Tablet sales a headache for Microsoft

Microsoft needs to take some of its own medicine if Tablet PC sales are to grow in the EMEA region, an analyst firm warned this week. According to the latest figures from Canalys, sales of the form factor are stalling, with 23% less shipped in the most recent quarter than the one preceding it.

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By  Peter Branton Published  July 30, 2003

Microsoft needs to take some of its own medicine if Tablet PC sales are to grow in the EMEA region, an analyst firm warned this week. According to the latest figures from Canalys, sales of the form factor are stalling, with 23% less shipped in the most recent quarter than the one preceding it.

The firm is putting the blame for sluggish sales squarely on Microsoft, saying it, through its hardware partners, needs to put much more effort into pushing the category forward. While Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said at the launch of the Tablet PC operating system last November that it would mark “an exciting new era of mobile computing that is limited only by the imagination of its users” less than 100,000 units have shipped in EMEA since then.

“No one expected tablets to hit huge volumes overnight, but the shipments to date have fallen short of even the most conservative estimates and Microsoft needs to do something about it,” said Chris Jones, Canalys director and senior analyst.

The actions that Canalys would like to see Microsoft take include keeping the price of the operating system below that of standard Windows XP for at least two years, establish a dedicated EMEA Tablet PC marketing team and provide funds and advertising support, as well as looking at helping to fund the cost for their hardware partners to increase their product portfolios.

Overall, HP is the market leader in EMEA, with 28% market share. In a recent interview Christoph Schell, general manager for HP Middle East’s PSG group, said that the company had increased its Tablet PC sales seven-fold quarter-on-quarter.

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