It's been a tough week for Window 8 and Microsoft Surface tablets, highlighted in this discovery by DoMiN8ToR on the MyCE Web site : The best liked tip in the Windows8 section of Microsoft Community is "How do I downgrade to Windows XP? Windows 8 Sucks bad."
Number 2? "I hate windows 8. How can I deinstall it and load windows 7."
More significant to Microsoft's bottom line: Goldman Sachs projects the company will sell fewer Surface tablets in all of its 2014 fiscal year than it did in the 10 months between October 2012 and June 31 of this year.
Goldman Sachs's projection for Fiscal 2014 is now 1.6 million, down from an earlier estimate of 3.5 million, according to a Dividend.com report. It sold 1.9 million Surface tablets, both Surface Pro and Surface RT, in the October to June timeframe.
Surface RT lawsuit
Meanwhile investors are angry about the rosy picture Microsoft painted about Surface RT sales even as they were tanking, a lawsuit charges.
Microsoft lied about the success of its Surface RT tablet kept its stock price artificially high, which caused real economic harm to investors who bought stock between the end of April 18 and July 18 when the company announced it was taking a $900 million hit for Surface RT inventory, the lawsuit says.
Disclosure of the $900 million charge resulted in an immediate $4.04 drop in price per share which translates into $34 billion in company value coming out of investors' holdings.
The lawsuit filed U.S. District Court for Massachusetts names Microsoft and top executives as the ones to blame for inflating the stock price. It is filed by Gail Fialkov, but part of the suit seeks to include other plaintiffs numbering in the hundreds or thousands to form a class action.
The suit names Microsoft, but also individually CEO Steve Ballmer, then-CFO Peter Klein (no longer with the company), Chief Accounting Officer Frank Brod, and CMO Tami Reller.
The language in the court filing is pretty harsh: "What Defendants knew, but failedto disclose to investors, however, was that Microsoft's foray into the tabletmarket was an unmitigated disaster, which left it with a large accumulation ofexcess, over-valued Surface RT inventory."
"Defendants' materially false and misleading conduct enabled Microsoft to forestall Surface RT's day of reckoning and delay what would be tantamount to an admission by the Company that its all-important entry into the tablet market had been a failure."
"...Defendants acted with [intent or knowledge of wrongdoing] in that Defendants knew, or recklessly disregarded, that the public documents and statements they issued and disseminated to the investing public in the name of the company or in their own name during the Class Period were materially false and misleading."
"Defendants, by virtue of their receipt of information reflecting the true facts regarding Microsoft, their control over, and/or receipt and/or modification of Microsoft's allegedlymaterially misleading misstatements, were active and culpable participants in the fraudulent scheme alleged herein."
"...Defendants engaged in a scheme to deceive the market and a course of conduct that artificially inflated the price of Microsoft common stock and operated as a fraud or deceit..."
Microsoft hasn't responded yet to the complaint.
Mark your calendar Oct. 17
Windows 8.1, the first major revamp of Windows 8 is due out Oct. 17, just about a year after the operating system was launched.
Gartner says the upgrade will give businesses more reason to switch to Windows 8 bymaking more familiar to end users who have gotten used to Windows desktop inWindows 7, Vista and XP.
Changes include a restored Start button, booting directly to the desktop and an overhauled search function powered by Bing.
Buy Surface in bulk
Businesses and schools in Europe that want to buy Surface tablets in bulk will have a slew of new options as the company names resellers that will carry the devices.
The new partners' sales territory covers Canada and 16 European nations.
So far there's no word on when resellers in Asia, Africa and South America will get similar opportunities.
The upside of buying through these new channels are that they can provide asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection, the company says.
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.