Analysts have been predicting that consumers worldwide are moving to tablets and away from notebook PCs. New Christmas shopping data backs up the predictions.

The sales of notebook computers plunged over the holiday shopping season despite the launch of Windows 8. Both Windows and Mac sales declined, says research firm NPD Group.

Microsoft Corp.’s Windows notebook sales plunged 11 percent  during the year-end holiday season as consumers shunned traditional computers and flocked instead to other types of electronics, NPD said in a report issued Friday.

Price obviulsly isn’t the only factor as sales of Windows notebooks that cost less than $500 fell 16 percent, NPD said.

The introduction of the new Windows 8 software failed to stoke much demand for notebooks boasting Microsoft’s flagship operating system, NPD said.

The figures released exclude tablets, such as Microsoft’s Surface and Apple Inc.’s iPad.

“Despite the hype, and hope, around the launch of Windows 8, the new operating system did little to boost holiday sales or improve the year-long Windows notebook sales decline,” the researcher wrote in a statement.

Apple didn’t escape the bad news, either.

Apple MacBook sales also declined 6 percent during the period, according to NPD.

Plunging sales didn’t help retailers and manufacturers with prices, either, as the average sale price [ASP] increased a mere $2 to $420 over last year.

Touchscreens are not proving to be especially popular, either.

“Touchscreen notebooks were 4.5 percent of Windows 8 sales with ASPs around $700,” NPD said.

“Sales of Windows notebooks under $500 fell by 16 percent while notebooks priced above $500 increased 4 percent.”

However, Apple was able to move prices up a bit.

“Macbook sales dropped 6 percent while the ASPs rose almost $100 to $1419,” NPD said..

(Bloomberg contributed to this report.)