Windows 8 Sales Are Terrible, But That's Great News for Laptop Deals

By , dealnews Senior Feature Writer

Despite Microsoft's best efforts, it seems that Windows 8 isn't meeting expectations. According to research firm Net Applications, Microsoft's latest OS hasn't even been able to match sales of Vista (which, if you recall, was a major fail for the company). Making matters worse, Microsoft has a long line of unhappy manufacturers — including HP, ASUS, Fujitsu, and Samsung — upset with Windows 8's failure to revitalize an already-sluggish PC market.

In response, Microsoft is discounting Windows 8 licenses to its original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partners; licensing fees have fallen from $120 to just $30. And while the discount is intended to help move 11" ultraportables, our deal data suggests that the cut — in addition to the low adoption rate — is affecting prices on all Ivy Bridge Windows 8 systems, including mainstream 15" configurations. As a result, it's now a great time to get one of the best laptop deals.

Windows 8 Drops Ivy Bridge Laptops to Better-Than-Black Friday Prices

Although Intel debuted its Ivy Bridge line of processors only 10 months ago, our deals suggest that Windows 8's troubles are prematurely driving prices down on systems sporting these CPUs. In fact, just last month we saw a 15" Ivy Bridge laptop sell for an all-time low of $299. The laptop, which was equipped with 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive, was a full $100 under our best Black Friday deal.

Conversely, laptops with previous-gen Sandy Bridge CPUs and Windows 7 didn't see such swift price cuts over the same time period; when Sandy Bridge-based laptops hit their 10-month mark, mainstream 15" Core i5-based laptops had dropped to $400 — a 34% discount from their debut price. By comparison, after 10 months on the market, today's mainstream 15" Windows 8 Core i5 Ivy Bridge-based laptops have fallen 46% from their debut price, to a rock-bottom $299.

In addition to a poor reception to the OS, there are still plenty of flavors of Windows on the market, a factor which may be contributing to a lag in current Windows 8 sales. In fact, some of our own readers have expressed seeking out older systems just to avoid Windows 8. This hesitation to adopt — and adapt — to the touchscreen-happy UI of Windows 8 may also explain why we're seeing such steep discounts on Windows 8-equipped Ivy Bridge laptops.

Buy Now, or Look for Bundles Later

Rumors indicate that Microsoft has an update to Windows 8 in store for August. Codenamed Windows Blue, the refresh will add new features and more customization options. It's possible that when it debuts, we might even see further deals and discounts on Windows 8 Ivy Bridge systems especially since Windows Blue is set to launch just as back-to-school sales are in full swing. While we don't think rock-bottom prices will drop much from their current low of $299, savvy shoppers might be able to score a laptop bundle this summer, as is typical with many back-to-school laptop deals.

If you don't want to wait that long to buy a Windows 8 deal, we recommend looking for mainstream 15" configurations priced at around $299. For a larger 17" Windows 8 Ivy Bridge-equipped desktop replacement, we've seen prices fall to as low as $400 on several occasions in recent months. And if you decide to bump up the specs on that 17" system to include a high-end i7 CPU (which will likely come with more RAM and storage), you can expect to pay about $600. Yet, no matter which Windows 8 Ivy Bridge configuration you're looking for, sign up for an email alert now, and you'll receive notification as soon as we post the deal you're looking for.

In the meantime, here's a video of a very confused dad trying to use Windows 8.

Photo credit: Beta News

An avid gadget lover, Louis Ramirez has covered technology for Gizmodo, CNET, Laptop, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @LouisRamirez.

