Andrew's Inner Sanctum

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Observations About Windows 8 At Retail In Australia

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by Andrew

Just a quick post today. I ended up in the city today, so I decided while I was there to check out a couple of the big computer retailers to see how things were looking one week after the launch of Windows 8.

Firstly I went to Myer. Most of the computers they had there were Windows 7 laptops unfortunately. There were a couple of laptops running Windows 8, but none of those had touch screens. There were also several Android tablets on display as well as the full collection of Apple hardware (iPads, iMacs, iPods & Macbooks). So pretty disappointing.

So I then decided to check out JB-Hifi. They again, had a stack of Windows 7 laptops they were trying to sell, as well as a generous selection of Windows 8 laptops. What I was disappointed to see though (at both Myer and JB-Hifi) is that most of the laptops were not of Ultrabook standard, they were bulky and and heavy and definitely didn’t have touch screens. I would have thought by now that we would have a nice selection of Ultrabooks to choose from, but sadly this isn’t the case. There were a few Ultrabooks, but not many.

Then I finally found some Windows 8 devices with Touch Support. I was also approached by a nice sales girl who wanted to know if I needed any assistance. I had a chat to her and apparently the only two touch Windows 8 devices they have are from Sony: the VAIO Duo 11 (which is a slider hybrid tablet) and the VAIO T Series 13 Ultrabook. I asked why they don’t have more touch hardware that’s specifically built for Windows 8 and she said to blame the manufactuers. This answered a question I’d been having about if it was the manufactuers just not bothering to ship Windows 8 hardware to Australian shops or the shops not ordering it because they want to sell off their Windows 7 hardware first. According to this sales assistant, it’s the former. She also agreed that they wanted to get some more touch hardware because it shows of Windows 8 better.

Here’s the positive part: This sales assistant really knew what she was talking about when it came to Windows 8. She showed me app switching by swiping from the left, knew about app snapping and was selling that as a feature, knew the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro and made it very clear that this was a Windows 8 Pro device and not a Windows RT one. She then also loaded up Fresh Paint on the device and demoed the pressure senstive pen that comes on the VAIO Duo 11. She even knew about the Surface but said that they didn’t sell it there.

So that was good to see, it appears that the training has been through and this particular girl at JB-Hifi knew all about Windows 8. It’s just sad that there is such a poor selection of proper Windows 8 hardware at the moment. Hopefully this changes soon, so that christmas trees all around Australia are filled with Windows 8 & RT tablets that best show off the new platform!

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5 Responses to Observations About Windows 8 At Retail In Australia

  1. At our Retravision store, we’re still waiting on stock from Asus and Toshiba. Of the stock we’ve had in already, almost all is sold (but it was a relatively modest order for the end of the month). We’re expecting more stock in soon, now that we’ve rolled into a new month, but it hasn’t arrived yet. We’ve tried to strike a healthy balance between entry level, ultrabook and touch. Unfortunately, none of the touch units from Asus have arrived as of yet. We’re being told “early” November for the Asus ME400 Vivo Tablet variant (probably got that model number wrong) which lies somewhere between the Vivo RT and the Vivo Tab in terms of specs. We’ve been told end of November for the Asus Taichi stock we’ve ordered. It’s been disappointing… you place a respectably-sized launch order, and 2-3 weeks later you’re still waiting on most of your stock.

    • I appreciate the feedback. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that it’s the manufactuers that are the reason why we’re not seeing that much touch hardware and not the retailers. Thanks for this info.

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