TheHappyFriar wrote on 4/11/2013, 6:28 AM
That's bad logic: people have wanted tablets & smartphones more and more over the past years and, according to the report, Apple PC's are included in the decline (very last sentence).

The only thing that can be concluded is that PC sales CONTINUED to go down after Win8 release, not it's the cause. In the second to last paragraph it says that business sales are going UP, so it's end users who don't do much more then play games, look at porn, check e-mail and "surf" the net who aren't buying PC's. The ones who need them still are.
craftech wrote on 4/11/2013, 7:06 AM
OK so I looked at the report they referred to, and rather than assume conclusions I noted some of theirs:

1. It's a year not "years".
" The results also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines"
2. It is not just Windows 8 or "porn surfers" that caused the decline.
"Fading Mini Notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultraslim systems have been hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply, as well as a weak reception for Windows 8. The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceived as cumbersome or costly."
3. The later part of the report goes on to tie much of this to the tepid economic recovery worldwide complete with charts for each of the key vendors.

Since IDC has been tracking this stuff since 1994, I would tend to trust their conclusions rather than draw my own.

riredale wrote on 4/11/2013, 10:19 AM
I see the PC market as a mature one, albeit with emerging segments.

Everybody by now has a PC, at home and/or at work. Those machines are incredibly useful. But since everyone already has one, the PC-sales market is (or should be) targeted at replacement machines. But why replace? The current machines just keep on running, and on stable XP or W7 platforms. Plenty of hardware horsepower to do what tasks are required. And on top of all that, W8 is perceived to be a giant mistake, and if you buy new it comes with W8. Thanks all the same, but No Thanks.

Smartphones are terrific for certain things. Ditto for tablets. Not all things, but certain things. Right now I'm typing this on a great little 12" Dell laptop. Built of magnesium, great keyboard, long battery life, only 3 lbs. Would I prefer typing this on my smartphone? No way. On a tablet? Not if I could help it. So everything is fragmented. But traditional PCs are not going away.
AlanADale wrote on 4/11/2013, 11:33 AM
Well I sure hope that PC's keep going for at least the rest of my lifetime. Can't see me editing RAW files with Adobe Photoshop on my Smartphone any more than editing Video using Vegas. Perhaps PC's for our needs will become a niche market with a price to match.
videoITguy wrote on 4/11/2013, 11:50 AM
No worries, "Powerful PC's will continue to be on the market".

What is changing and will dramatically change over the next few years is the accessibility to really low prices by the public retail market.

Recall in 1987 when the PC market was a Texas Instruments made hardware retailed by Radio Shack and a few mom and pop specialty stores at a whopping percentage of the then current disposal income for an individual. Essentially we will return to that kind of market place. Now to be fair the cost of computing power has come way down, so we do have a definite gain in the potential for one individual PC to have a lot of horsepower, but it's price relative to disposable income as a single unit of purchase will be much higher tommorrow than it is today.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 4/11/2013, 1:10 PM
1) I'd consider "year-on-year" to mean multiple years. They also said the suprise wasn't the decline but the magnatude. If tablets & smartphones are increasing, what do they think people are doing with them? Using them for basic computer usage.
2) PC sales went down total and most sales are from the cheaper machines. Those aren't bought for basic tasks, not specialized tasks. They're wrong, it has nothing to do with touch, it has to do with the basic tasks people use the computer for don't need a computer any more (which are the major things I listed)

Either way, I was right, the article originally linked to blamed win8 when the actual report cites several reasons, and I still say they're looking at the wrong stuff. It's like saying people aren't buying Jeeps any more because of a lack of parts when people don't want a Jeep, they want a SUV and many other offer that. There's better, easier, CHEAPER options for others out there.
Chienworks wrote on 4/11/2013, 2:44 PM
Heck, even my techno-uninterested parents have a PC, a laptop, and an iPad. They don't see them as computers at all, but merely additional useful appliances. The single biggest thing they do with them, google searching, works just the same on all three, as does their second biggest thing, email.

