In April, NPD DisplaySearch said that about 12% of notebooks sold in 2013 would be equipped with touch.
Those numbers bode ill for Microsoft, which has tied Windows 8 to touch on all platforms, not just tablets. It bet that buyers would find Windows 8 attractive because it was designed as a touch OS, repeatedly describing the radical overhaul as “touch-first.” The Redmond, Wash. developer assumed that once customers tried Windows 8 on touch-equipped traditional form factors, like clamshell-style notebooks, they would love the operating system.
That thinking led Microsoft months ago to blame Windows 8’s sluggish start on too-few touch PCs at launch.
"Frankly, the supply was too short,” said Tami Reller, at the time the CFO of the Windows division, in January. “I mean, there was more demand than there was supply in the types of devices that our customers had the most demand for.”
Microsoft’s message was clear: If touch PCs had been more prevalent, Windows 8 would have gotten out of the gate faster. And once touch was more widely available, the new operating system would power a rebound in PC sales.
But half a year after Reller’s finger-pointing and nine months after Windows 8’s debut, most customers are taking a pass on touch, said O’Donnell.
Supply was too short to meet the next-to-no demand. Okay. Microsoft is running out of things to blame for Windows 8.