Lenovo: Industry ‘underestimated’ demand for touch PCs

The day after the Windows 8 launch, I went to the local electronics store and tried a couple of touch-screen Windows 8 laptops. I wasn’t impressed. The Modern UI looked oversized and ugly, and the touch gestures seemed unintuitive.

Clearly, though, the market at large doesn’t feel the same way. Lenovo North America chief Gerry Smith told CNet News yesterday that the industry underestimated demand for Windows 8 touch PCs, in fact. That underestimation was apparently so bad that supply shortages ensued. The situation is now improving, though, and Smith told CNet News that capacity will increase in the first half of next year.

Smith also expects Windows 8 to be successful, despite the whispers of disappointing sales we heard last month. In six months’ time, “people will look back and determine the Windows 8 launch was pretty consistent with prior releases of the software,” Smith said.

Comments closed
    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    price be damned, this means the PC is not dying after all ?

    AMD poised for a comeback? stock price above $4 again ?

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      Don’t call it a comeback.
      AMD’s been here for years, been rockin’ their peers and puttin’ suckas in fear.

    • bjm
    • 7 years ago

    Considering Lenovo has the best mainstream touch laptop in the Yoga, it’s not too surprising we’re hearing this from them first.

    • barich
    • 7 years ago

    Well, duh. When Windows 8 launched, I was expecting new form factors, dockable tablets, etc. to be the norm. What we got instead were a few cool things like Surface and the IdeaPad Yoga, maybe a few more touchscreen AIOs, and a vast array of desktop computers and laptops that are pretty much the same as their Windows 7 predecessors.

    Windows 8 doesn’t require a touch screen (I basically use it the same way I used Windows 7), but if you actually want to use Modern UI for anything it’s a pain without one.

    The PC OEMs are virtually useless. So little innovation, even when Microsoft does all of the software work for them. I hope that Surface is enough of a success that Microsoft stays in the hardware market, even if only as a Microsoft Nexus line to show the OEMs how it should be done.

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    I recall Steve Jobs himself saying that touchscreen laptops are a stupid idea. I guess the industry was under the influence of RDF

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 7 years ago

      They are a stupid idea for OS X since Apple can actually make a trackpad that works. Compared to most PC trackpads a fingerprint smeared TN panel might be a more usable option….

        • Kurotetsu
        • 7 years ago

        +10,000

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      intel said it was.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      He said you would get gorilla arm. In this, I think he was right with regards to most consumers.

    • Squeazle
    • 7 years ago

    My favorite moments as a computer nerd include…

    Someone showing me their lenovo all in one computer and asking me if it was good. It had a touch screen then, and a tiny tiny cpu. I had no choice but to look on in …amazement.
    Another friend bragging about their speech-to-text program for about a week.
    And finally another person I knew asking me if I could fix their hard drive.

    The public is not so discerning from what anecdotal evidence I’ve seen. edit: So I can believe they would grab the most obvious new thing available.

      • Mourmain
      • 7 years ago

      You favorite moments are those in which you could look down on people because they knew a little bit less than you did? How… original. You enjoy getting the same treatment from anyone that knows more than you about a subject, like your doctor, car mechanic, I suppose?…

        • HibyPrime
        • 7 years ago

        You just did the same thing you’re accusing him of….. and so did I.

          • yogibbear
          • 7 years ago

          Now we’re stuck in an endless loop, I bet in another dimension things didn’t end up like this. I want to be in that one 🙁

        • Squeazle
        • 7 years ago

        Absolutely not. I am amused by people who assume they know the ins and outs of something they buy because someone at best buy told them it was good. I know I fall into that trap too when it comes to almost anything else.
        I feel when people brag, it gives me license to have a little chuckle at their thoughts. The first two were certainly in this category, the third I was just incredulous at.

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      so did you fix the hard drive? all you need to do is open it up and sand paper each disk a bit. should be good as new!

    • crsh1976
    • 7 years ago

    Colour me surprised, I’m surprised there’s a demand at all.

    • Shambles
    • 7 years ago

    They ‘under’estimated touch computer sales? Wow, they must have pegged selling 0 of the things in their financial forecast.

    • Thresher
    • 7 years ago

    Touch screens are Windows 8’s raison d’etre. Without a touch screen, the OS is a step backwards in usability.

      • brute
      • 7 years ago

      get a big boobs-background

      touch screen is now aweosme.

        • BiffStroganoffsky
        • 7 years ago

        Now which breast would brute grab for his picture password? It’s fifty-fifty…fifty.

        • Grigory
        • 7 years ago

        This is first acceptable reason for using a touch screen on a desktop PC I have ever heard. Not a good reason but still an acceptable one.

