Cash-strapped punters are unlikely to dig deep for a premium-priced Windows 8 PC this Christmas, says Gartner.
The bean counter reckons sales into UK channels will be flattish in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year ago when the market slumped by a fifth - the worst decline in half a decade.
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Clearly Gartner, which is critical of Microsoft's latest operating system, doesn't believe the OS upgrade has sufficient benefits to draw in the consumer.
"The fourth quarter will see little uplift as Windows 8 will still be expensive," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at the market watcher. The "outlook" for Q4 is that shipments will be flat in terms of growth, he said.
But not if Acer has its way: the Taiwanese firm is on a road show to tout its 11 - yes, eleven - Windows 8 models that include clam-shell computers and all-in-one machines. Oliver Ahrens, EMEA president at Acer, told The Channel consumers need to get their hands on Windows 8 machines before they buy because many were not aware of the "impressive" touch-driven system.
"I am pretty sure people will pay a premium, but they have to see Windows 8 and experience it. We'll do an experience tour in 40 cites in Europe in Q4. We must bring people face to face with it."
The tour will visit ten countries including the UK, and Acer intends to set up shop with friendly retailers, such as in Dixons stores.
The general rule of thumb, according to Gartner, is that businesses won't adopt a new OS until 18 months after launch, so no lift in sales were expected from that sector.
Neil Berville, Lenovo exec director of EMEA channels, programmes and alliances, predicted that in terms of the consumer space "there will be a spike in sales". He said: "Windows 8 is a great opportunity for device makers to push the boundaries. We want to stop people putting money in Apple's pocket." ®