Microsoft has developed a Windows tablet computer of its own design. On Monday, June 18, 2012, the company unveiled the Surface, a PC tablet that runs a yet-to-be released version of its Windows operating system called Windows 8. The …
Remember when customers would line up for the release of a new Windows upgrade, such as Windows 95?
Those days seem like ancient history, as the crowds and excitement moved to Apple in recent years.
Microsoft made big news this fall when it released Windows 8, an operating system unlike anything it's ever offered before, with tiles instead of icons and no familiar Start button.
But in the first few weeks, sales have been underwhelming.
And some tech critics are wondering if the new Windows, like New Coke, may have been a change consumers didn't want.
Shoppers Kick the Tires, But Don't Buy
While shoppers may be showing some interest in Microsoft's new Surface tablet, with its unique clip-on keyboard and ultra light weight, most are not buying.
The investment firm, Piper Jaffrey, staked out a Microsoft Store and Apple store in the Mall of America on Black Friday.
Over a two-hour period, the Apple store sold 11 iPads, while the Microsoft store sold zero Surface tablets.
And Piper Jaffrey says most purchases at the Microsoft store that day were for Xbox consoles or games, not for Windows 8-related products.
Now, a growing number of analysts say Microsoft needs to do something, soon.
The Huffington Post says the new Windows 8 has been met with "lukewarm enthusiasm."
CNET says Windows 8 has had an "awkward" start, following the sudden departure of its chief architect.
It says while the company has sold 40 million Windows 8 systems, those are mainly to businesses who will need to upgrade in the future: it does not indicate current sales.
The tech blog Tapscape calls Windows 8 a "fail," saying many prospective buyers are simply buying Apple products instead.
Information Week goes further, suggesting that with Windows 8 "fizzling," Microsoft should follow the lead of Coca Cola, and its botched New Coke in 1985.
The magazine suggests that just like with Coke Classic, Microsoft bring back a version called Windows Classic, with the familiar Start button.
Surface Tablet Overpriced?
As for the surface tablet, a number of analysts suggest Microsoft cut the price, currently at $499.
While shoppers appear to like the new Surface at first glance, analysts say its iPad-like premium price tag is scaring them away, and right down the mall to the Apple store.
The tech blog, ZDNet, says if Microsoft lowered to the price to $299, sales could potentially explode, the way Amazon's Kindle Fire is selling.
That way you don't waste your money.
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