According to sources, Microsoft Windows 8 is not selling like they would prefer. Everyone is pointing the finger at everyone else. Mr. Sinofsky who was allegedly in charge of the project at Microsoft said he left of his own accord. In any respect, it seems as if Mr. Ballmer is using Mr. Sinofsky as a scapegoat per various articles on the internet. http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112730520/microsoft-management-steve-sinofsky-windows-111312/. Definitely hardware manufacturers are refusing to be the scape goat also.
Personally, I think there are other reasons for the slack sales of MSWindows 8. With a restricted economy, many people and companies are using existing equipment and software. Linux has also allowed the continued use of existing equipment thereby lessening the need for purchasing new equipment with a newer operating system. The price of MSWindows 8 equipment and operating system is not price compatible with the economy. The systems may be worth the proud price they command, but "it's not for our budget" is what is said most often.
Secondly, there is a large reluctance to use the new MSWindows 8 interface. For those who are forced to use MSWindows 8, many of them are converting back to the old interface for user compatibility reasons. The same reluctance to use the type of limited interface has also hit a stumbling block in the linux community. People just do not want Mickey Mouse setups. After the flop of Microsoft Windows Vista that caused users so much headache, Many users are reluctant to upgrade to a new system, Especially MSWindows 8 that does not have a proven interface. There is also quite a lack of compatibility with older software applications.
Thirdly, the use of the "secure boot" aka uefi has businesses and users afraid the use of their efi based equipment could be greatly limited by unregulated external control and or interference from biased third parties. Secure boot was developed allegedly to stop unauthorized software to be executed on systems (aka viruses and the like). Ironically at this point in time Linux, BSD, and the like do not have the problem that Microsoft software has. So the secure boot is more of a hindrance. Microsoft refuses to accept to take responsibility to write secure code and they prefer to use a quick fix that is not really acceptable by true computing professionals. The uefi is killing hardware sales, not the economy..
Have seen highly discounted laptops with MSWindows 8 for under $170 US, Those are allegedly selling well. Microsoft needs to admit the MSWindows 8 is an Edsel. Many people (especially independent stockholders) are calling for the ousting of Mr, Ballmer. Could that be the real change that needs to be for Microsoft to be a driving force again? We quit using Microsoft over five years ago and have not looked back. Would not use Microsoft products even if they were free.
Per wikipedia "Where do you want to go today?” was the title of Microsoft’s first global image advertising campaign." Today is has been. It's where do you want to go to tomorrow. Microsoft has not had a real new idea it seems like in forever. Caveat emptor.