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Windows 8 PC sales 'well below' Microsoft's expectations

Sales of Windows 8 PCs are "well below Microsoft's internal projections", according to reports, with the company blaming PC manufacturers.

Sales of Windows 8 PCs are "well below Microsoft's internal projections" and have been described within the company as "disappointing". That's according to a "trusted source at Microsoft", talking to Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows.

The unnamed source told Thurrott the company is putting the blame squarely at the feet of PC manufacturers, noting their "inability to deliver". If Microsoft annoyed its partners by launching its Surface tablet as a competitor, it's not looking to patch things up any time soon.

The report is a little short of hard numbers. The official word from Microsoft is that it's sold 4 million copies of Windows 8, and that sales of its Surface tablet have been "modest", but the report doesn't mention how many of either the company expected to ship. There are 1.25 billion people using Windows software in the world, so 4 million is a tiny fraction.

Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's man in charge of Windows, was handed his marching orders a few days ago as well, hinting maybe everything isn't hunky-dory in Redmond.

The Pro version of Microsoft's Surface tablet that runs Windows 8 won't be out until next year, which could spur sales, with people skipping the RT model. It does seem a bit of a blunder to launch the RT version but not one with full Windows 8. Add to that the economic climate, and it's hardly surprising so few people are rushing out to buy a new computer.

Windows 8 launched at the end of October, around the same time as Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's similar new mobile OS. CEO Steve Ballmer said it heralded "the launch of a new era at Microsoft". You can find all our how-to guides and other coverage of Windows 8 here.

What do you think of Windows 8? Are you enjoying using it? If not, where did Microsoft go wrong? Let me know what you reckon below in the comments, or on our Facebook page.