Sherlund, though, said other manufacturers aren't introducing Windows 8 devices that highlight the software's touch-control features as quickly as he expected. What's more, Nomura Securities projects sales of traditional PCs in the fourth quarter to decline by 7 percent from the same time last year. Another research firm, HIS iSuppli, already has predicted that this year will mark the first time annual sales of PCs will have fallen from the previous year since 2001.
In a research note issued Wednesday, Sherlund underscored his more sedate outlook by lowering his financial forecast for Microsoft. The revision trimmed his previous revenue estimate for Microsoft's fiscal year ending in June by 3 percent, or $2.3 billion.
Microsoft's stock price gained 28 cents Wednesday to close at $27.36, leaving them slightly below where they stood before Windows 8's Oct. 26 release.