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Microsoft ramps Windows marketing spend amid slow Win. 8 traction

  • Paul Thurrott reports Microsoft (MSFT +0.4%) has budgeted $405M for FY14 Windows retail marketing, up from $241M from FY13, as it tries to stoke interest in touch-optimized Windows hardware in the face of fierce Android/iOS competition.
  • Microsoft's promotional efforts are said to include providing $25 Windows Store gift cards with touch hardware purchases, and working with retailers to create "uncluttered and welcoming Windows centers."
  • The software giant is also reportedly aiming for 16M holiday season Windows tablet sales. For reference, IDC estimates industry-wide tablet shipments totaled 52.5M in Q4 2012; the 2013 figure will probably be above 70M.
  • Thurrott's report comes as Net Applications estimates Windows 8/8.1's share of the global PC base rose only 0.36% in October to 9.25%. 46.4% of PCs are believed to be running Windows 7 (up fractionally), which is widely preferred by enterprises, and 31.2% are still running Windows XP, which Microsoft (in an effort to get businesses to upgrade to Win. 7) will end support for next year.
  • Previous: Windows 8.1 receives good, but qualified, reviews
Comments (19)
  • rjgood
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    "amid slow Win. 8 traction" Sigh.

     

    Windows 8 + 8.1 PC only commands 135-200 million users (depending on which numbers you use.)

     

    Since any Win8 app runs on Win8, Win8.1, Windows 8 tablets and Windows Phone 8....you can easily add another 75 million users that are running some version of Windows 8.

     

    Conservatively, windows 8 (all devices) has built a lowball of 200 million users in 1 year time. In context, very close to the same number of active iOS users that took AAPL 6 years to build.
    1 Nov 2013, 05:08 PM Reply Like
  • KevinRemde
    , contributor
    Comments (421) | Send Message
     
    rjgood - While I appreciate (and relish) your market share comments, I do have to correct you on one thing. Windows Phone 8 apps don't run on Windows 8.1, or vice-versa. Yes, depending on how they're built there might be minimal re-writing involved. Yes, Windows 8 apps run on both Windows RT (Surface, Surface 2, and Nokia 2025) and full-blown Windows 8 or 8.1 machines. But it's not correct to say that current Windows 8 (WinRT) apps run on Windows Phone 8.

     

    That said: The goal is to get us there very soon. Or at least to provide an easy "just recompile your app" solution.

     

    How soon? Not my area. I do work for (and own some) Microsoft, but in an unrelated area.
    1 Nov 2013, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • rjgood
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    @Kevin - Very kind comments, and you are right...I was oversimplifying cross platform in Win 8 to Windows Phone 8 (and soon to be Xbox one.) You do have to make minor modifications (especially to your screen to handle the much smaller phone area.)

     

    One thought if you are involved with app development & comfortable with the MSFT dev tools...check out Xamarin. Cross platform to Win 8, WP 8, iOS, Android and Mac. They handle the cross-compiling for you. The license fee is pennies compared to the vast amount of hours rewriting your Win 8 app for Android/iOS.
    1 Nov 2013, 06:45 PM Reply Like
  • KevinRemde
    , contributor
    Comments (421) | Send Message
     
    Yes, indeed. Xamarin is a great way to do cross-platform development. At least that what my developer-friends tell me. :)
    2 Nov 2013, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • Transcripts&10-K's
    , contributor
    Comments (868) | Send Message
     
    " Windows 8/8.1's share of the global PC base rose only 0.36% in October to 9.25%."

     

    Did Chrome OS manage to grab anywhere near that "paltry" 0.36% of share in the past month? Have they even averaged that amount of share gain on an annual basis since launch? Going from NetMarketShare data, Windows (collectively) is at ~91%, and Mac has another ~8% or so; not too much left over...

     

    By the way, Google launched their first Chromebooks about 2.5 years ago; so while they've taken a single point of market share in that period (maybe? back in April NetMarketShare pegged Chromebooks at 0.2% of all web traffic) , Bing - by comparison - has increased its US search share by ~6-7 points, and is now approaching 20%.

     

    So relative to Google's US share, Bing is ~1/4 of the size; Chrome OS, on the other hand, is probably ~1/90th the size of Windows. Interesting to look at the numbers behind the commentary.

     

    I'm waiting to hear more about the success of the Chromebook Pixel, the Chromebox, etc; hopefully we'll get an update soon...
    1 Nov 2013, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • Alan1967
    , contributor
    Comments (238) | Send Message
     
    Marketting isn't going to fix fix Windows 8. They have a fundamental problem with the basics assumtions about Windows 8. Notably that you would want to use a touch screen with a desktop OS.

     

    The best way to explain this is use an anology from Steve Jobs. The iPhone/iPad is like a car, and the desktop is like a truck. When someone wants to "consume" digital content the car (tablet) makes more sense, but when you want to "create" digital content the truck (desktop) makes more sense. In the future trucks are not going away, we will just see fewer of them.

     

    Windows7, Windows XP, OS-X are all very good "truck" desktop operating systems. iOS, Android, are very good "car" operating systems.

     

    Win8 is a wierd hybid ugly car/truck. It is a car front-end with a truck backend. Should we call it a cack, or trur? Whatever it is, it isn't something most people want. It isn't good at being either (a car or a truck) and gets in the way of both.

     

    No amount of marketing is going to fix this. In the short term Microsoft needs to give away Win8 for free and let OEMs sell Windows7. In the longer term they need to create two operating systems Win9 for the desktop and something else for the portable devices.

