Anyone who questions the need for Microsoft’s radical reinvention of Windows need look no further than Amazon’s sales stats.
I was on Amazon.com checking out the specs for Samsung’s new Ativ slate, and happened to click the link for best sellers in Computers and Accessories.
On the morning of 17th October 2012, here is how the top 20 looked:
- Six Android tablets including Samsung Galaxy Tab at number 1 and Google Nexus 7 at 3
- Four varieties of Apple iPad at number 4, 7, 9 and 13
- Two Apple MacBooks (Pro and Air) at positions 2 and 16
- One solitary Windows laptop at number 10 (Dell Inspiron).
A mix of networking devices, screens and accessories make up the other eight places; I chose the entire sector because it puts tablets and laptops alongside each other.
This is not about price. That Dell laptop is $429.99, little different from the 16GB iPad 2 at $399.99 and 42.5% of the cost of the MacBook Pro.
Windows still outsells the Mac overall. Gartner gave Apple just 13.6% of the US PC market (excluding tablets) for the third quarter of 2012. However, Windows is boosted by large corporate sales, where the Mac is still a minority taste; Amazon is largely a consumer vendor.
Further, Amazon’s figures change hourly and I may have hit a low spot; check out the current list yourself.
Finally, the large number of Windows laptops on offer dilute the ranking of any one – though there are a lot of Android tablets on sale too.
For Microsoft though, this is still a worrying list to see. Today’s Windows 7 devices are not what consumers want. Reinventing Windows for tablets was the right thing to do – though that does not, of course, prove that Windows 8 will succeed. Windows 8 pre-orders are not high on the list either – and yes, they are on the list; the Samsung Ativ convertible is currently at 60.