The way Microsoft Corp. puts it, Windows 8 came to market faster than hardware manufacturers could react to consumer demand and so now the operating system is suffering from sluggish sales.

Hardware manufacturers need to ramp up production of touch-enabled PC for sales of the new OS to move up, according to Tami Reller, CFO and chief marketing officer of Microsoft’s Windows division.

“We all had a strong sense that unique tech devices, particularly laptops and tablets, convertibles would be in high demand, he said at the JP Morgan Tech Forum on Tuesday. “Frankly the supply (of touch-enabled PCs) was too short. I  mean, there was more demand than there was supply in the types of devices that our customers had the most demand for.”

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Released by Microsoft about a year ago, Windows 8 has been plagued by slow sales despite the company’s early hopes that the corporate bring-your-own-device trend and increasing focus towards touchscreen devices would help drive adoption of the operating system.

At present, Windows 7 remains the fasting selling OS in Microsoft’s 38-year history with more than 525 million licenses sold since its launch in 2009.

Stella Chermyak, senior director of Windows Commercial at Microsoft says that Windows 8 has sold more than 40 million licences since its launch.

Some industry analyst say that enterprise users won’t have much trouble making the move to Windows 8 citing that training using the new OS would be the toughest barrier because the UI and layout is radically different from Windows 7.

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