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How many Win 10 PCs were in distribution the week before launch?

Zero. Squat. Diddly. And here's the three reasons why

In the week leading up to the launch of Windows 10 there were zero PCs pre-installed with the new operating system sat in a warehouse awaiting a new home. Not one.

For past releases of Microsoft OSs at least 20 per cent of computers at wholesalers came loaded with the software, but times have changed.

Context Research – which tracks sales-out data from disties – told us this was an industry first but the “situation” was entirely different this time around, as was Redmond’s “approach”.

“High levels of inventory was one reason,” Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context told us.

The Channel pointed out months back that a slowdown in sales late last year in the consumer and business markets, following the race to swap out XP machines, caught vendors short.

Lenovo, for example, has written off a substantial amount of stock in Western Europe. The Chinese vendor was the most affected by high stock levels but it was by no means alone.

Expectations for a “phased adoption” were also at fault, with consumers getting a free upgrade on existing machines which changed the dynamics, said Pygott.

According to the peeps at Microsoft, 14 million customers activated Windows 10 downloads in the 24 hours after the launch.

As we revealed, Microsoft was still trying to iron out bugs in the run up to the 29 July launch date, and Pygott said the “code was released relatively late to OEMs” which is another reason for the stock dearth in distribution.

Stock and sales figures for the eight days since launch are not yet available, but Context said the lack of Windows 10 kit at the front end of the supply chain “does not mean that we won’t see adoption picking up”.

But a number of analysts and industry figures aren’t holding out much hope of Windows PCs reviving the fortunes of PCs this year. ®


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