How To Sell Windows 8 Laptops
Improved OS and new systems feed a stubborn categoryNovember 3, 2013 By John R. Quain
For all the braying about the explosive growth in the tablet market--and the drop in PCsales--the personal computer is not dead, at least not yet. There are plenty of shoppers who still need a PC and are considering a Windows machine. You just need to know how to reach them.
While consumer sales of Windows computers have steadily declined, there are some renewed signs of life in the PC market. Intel--which is pushing hard to stem the exodus to tablets--sponsored a recent IDC survey pointing out that 97 percent of users polled still think of their laptop or desktop as their main computer. More important, 41 percent of survey participants plan to buy a new machine within the next year.
Certainly for students and home office workers, Windows systems are still essential productivity tools. From writing reports to crunching numbers on massive spreadsheets to non-linear video editing, nothing beats a personal computer. And consumers still recognize this fact. In the IDC survey, 83 percent of respondents admitted that they can accomplish more on a PC than on a tablet.
Another factor that may help PC sales this quarter is that Microsoft's unmitigated disaster--the touch-centric Windows 8 OS—has gotten some much anticipated fixes after hamstringing hardware sales for nearly a year. Windows 8.1 smoothed over some of the rough edges of the interface that irritated so many consumers. It returned the Start button, with some (but not all) of the features back in place forlocating frequently used programs. Perhaps even more important, users cam set their computers to boot up directly into a more traditional desktop screen.(Amen to that.)
The changes mean that consumers can ignore the touch elements if they want and still be able to get some work done. It also means that the software is friendlier to conventional laptop computers, the leading form factor for serious PCs. Users no longer have to bother with that odd twist-and-touch design that tries to be everything but ends up being more irritating than beneficial.
Indeed, laptops are still the best way to reach Windows PC shoppers. There are a variety of systems at different price points and configurations, from the home office to the dorm room to the business traveller.
Sony Vaio Fit 15E, $580 and up