How did Microsoft’s new Windows 8 fare on its first big holiday shopping weekend? Here’s an encouraging picture, submitted by a GeekWire reader who took the photo at a Walmart in Indiana after the Black Friday mayhem had ended. The HP, Gateway and Toshiba notebooks ranged in price from $328 to $248.
However, the scene wasn’t so rosy for Microsoft at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, where analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray and team observed and tabulated traffic and sales at Microsoft and Apple stores. Microsoft saw 47 percent less foot traffic than the Apple Store did, and far fewer sales — 3.5 items per hour, compared with 17.2 items per hour at the Apple Store, as reported by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt.
Most of the items purchased from the Microsoft Store were Xbox 360 games. During the two hours that the Piper Jaffray team observed the Microsoft Store, they didn’t see any Microsoft Surface tablets being purchased.
Walmart doorbusters aside, it’s more evidence of a somewhat lackluster start. Prior to the big holiday weekend, longtime Windows watcher Paul Thurrott reported that initial sales of Windows 8 were falling “well below” Microsoft’s internal projections.
We probably won’t get a sense for the official numbers until Microsoft reports earnings early next year, and the big research firms come out with their PC sales numbers. However, there may be a clue or two at Microsoft’s annual meeting with shareholders later this week.
Back at the Walmart, you may be wondering what you can get in a sub-$250 Windows 8 laptop. The Toshiba on the right (which normally retails for more than $300) has a 15.6-inch screen with 4GB of RAM, a 1.3 GHz AMD dual-core processor, a 320 GB hard drive, around 5.5 pounds. Here are the full specs.
That wasn’t the cheapest Windows 8 notebook available on Black Friday. Best Buy offered a 15.6-inch Lenovo with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive for $187.99, which quickly sold out, as well.
Best Buy’s Cyber Monday deals on Windows 8 machines aren’t nearly as aggressive.