The much hoped for boost for PC sales from the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system has thus far failed to materialize.
According to the NPD Group, since the Oct. 26 launch of Windows 8, U.S. sales of consumer Windows PC and tablets—including the Microsoft Surface tab—have fallen 21 percent versus the same period of last year.
Sales of Windows notebooks declined 24 percent year-over-year, while sales of desktops fell 19 percent, according to NPD.
The PC market is expected to contract this year for the first time since 2001, as consumers increasingly opt for tablets and other less expensive, more convenient mobile computing devices. Many had hoped that the launch of Windows 8—described as the most dramatic refresh of the ubiquitous operating system in decades—would provide a boost to the PC market, as other Windows launches have done in the past.
The Windows 8 start screen, featuring application tiles.
Others have already speculated that Windows 8 would not be enough to stem the tide of PC sales decline. Though the new operating system offers some compelling new features and usability, it adds significant cost.
"After just four weeks on the market, it’s still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, in a statement. "We still have the whole holiday selling season ahead of us, but clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for."