My mainstay workhorse system is over 6 years old now, still plugging away on XP, still doing everything i need to get done. The only upgrades i've made are doubling the RAM to 2GB and adding another 7TB of disk storage. I can't see replacing it until the hardware dies. Even the fastest of the fast PCs out there now wouldn't really change or speed up my workflow enough to be worth the effort of migrating.

As far as "i'd never edit RAW video on my phone", this sentiment misses one important aspect. More and more, the device in your hands is becoming merely an access window into a process running elsewhere. It won't really matter how much (or little) power the device in your hands has, as long as it can show you what the really powerful computer elsewhere is doing and let you control it.

I like my Windows XP desktop because it's still the cleanest and most straightforward UI out there. But, aside from a couple hours a day with the few remaining pieces of Windows software i use, the vast majority of my computer time is spent using those Windows PCs as remote access into other computers around the globe, most of them Linux.
R0cky wrote on 4/11/2013, 2:52 PM
I upgraded a friend from Vista to Win 8. Vista is better. Win8 takes 5 times as many clicks to do anything as Win 7.

The UI is fine if you have a tablet and only do web and email. If you have 100 apps to organize and use to do real work you're hosed.

I went out and bought a couple of win7 licenses while I still could.

This is no surprise to me. I'm waiting for Win9 or an update to 8 that restores the win7 UI.

JohnnyRoy wrote on 4/11/2013, 3:25 PM
I don't know... it seems Windows 8 is not that popular in Korea according to the New Yorker. ;-)


Tech Diver wrote on 4/11/2013, 4:07 PM

Here is a free tool to restore Win 7 shell in Win 8:

I installed it on my wife's tablet so she can be productive again. I personally can't stand Win 8 and hope that either Win 7 will be available for an extended time, or that Win 9 will return to the old paradigme.

craftech wrote on 4/13/2013, 10:50 AM
Here is a free tool to restore Win 7 shell in Win 8:
Didn't they also have a downgrade for Windows 7 purchasers to XP?

Let's face it, Windows XP was and is a tough act to follow. It's the most popular OS Microsoft has ever developed.

If you don't believe that source just Google search it. Dozens of articles come up saying the same thing.

Kelly's description of his edit bay is almost identical to mine. Lots of businesses don't need the extra expense of forced "upgrade" next year when Microsoft turns Windows XP over to the hackers.

In terms of the argument above regarding why portable devices are so popular I went to Pew Research. I spend a lot of time over at Polling Report studying polls and have come to trust the reliability of Pew Research as a result compared to other less reliable organizations such as Gallup.

In their most recent report entitled Teens and Technology 2013 dated March 13, 2013, Pew Internet concludes:

78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.
95% of teens use the internet.
93% of teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members.

Mobile access to the internet is common among American teens, and the cell phone has become an especially important access point for certain groups:

About three in four (74%) teens ages 12-17 say they access the internet on cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices at least occasionally.
One in four teens are “cell-mostly” internet users — far more than the 15% of adults who are cell-mostly. Among teen smartphone owners, half are cell-mostly.
Older girls are especially likely to be cell-mostly internet users; 34% of teen girls ages 14-17 say they mostly go online using their cell phone, compared with 24% of teen boys ages 14-17. This is notable since boys and girls are equally likely to be smartphone owners.
Among older teen girls who are smartphone owners, 55% say they use the internet mostly from their phone.

“The nature of teens’ internet use has transformed dramatically — from stationary connections tied to shared desktops in the home to always-on connections that move with them throughout the day,” said Mary Madden, Senior Researcher for the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project

Here is a link to their other reports.

In the 2012 report entitled Cell Phone Activities 2012, Pew Internet concludes:

Fully 85% of American adults own a cell phone........................

