Windows 8’s biggest problem: Touch PCs aren’t catching on

Windows 8 Touch PC Market

Microsoft’s big hope with Windows 8 was that it would spawn a new wave of demand for touch-enabled PCs that would revitalize a declining industry. Needless to say that hasn’t happened so far and new data from NPD DisplaySearch estimates that touch-enabled notebooks will account for just 11% of all notebooks shipped in 2013, which is a pretty low number given that the entire premise of Microsoft’s new operating system is to bring tablet-style touch capabilities to personal computers.

NPD DisplaySearch says that at some point touch-based PCs will catch on if for no other reason than anyone who wants to buy a new PC over the next few years will want to get one so they can take advantage of the new Windows touch capabilities.

“Premium pricing and a lack of compelling uses for touch screens on notebooks continue to hinder adoption,” explains NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim. “As touch interfaces become increasingly common across all mobile devices, however, it is just a matter of time before the technology also becomes more prevalent in notebooks.”

NPD’s new research backs up research released earlier this year by IDC estimating that touch-based laptops will only account for between 10% and 15% of all laptops shipped this year. At the time IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell said that “touch is just not that compelling for most” PC users because “there are not that many touch-required apps that people feel they must have.”

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