     

    Spending 400 million on marketing isn't going to make someone buy something they don't want any more than spending 200 million on it will.
    2 Nov 2013, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • Jumento
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    I use windows 8 exactly has i used windows 7.
    Your point is invalid.
    3 Nov 2013, 08:39 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (609) | Send Message
     
    Jumento, Alan’s comment seems pretty valid to me. I have 4 computers all running Windows operating systems. I have Win 8 on my tablet (I rolled back from Win 8.1 because it SUCKS) and I would not consider a different OS for my mobile device. Win 8 is perfect for mobile touchscreen devices.

     

    Likewise though, I would never consider Win 8 for my laptop or desktop computers. I find it to be less efficient than Win 7 and I guess I’ll have to wait to see what Microsoft comes up with after Win 8. If they are unable to improve upon Win 8 for a desktop environment, I’ll be forced to consider other operating systems. I have been using nothing but MS operating systems and legacy software for 25 years so for me, that is saying something.
    4 Nov 2013, 05:51 AM Reply Like
  • KevinRemde
    , contributor
    Comments (421) | Send Message
     
    R-a-D, I'm curious; what was it about 8.1 that "sucks" so bad that you went back to 8.0? Everything I've heard and experienced with it has been positive.

     

    Also, what specifically is it about the desktop in 8.0 or 8.1 that is less functional than 7? When I'm here at my home office, I've got my Surface Pro plugged in to a big monitor with keyboard and mouse. When at the desk, I'm using my desktop applications. (and they actually run better on 8 than on 7; but that's just my experience) I even have my PC go straight to the desktop when I login, because that's still where I get most of my work done.
    4 Nov 2013, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (609) | Send Message
     
    8.1 was noticeably slower, both in boot-up and moving from one program to another. It also changed the search function in a manner that I didn’t like at all. It pretty much eliminated Bing and searched everything including the contents of my hard drive. I prefer to keep those 2 distinctly different search requirements separate (internet vs. computer). I also ran into a few issues with missing drivers that I could not update. It would tell me drivers were missing but when I would try to update I would get messages that my drivers were up to date. Just running slower was enough to get me to do the rollback and it was well worth it. I have very few complaints about Win 8 but MS can keep 8.1.

     

    Win 8 doesn’t do too bad running my legacy software once opened but because the OS was built for both mobile (touchscreen) and desktop environments, I have found it slightly more difficult to maneuver around in Win 8 than I do in Win 7. I just find it easier to access my files and programs easier on Win 7 and have no need for the tiles or apps in Win 8. In some cases, I will open a program from a tile but in order to perform some functions it requires you to open the program in desktop mode. I tolerate this on my tablet but will not on my stationary devices where i do the majority of my work. Although I get a lot of use out of my tablet, my desktop is the workhorse (money maker) and I won't make any sacrifices with that.

     

    Like I said, I wouldn’t consider running anything but Win 8 on my tablet but I won’t consider running anything but Win 7 on my laptop or desktop computers.
    4 Nov 2013, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4358) | Send Message
     
    I upgraded to 8.1 on my non touch screen computer and have no issues with it. I just use the corners, that's all you need.
    4 Nov 2013, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (609) | Send Message
     
    Matt, I can maneuver in Win 8 pretty well, it’s just slower to do so than Win 7 and there are some actions that require 2 or more steps vs. 1 in Win 7. Win 8.1 took at least 4 seconds (or more) to boot up (vs. Win 8), took longer to move from one program to another and took longer to move around within a program. There were some functions that were improved in Win 8.1 but there was more bad than good and I rolled back to Win 8.
    5 Nov 2013, 02:53 AM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4358) | Send Message
     
    How are you switching your programs? You can use ctrl+tab or just put your mouse over the top left corner and click on the background app, its very fast. I don't know why you are counting 4 seconds slower as a deal breaker, that is pretty ridiculous.

     

    Are you sitting in front of your computer with a stop watch? 8.1 is better for non-touch, they fixed a lot of stuff so you don't have to use touch screen.
    5 Nov 2013, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (609) | Send Message
     
    Matt, I use both methods, depending on whether I am using touch or a mouse (rarely use a mouse) but there was a noticeable time difference in virtually all aspects of 8.1 vs. 8. It was a deal breaker for me; I don't use computers to slow things down.

     

    There were some aspects of 8.1 that were better but I am glad a rolled back to 8.
    5 Nov 2013, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4358) | Send Message
     
    You do realize that 8.1 is the OS now, and that you probably can't update or get security updates without it?
    5 Nov 2013, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (609) | Send Message
     
    Matt, Win 8 is still doing updates but I can't tell you what it is updating.
    5 Nov 2013, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • Transcripts&10-K's
    , contributor
    Comments (868) | Send Message
     
    This is common of most discussions about Microsoft - "I hate their newest OS - so I'm going to buy the prior version..."

     

    I think the financials will be just fine either way :)
    5 Nov 2013, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (609) | Send Message
     
    T10K, I will continue to use Win 8 on any mobile devices I purchase in the future. For mobile, I would not consider any other OS.
    5 Nov 2013, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4358) | Send Message
     
    It's amazing how much patience someone will use to learn an Apple product but they look at a Windows one and think its impossible, very funny.

     

    No talking about you R-a-D but many who do. However the tide is shifting, people are starting to realize how easy it is, because they always equated Windows with over bloated and complicated that had settings change on them or corrupted files.
    5 Nov 2013, 11:51 AM Reply Like
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