John Paczkowski

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Fujitsu Not Pleased With Windows 8 Demand, Either

Ballmer_Windows8_python_footAdd Fujitsu to the list of Microsoft partners bemoaning soft interest in Windows 8.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo on Friday, Fujitsu President Masami Yamamoto said initial consumer demand for Windows 8 has been “weak,” and that the uninspired consumer response to it is partially responsible for the company missing its PC shipment target. Fujitsu had previously expected PC shipments for the year ending March 31 to top out at seven million units. Now it expects somewhere around six million.

Yamamoto’s remarks follow similarly disappointed comments from Acer and Asus. Last week, Emmanuel Fromont, head of PC maker Acer’s America’s division, told the New York Times that Windows 8 sales were not what the company had hoped for. “There was not a huge spark in the market,” Fromont said. “It’s a slow start, there’s no question.”

And in late November, Asus CFO David Chang baldly told AllThingsD sister site The Wall Street Journal, “Demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now.”

Asus and Acer are the fourth- and fifth-largest PC makers in the world, so these complaints are troubling, to say the least. That Fujitsu, the world’s third-largest IT services provider, is now adding to them makes it clear that Windows 8 hasn’t come close to driving the PC sales turnaround for which the industry had hoped. And it belies to some extent the optimistic narrative coming out of Microsoft these days. Back in October, CEO Steve Ballmer said the response to Windows 8 around the world had been “incredible.”

“We’re seeing preliminary demand well above where we were with Windows 7, which is gratifying,” Ballmer said. “We’re seeing retailers here in the United States and hardware manufacturers enthusiastic about the response.”

“Enthusiastic” hardly seems an appropriate adjective for any of the responses detailed above.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment about Yamamoto’s remarks or Windows 8 sales.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus