Windows 8 packagingWindows 8 might not be off to as good a start as Steve Ballmer led on late last month.  According to a source inside Microsoft, sales expectations aren’t being met. And in fact, they’ve been “well below Microsoft’s internal projections.”

When speaking with The Wall Street Journal in October, Ballmer revealed that the company’s new vision was “off to a good start,” though it wasn’t entirely clear how well things were going. But of course Ballmer would speak positively about a new Microsoft product; he has to make it exciting for consumers and analysts and manufacturers. But therein lies the problem.

Sales have been lax due to “lackluster PC maker designs and availability,” while the OS itself is seen as confusing because of its mix of traditional desktop and new touchscreen elements. Additionally, the Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro tangle is seen as an obstacle when marketing to consumers.

There’s a lot riding on Microsoft’s revamped OS as we head into the busy holiday period, with challenges to overcome in the tablet and smartphone space as well. We’re certainly hopeful Windows 8 will catch on with consumers. The company’s Surface, at least, seems to be doing well, with units temporarily sold out earlier this month.

[via CNET]