Walmart, Best Buy, Staples etc upgraded Windows 7 PC's via software disk and sold them as W8 to customers but they are reported as Windows 7 inventory in sales stats. Some Walmart's used the same disk to upgrade 5 or 6 machines to W8.
PC hardware sales were down mainly because the shape and form of computing is changing into tablets and smartphones. However, Microsoft has it's claws into both of these markets, and others as well. That is why their profits continued to rise, even while most PC hardware distributors experienced a drop in growth. Windows 8 is responsible for their rapid rise in tablet market-share, and it really shines on devices with a touch screen. It works fine on a desktop or laptop without a touchscreen, but only if you boot into desktop mode. I hear Windows Blue might even be bring back the option of a start button, which makes sense for many users including myself.
Anyway, I think some people just like to complain for no other reason than to hear the sound of their own bitter voices...
Do you really believe Walmart employees inserted a disk and upgraded pc's?? In that case Walmart, BestBuy, etc, would eat the cost of the Win8 license. Do you think they care about you getting Win8 vs. Win7?
a lot of upgrades that took place in Q3 due to the expiration of XP support were booked in Q4, which makes the comps really tough to understand. Shipments crashed, but somehow the revs were still on par, which suggests businesses upgraded licenses, and /or Win7 boxes were provided with an upgrade disc
MSFT is hoping that new touch designs from box manufacturers at slightly lower price points may ignite more interest.
bottom line I can tell you at our company which has about 250 pc's we want nothing to do with win8, and we also did not want to move off xp, but had to to get support and better security protection. Same thing will have to be done with Win8 eventually... hold a gun to everyone's head by ending support for win7 so msft can have a viable business segment