Microsoft quarterly sales rose, but PC makers still waiting for a boost

Jan 25, 2013

Microsoft says sales rose about 3 percent in its most recent quarter. But analysts say the company still has to contend with a slowing market for personal computers.

The quarter ended in December was a big one for Microsoft, product-wise. It launched Windows 8 – which executives say is a total reimagining of the operating system in part because it was designed for touch screens.

The company says it’s sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses so far, but some are for computers that are still on store shelves. NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker says computer makers haven’t gotten the boost they were hoping for.

"Sales have been slow in PCs all year and I think the real challenge was that Windows 8 didn’t accelerate sales," Baker said.

Baker says Windows 8 will probably start to catch on by the fall when more touch-screen options hit the market. But he says PC makers face tough competition from a variety of inexpensive tablets made by companies like Apple, Amazon and Google.