We know that Microsoft is very eager to move past the less-than-enthusiastic reception that greeted Windows 8 and introduce us to Windows 9. And it looks like that day can’t come soon enough either, because the NPD Group has found that while PC sales surprisingly recovered during the back-to-school shopping season this year, the big winners weren’t Windows PCs — instead, they were Macs and Chromebooks.
“U.S. consumer retail PC sales grew almost 3 percent during the 10 week Back-to-School period (week of July 4th through Labor Day week) after declining by 2.5 percent in the previous year,” writes NPD. “Apple and Chrome OS led the sales drive with Chrome OS unit sales increasing 37 percent over 2013 and Mac OS-based products up 14 percent. Windows devices declined 3 percent.”
In other words, while both Chromebooks and MacBooks both saw healthy year-over-year gains, sales of Windows devices actually declined. This is obviously not good for Microsoft, although it’s worth nothing that NPD has also found that Windows-based PCs have still accounted for 68.4% of all PC sales this year. All the same, this is a hefty drop from two years ago when Windows-based PCs accounted for more than 75% of all PCs sold and Chromebooks couldn’t even crack 1%.
Microsoft is expected to show off Windows 9 for the first time next week and to release a developer preview shortly after.