Resellers looking to assist clients with an upgrade programme to Windows 8 can be assured that the volume of devices now in the channel is in line with vendor supply, according to Tarsus Technologies.
Tarsus’ Microsoft product manager, Andrew Firman, says that Windows 8 passed the milestone of 100 million licences sold in the six months since it launched in October last year. The new figures indicate sales of around 40 million licences since January, when the discounted upgrade offer for early adopters ended.
In addition, Microsoft says that more than 250 million apps have been downloaded from the Windows Store during the same period. It also revealed that a major update to the operating system, Windows 8.1, will be released before the end of the year.
“Historically it takes some time to fully run out of any older line of hardware product as the new generation emerges,” says Firman, “We saw that with Windows XP, Windows Vista and now Windows 7. Windows 8 devices now account for more than half of our inventory for both notebooks and desktops, and as touch devices become a bigger part of the hardware line-up from vendors, the more likely the user will be to see that hardware partnered with Windows 8 enhances the real Windows 8 experience and leads to increased customer demand.”
Firman says that smaller touchscreen devices running full Windows 8 are becoming available at a rapid rate. These match the mobility needs of Windows-based businesses better than low-power tablets have so far, and may help to offset the falling demand for PCs seen globally in recent quarterly reports from both Gartner and IDC.
Despite the headlines surrounding that drop in PC shipments, businesses are continuing to invest in new IT, says Firman.
Gartner’s Mikako Kitagawa is particularly upbeat: “Unlike the consumer PC segment, the professional PC market, which accounts for about half of overall PC shipments, has seen growth, driven by continuing PC refreshes. Despite the fact that some regions already passed the peak of PC refresh, overall professional PC demand continued to grow.”
Firman says that resellers and their customers should also be aware that they need to plan around the forthcoming end of life plans for Windows XP.
“Microsoft will be withdrawing support for Windows XP on 8th April 2014,” Firman explains, “So the legacy PC user will need to adapt, as continuing on Windows XP will mean third-generation old technology, higher service and support costs and higher security risks.”
For firms that have already migrated to Windows 7 and aren’t ready to move to Windows 8 yet, he adds that the Windows 8 licence allows for Windows 8 Pro keys to be downgraded to the older and more familiar Windows 7 operating system.