windows 8 accounted for 2.5% of sales in the launch week.
"We would expect business adoption of Windows 8 to take time, as it did with Windows 7," said Davies. "However, what's interesting to note is that Windows RT is registering sales at such an early stage. If this growth continues, it will be a real opportunity for Microsoft to carve out its position in the booming Tablet market in the run-up to the holiday season."
CONTEXT notes that at the time of the launch of Windows 8, there were 26 versions of Windows on offer. In 2009, there were 31 versions of Windows on the market.
Headquartered in London with over 130 staff in 12 countries, CONTEXT specializes in tracking technology sales and pricing across the globe. With real-time data captured from a wide range of channel sources including exclusive access to Global Technology Distribution Council members, the $3 billion of sales processed each week in Europe provides the most accurate channel market information available today across a range of business and consumer technology products. CONTEXT reports and services enable our customers to assess their business operations in the light of actual sell-out figures, and make business-critical decisions based on hard data. Follow us on Twitter: @contextworld.com or visit our website: www.contextworld.com.
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