      • Voldenuit
      • 7 years ago

      Even with a touchscreen, I find Win8 a step backwards in usability. I find the touch controls finicky – dragging down to kill an app sometimes doesn’t register, or causes MUI Chrome to maximize (wtf? I thought it was already fullscreen?). Swiping from the edge doesn’t always register*, and not all controls are replicated in touch (Win+X, I’m looking at you). Also, touch controls are inconsistent between Modern and desktop (long-press to right-click in desktop, short-drag to bring up context menu and hidden items in Modern). It’s also not well optimized for pen input (pen will not bring up touch keyboard/writing input bar, I have to touch the text field with my finger first).

      Granted, some of the issues could be related to drivers (some of my drivers are beta, some are legacy win7 drivers), but the touch/pen experience for me in Win8 has been a big step backwards in usabilty, compared to the moderate step backwards in usability that is the kb+mouse interface.

      * This may be related to the USB power saving bug that plagues the yoga, but the drivers on my thinkpad X230T don’t let me selectively turn off power saving on the touchscreen, and even turning off USB power saving altogether still doesn’t fix the issue.

        • cygnus1
        • 7 years ago

        Out of curiosity, are you using hardware that’s not win8 certified?

          • Voldenuit
          • 7 years ago

          Correct. The X230T is not Win8 certified, although I have seen a few people online that say they managed to configure it with Win8 shipped.

          Some of the drivers have not been certified (on the advice of the lenovo forum, I installed the stylus drivers from wacom instead of lenovo’s version, which was an older version). However, I have also seen numerous reports that a clean install of windows 8 produced worse battery life than the factory image or in-place upgrade, so I went for the in place upgrade from win7.

          I’m tempted to try a custom driver for the trackpad that was created by a forum member, because the stock synaptics driver has [i<]horrible[/i<] gesture support. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am willing to concede that at least *some* of my problems could be driver or hardware related, but I have also encountered similar issues with a Surface RT device and my frustration with the UI itself stands. Fortunately, my wife (whose primary computer it is) is more patient than I am, and has no complaints about having to swipe twice every now and again to get the charms bar to show up. And since I do all the software and network configuration for the computers in our home, she's never had to look for computer management, disk management, power management, win+x, etc. So, [i<]once everything had been configured for her[/i<], she's been pretty happy with Win8. EDIT: Also, I should point out that many of the problems I've encountered have also plagued lenovo yoga users, and that ships with Win8 by default. Some of those issues have workarounds (disable sleep on HID touchscreen supposedly fixes the touchscreen lag), but others still don't (touchscreen keyboard not consistently showing up).

            • cygnus1
            • 7 years ago

            Gotcha. This just adds to my feeling that a lot of touchscreen Win8/RT systems are going to barely be better than a beta test for a lot of hardware and software.

            • Voldenuit
            • 7 years ago

            Exactly! Microsoft has a one-size-fits-all solution for some future computing paradigm that nobody’s succesfully defined yet, and the hardware makers are experimenting with concepts trying to nail what they think it will be.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            idk if it’s because of Ms’s idea of one os to rule them all, more like the oem’s didn’t bother to do the work they should have leading up to the launch of the touch os they knew was coming. i guarantee the swipes work on the surface, because ms made sure to build their system around the code they knew was coming. OEM’s didn’t bother.

        • oldog
        • 7 years ago

        The touch interface work flawlessly on my Surface (running on a very underpowered NVIDIA processor).

        It is in my opinion that Win 8 is the slickest touch based OS on the market.

        I see no reason why this will not translate to bigger screens when Win 8 approved devices appear.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 7 years ago

    I was in a store a few weeks after the Windows 8 launch and was shocked to find that every single laptop on display – all running Windows 8 – lacked a touchscreen.

    Hasn’t it been advertised as touch-friendly right from the start?

    Methinks “underestimated” is an “understatement”.

      • brute
      • 7 years ago

      ah, but you can still touch the screens! you’ll only get fingerprints, but the touch is still there

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      Perderps becauderp they are lapderps?

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    The only reason I didn’t purchase any of the rev 0 Win 8 laptops was because the only ones I liked the specs of + screen + keyboard didn’t have touch capabilities… and the ones that did had terrible specs / keyboard / screen. So I can see what Lenovo saying makes sense.

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    It’s a new thing so there is an initial wave of folks wanting it but it will calm down and only grow as prices for touch come down.Lenovo and Asus do have the best selling models so things might be a bit different for others .
    And ofc nothing they say means that touch is doing all that well, a few % of the market is little,they just expected even less.

    • kvndoom
    • 7 years ago

    8 won’t be successful without more touch devices, so the software has to force the hardware to change. In a few months when you can’t buy a new computer with Windows 7, Win8 will become the new standard by default anyway.

      • Shambles
      • 7 years ago

      It won’t change the fact that people won’t touch a screen on a laptop if there’s a keyboard in the way. There’s nothing more clunky than switching between a keyboard/moues and touch screen and back again. More vendors have to adopt form factors like the yoga if they expect people to touch their laptop screens.

      And forget touch desktops. The only time people will use that is when they’re running it as a media centre.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This