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By | Paul Kunert 19th June 2013 08:59

PC makers REALLY need Windows 8.1 to walk on water - but guess what?

Upgrade is no 'miracle', sniffs IT analyst

An updated Windows 8 from Microsoft will NOT be the "miracle cure" for traditional PC makers in need of a sales and profits injection. And that's according to IT biz analysts Context.

This is the second technology distribution channel watcher in a week to warn that Redmond's touch-friendly operating system tweak, namely version 8.1, will fail to set the consumer world on fire: Context's stern tones follow a damning notebooks and desktop sales forecast by Canalys.

Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context, revealed that - as in Q4 and Q1 this year - Windows 8 has still not reenergised the market, and predicted that the 8.1 free upgrade due next week will not either.

"We've not seen the desired effect from Windows 8," she said, "and Windows 8.1 might provide a lift [in sales] but it is no miracle cure to overall problems because the sales downturn is due to the economy".

PC shipments - desk based, notebook and workstations - across Western Europe by distributors declined 12.8 per cent in the first seven weeks of Q2, Context data revealed.

A swathe of vendors are planning to introduce a swathe of hybrid touch devices, starting from Q3 this year. Part of the reason why Win 8 was a initially a damp squib was the lack of touch tablets or PCs on the market which could take advantage of the Metro interface TIFKAM.

Pygott said a bunch of touch-based clamshell systems are also on the way but the platform needs a price cut of €100 to close the differential with non-touch systems.

"Price is one of the reasons sales have been low - there weren't many [touch] systems available at the launch of Windows and the ones that were out there were quite expensive," she said. ®

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