Here is what adults do with them

Terje wrote on 4/13/2013, 3:06 PM
>> Let's face it, Windows XP was and is a tough act to follow

Here is a fun fact: When XP was released it received about the same reception that Windows 8 has. I don't understand this, neither for XP nor for Win8. Neither is a huge departure from the previous version, but some people make it out they are/were. Quite frankly, I am quite sure, in my day to day work, nobody can tell whether I am using Win8 or Win7 apart from an odd looking start button. What is it specifically that is so bad about Win8? I don't get it.

I do like the about 20% performance increase I got on Win8 over Win7 though, and Win7 was plenty better than Vista and XP before that.

But don't forget - most people hate having their cheese moved only a tiny bit. I think that this points to a sad state of affairs in the brains of the average human. With XP it was the horrifyingly ugly "Fisher Price" GUI. With Win 8 it is the start screen (which takes about 1 minute to fix).
Chienworks wrote on 4/13/2013, 3:25 PM
I thought the default XP UI was bloated, ugly, and hogged too much screen space, especially on the 1024x768 monitors that were the norm when it came out. All my XP machines run the classic 98 UI theme, and so do my Win 7 machines. I imagine if i ever do use 8, it'll be in the classic 98 theme as well.
craftech wrote on 4/13/2013, 5:34 PM
When XP was released it received about the same reception that Windows 8 has. I don't understand this, neither for XP nor for Win8
Windows XP was released in New York City right after 9/11. They scaled the launch event way back because of that. On top of that within a few weeks Microsoft had discovered a gigantic security hole in the OS with Universal Plug and Play. That brought the development of it's major platforms to a grinding halt eventually. It wasn't until 2004 when they released Service Pack 2 that they solidified the "trusted platform" of Windows XP.

So why has it endured? The biggest reason was because when Windows Vista was released in 2007 it wasn't just an OS in need of teething, it was an utter failure even after the Service Pack releases. Windows XP worked with just about anything except 64-bit software.

When Windows 7 was released, Windows XP had firmly established itself by remaining ahead of Vista and the early stages of Windows 7. It is only since September 2012 that Windows 7 has surpassed XP as most popular. And that is after 11 years of success with Windows XP due to Vista's failure. Windows 7 was Windows Vista done right.

So comparing Windows XP to Windows 8 is really difficult to do at this point. Maybe Windows 7 to Windows XP after a few years especially if Windows 8 ends up like Windows Vista did and Windows 7 just keeps on rolling right past it.

riredale wrote on 4/13/2013, 8:17 PM
Lots of previous threads have trod this ground before. MS would love to kill off XP because they make money selling new operating systems, but XP is still huge in the corporate world. It's well-known, stable, and free at this point, so why change?

I, too, have XP on all my machines, and each one sports the W98 desktop. Simple, not cute-for-cute's-sake, and it just works. Kinda like Linux, only with an enormous pool of apps. Except for the latest versions of Vegas, that is.
rmack350 wrote on 4/17/2013, 12:46 AM
"XP is still huge in the corporate world"

Just an observation. I did a service teardown of a new pc for the corporate market this afternoon. It had PS2 ports. It had a serial port on the backpanel. It had headers for additional serial and parallel ports. It had an option to add a daughter board to add a pci slot.

This is a lot of legacy connectivity for a product to be released in the future and not the past. It suggests that corporate markets wouldn't be particularly good indicators of the success of a new OS. They could just as well be running win 2000.
Chienworks wrote on 4/17/2013, 8:54 PM
However, it is a good indicator of the corporate world's desire for upgrading to the latest and greatest, which is often close to nil. The corporate market may not be the entirety of OS sales, but it's still an enormous portion of it.

We refreshed and redeployed 30% of our office PCs over the past month for new purposes and new employees. About 1/3 of them got Linux, and the other 2/3 got Windows XP Pro, fresh new installs.
rmack350 wrote on 4/18/2013, 12:00 AM
I agree. Businesses with lots of seats aren't going to rush to a new version of an OS. To take this as a gauge of the success or lack of success of the new OS is kind of silly...unless they do something unusual like act as early adopters.

