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The PC industry waits on Windows 8 to drive sales.

Many PC oriented companies are reporting poor sales in their last fiscal reports, with Dell among the list. Part of the problem is that Windows 7 is now firmly established and people have felt no need to adopt another computer, with shiny new operating system.

Windows 8 is certainly not popular among the Kitguru team, and I am the only one who likes the interface. A few of my colleagues joke that ‘of course you like it, its been designed for women’. Whatever that means. Whether we like it or not, Windows 8 is being seen as the saviour for PC sales.

If history is anything to go by, PC sales always jump after Microsoft release a major operating system. While this might seem ludicrous to the ‘enthusiast system building’ audience, we have to factor in that the less experienced, mass market audience has been shown to just sell his/her current computer, or give it away to a family member and then spend money on a completely new system running the latest Windows.

Microsoft are hoping that Windows 8 not only services the desktop and laptop audience, but the growing tablet market – increasing their profit margins while servicing a whole new audience. The main interface is built around bright, colourful tiles which are optimised purely for touch screen operation. The plan is that a raft of new tablets running Windows 8 will start to eat into the Apple iPad marketshare.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. set to make a lot of money from high licensing fees.

This is a hotly debated subject between analysts right now, and several have raised concerns that it will take at least 3 quarters before the hardware is completely developed ‘around Windows 8′.

HSBC analyst Jenny Lai spoke to the Wall Street Journal and said that Microsoft will need to attract more application developers to work with Windows 8.

Microsoft plan on charging $40-$50 for a license to a partner, while PC manufacturers will also have to factor in the extra cost for a touchscreen, if they wish to avail of all the features. Microsoft are facing criticism for their high licensing fees for Windows 8.

J.T. Wang, Acer boss is less optimistic about Windows 8. He said they must lower their expectations for a short term boost from Windows 8 due to “uncertainty of the Windows 8 ecosystem.’ J.T. Wang also recently spoke out about Microsoft entering the Tablet sector with their ‘Surface’ tablet. He really doesn’t seem very happy with Microsoft lately going on all the reports in the press.

He added in an investor call on Friday “Originally, we were expecting very high growth in the second half. We’re still waiting for a sign of consumer enthusiasm.”

This is in complete contrast to his original views months ago, when he seemed very positive about Windows 8 and the growth it could drive.

Kitguru says: Everyone hopes that Windows 8 will help boost the PC industry. But many feel that Windows 8 is a step back from Windows 7, unless you want a tablet that is.

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