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DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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Just spend a few bucks for something like StartIsBack and use it like you would Windows 7. And no it's not that hard to switch, if you only point the cursor to the corner you can get back to the apps. I don't like 8 either but lets get real about that.
I often have dozens of applications, tabs, windows open on 3 monitors (win7). If I had to switch to this crap (win8), I'd loose a lot of productivity.
I'm probably half this guy's age and have been using computers since 286 processors and had trouble figuring out how to get around in windows 8. I figured how to how to go back and forth but have no idea how to use windows 8 in real life. I'm happy with win7 and wouldn't buy any computer with that crap installed. It's the worst windows version I've ever seen.
I looked at two different Windows 8 Laptops, one from HP the other from ASUS, I agree with some of the comments here about Windows 8, I have settled on a Apple 13" Macbook Air. I think Apple said that in their last quarterly report that the Mac sales went up slightly, I think 2 or 3%, and I believe PC sales during the same period went down something like 14%. In the end it's not PCs or Macs, but Tablets (mostly the iPad - I think it's something like 86% of the market) which is changing this market segment.
I'm quite computer savvy, have 5 systems at home - and I absolutely hate Windows 8. It was meant for a touchscreen laptop or tablet, and the lazy bums at MS didn't take time to come up with one for the regular laptops and desktops. I understand that this segment of the business is shrinking, but you really can't do hard core business apps like Excel with your fingertips, so the desktops are not ready to be replaced any time soon. Funny thing, I used to be Mac user, and I'm holding off getting another PC laptop because of Win 8, and thinking about getting a Mac laptop... just like the poor dad in the video.
I'm quite computer savvy, have 5 systems at home - and I absolutely hate Windows 8. It was meant for a touchscreen laptop or tablet, and the lazy bums at MS didn't take time to come up with a separate one for the regular laptops and the desktops. I understand that segment of the business is shrinking, but you really can't do hard core business apps like Excel with your fingertips, so the desktops are not ready to be replaced any time soon. Funny thing, I used to be Mac user, and I'm holding off getting another PC laptop because of Win 8, and thinking about getting a Mac laptop... just like the poor dad in the video.
The "Dad" in the video is doing it exactly right. You just go to the Desktop and stay there. Install a $5 widget to get your start menu back and boot directly to desktop and you never have to see Metro again.
I think this video does a little bit of a disservice to Mircosoft. You can hear the smugness in the son's voice. It's a new operating system, it's requires a little transition, when I first tried win 8 I was the same way as the guy portrayed in the video. After using it for several weeks I am ready to convert more of my Win 7 PC's. As for brianlmoon-fb who said “if aint broke don't fix it”, if that was the case we’d all still be living in caves and playing with our first gen iPods and iPhones.
I am not a win fan boy by any stretch of the imagination, but after having this discussion with several people I've come to realize that all MS did was move the start button and make the start menu more interactive. Take a step back and think about it a bit. I have a Lenovo Yoga and I have the best of both worlds, tablet and laptop in one device. Don't get me wrong, MS has some work to do in the app department but I am a convert. Gave my tablets to the kids…
Gennady Lager (DealNews)
Windows 7 is the first widows OS that I have nothing to complain about.
I am looking to update a five plus year old desktop. Laptops are fine for mobile computing and I have tablets- pads that are great for that purpose. Look forward to seeing 8 + on a nice touchscreen all in one maybe with some dongles to control home AV and wireless streaming to big screen. Asus is the only easily upgradable AIO I have seen. Would like some moderately priced alternatives.
I just ordered a new desktop yesterday with Windows 8. I have yet to use Windows 8 to much extent, so it's hard for me to comment on it yet. But, the changes that many are defending and writing about saying people need to change or learn, that's not good business sense. First, Microsoft and for that matter, the PC, exist solely because of business use. From DOS to Win 3.1 to XP and 2000, the upgrades were virtually painless. Then Windows 7 comes along. Pain. Cost. Incompatibility. We've adapted and overcome, but with a significant cost. Windows 8 will be near unusable for our business. After outfitting half the company with dual monitors, and we will be forced to buy expensive touchscreens. This alone is enough reason to hate Windows 8. Being forced to train and change doesn't sit well for companies in an already tight economy. The one I ordered is for home. I'll figure it out and get a head start before we go to the next OS. IF we go to the next OS.
There is an old saying that I am sure most people have heard and is worth repeating.
" If it ain't broke don't try and fix it"
I and most people I know still like and use windows xp.
It seem that Microsoft just keeps coming out with a so-called new operating sys. every few years just to please its stock holders and those that have money to waste on the latest hype OS.
Louis Ramirez (DealNews)
@Karlislu Agree 100%. On a laptop with a touchscreen (or on a tablet), Windows 8 is fun to use. Sure, it has its quirks, but nothing you can't learn after a few days. However, on a traditional laptop that has no touch functionality, the learning curve is infuriatingly high.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
@ibex333 Funny you call it ugly, I actually think it's a really beautiful design.
Another Microsoft hit piece. Ok, dealnews, we get it, you're pro Apple.
I guess there are Apple fanboys here after all haha. Just wait and see my dear, Windows 8 rules! People who can't use Windows 8 are probably those who can't use computer in general already.
I do not know why windows 8 is so bad, I am upgraded my windows 7 to windows 8 about 6 months ago, and in my opinion I did the best decision for my computer and my self, computer is very quick, starts and shuts just in 20-30 sec. with my windows 7 I had to wait about 2 min., to be honest I don't know what people complain about, because for me windows 8 is the best OS so far.
Windows 8 is the worst and the ugliest OS to ever come out from Microsoft. I decided to stay away as soon as I used it for the 1st time and never went back to try it again. Cant wait till its phased out in favor of something better, and it will, despite hoards of naysayers.
Right, enterprise users are switching to Mac in your dreams... Windows 8 OS is a fine OS, some lazy idiots don't want to learn anything even if that takes 30 mins.
Yeah. Windows 8 may be the biggest turd MS has ever passed...All the enterprise IT folks I know are like, "Well, maybe we'll wait for the next OS..." Better yet, some are switching to Macs