What MS gets out of large corporate clients is a customer that keeps buying seats over time. Your company's purchase of XP at this late date funds updates to Win7 and Win8, and probably development on Win9.

As for PC sales's just not surprising. Consumer demand is down, most people bought computers for things they now do with phones and tablets, and the market just doesn't need as many desktops and laptops. This market will probably never get as big as it was.

Terje wrote on 4/18/2013, 3:54 AM
I think the IDC conclusion is the funniest thing I have read in quite a while. You know, Funny-Stupid. So, let's create a Car Analogy - they are fun.

IDC reports that sales of Ford are dropping rapidly. The cause of this decline is thought to be that you are now able to purchase Ford in the color Green with Red Polka Dots. Since this optional color is offensive to most users, they are fleeing Ford in droves.

It has also been reported that GM seems to be hit by similar issues and they also blame the new optional color of Ford.

Every time I read an article like this I wonder "Can journalist get any dumber?" and time and time again they them selves answer "sure we can!".
craftech wrote on 4/18/2013, 7:16 AM
I think the IDC conclusion is the funniest thing I have read in quite a while.......Every time I read an article like this I wonder "Can journalist get any dumber?"
According to IDC they are......More than 1000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives.

It's funny that they don't mention anywhere on their website that they are "journalists". You should call them Terje and let them know.
In your car analogy you compare cosmetic appearance with this statement in the IDC report:

"Fading Mini Notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultraslim systems

Are you secretly a "journalist" by any chance Terje?


EDIT: The sarcasm is intended to be lighthearted and not to be taken as an attack on you. Please don't take offense.
rmack350 wrote on 4/18/2013, 1:31 PM
I'd boil it down to a few points:

1. People aren't spending as much overall, so personal PCs aren't selling as well.
2. Unemployment is up, so companies have a surplus of PCs (and cubicles) that aren't in use.
3. There were too many desktops and laptops deployed. Many users didn't really need more than a phone or a tablet.
4. The purchase of a tablet takes money away from the purchase of a PC. Even people who continue to use their PCs may postpone an upgrade after spending part of their budget on a tablet.

So I really think laptop and desktop sales will recede to some reasonable level where people who really need this sort of machine will regularly purchase or replace them. People will have postponed upgrades and at some point sales will pick up as people replace old hardware (which is that much older because people have waited longer), but the total market will never be quite as big.

Wailing that it's the end of the PC is silly. The market is changing, not ending.

Terje wrote on 4/18/2013, 6:34 PM
>> sarcasm is intended to be lighthearted and not to be taken as an attack on you

Not taken as an attack on me, but the sarcasm misses the mark :-)

>> they don't mention anywhere on their website that they are "journalists"

You didn't read my comment, did you? Quote: "Every time I read an article like this"... in other words, I was referring to the article referred. (

>> In your car analogy you compare cosmetic appearance with this
>> statement in the IDC report

I do, the article (the journalist) concludes that "Microsoft’s Windows 8 software appears to be driving buyers away from PCs" which is not what the IDC research is saying at all. Not even close. The report says that phones and tablets are dragging people away from PCs, it does not say that Windows 8 is driving people towards phones and tablets.

So, the journalist is a click-hungry charlatan with a reading disability, which once was thought to be a fault with a journalist, but these days appears to be a requirement for them to get a job.
c3hammer wrote on 4/18/2013, 8:59 PM
this just goes to show that most of the haters in the journalistic realm are pretty clueless like usual.


EDIT: made the link active
John_Cline wrote on 4/18/2013, 9:42 PM
The vast majority of people only surf, check email and use Facebook. Previously, these tasks could only be accomplished on a desktop or a laptop, now all it requires is a tablet or a smartphone and they can be used pretty much anywhere. Obviously, we editors still have a need for desktop computers but fewer and fewer "regular" people need them so their sales are going down while tablet and smartphone sales are going up. Heck, I'm posting this from my tablet sitting in a restaurant waiting for my food.