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back to article Wanted! 4m-plus PC purchases to halt industry decline

The PC industry needs YOUR help! Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, Sony, Apple, Lenovo, Toshiba and co. require stout - and well-heeled - lads and lasses to pop out and buy just over four million machines before the end of December 2012 and prevent world PC sales slipping year-on-year for the first time in more than a decade. That is what’ …

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Silver badge

Tablets have their own niche.

Laptops have their own niche.

Desktops have their own niche.

If you failed to keep up with them, I can't say that you've really got your eye on the ball as an IT company. Nobody's going to stop buying desktops to go out and buy tablets, and vice versa.

If anything, the decline is BECAUSE of Windows 8. What's the point in buying a PC now if it would come with Windows 8 in a few months time and you'll inevitably have to upgrade to that anyway?

And, personally, my workplace are holding off until Windows 8 SP1, so that we can get an idea of just what's wrong and how to fix Windows 8 before we even think about deploying it. We bought new computers in the summer. We bought Windows 7 / Windows 8 compatible ones with touch screens. We slapped our old XP image onto them until we know what we're going to upgrade to and how we'll go about that. And we only did that because we're a school and like to make changes in the summer - the machines they replaced were fully functional and more-than-good-enough for another couple of years still.

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Bronze badge

"Tablets have their own niche."

That's the point, that niche used to be occupied with laptops/desktops, so now that tablets have come they have displaced the PC from it and fewer are being sold.

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Linux

The myth of PC displacement

The simple fact of the matter is that a PC from before the "post-PC era" is still quite adequate. It's also still maintainable. So you can upgrade RAM and storage and possibly even your video card. Even a cheap piece of crap PC from 5 years ago will still run circles around a tablet.

Everyone already has a PC.

You don't have to buy one this year because last year's model seems obsolete already.

I have displaced 2 PC purchases this year by buying really cheap video cards instead.

All in one machines of any sort quickly become doorstops.

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Windows

I don't think so ...

If anything, the decline is BECAUSE of Windows 8. What's the point in buying a PC now if it would come with Windows 8 in a few months time and you'll inevitably have to upgrade to that anyway?

Isn't it the other way around, though. If you buy a PC in a few months time you'll get Windows 8 and have to spend time and money looking for a copy of Windows 7 to replace it with.

Even if Windows 8 turns out not to be the pile of steaming turds that most of the IT world seems to think it will be, I wouldn't want to risk using it until at least SP1.

If anything, we should expect the looming shadow of Windows 8 to lead to a rush of purchases of new PCs with Windows 7 and higher than expected sales figures.

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Oh shut up, please...

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why shouldn't PC's have a year on year decline, its about time...?

Especially Laptop Manufacturers collectively deserve a reprimand.

They've been failing to hire good product designers for far too long. (Apple excluded, at least, they have good hardware designs, just everything else about them stinks.)

PC side, we get nothing but shoddy screens with low resolutions in all but the most expensive systems.

Then Intel trying to fix things with their nice looking but underfeatured and overpriced Ultrabooks.

So, Ultrabooks didn't sell nearly as well as expected. What do they do to fix it? They make them still more expensive for what you get with touch screens and over-complicated hinge mechanisms, dual screens and other things that add weight for little benefit.

I've been looking for an Ultrabook since the beginning of 2012. I can spend whatever on it, but I haven't found one system worth buying to me - at any price. And I am certainly not waiting for Windows8. If my new Machine ends up coming with Windows 8, I'll be replacing it with Windows 7 until somebody like Stardock fixes W8.

I just want good hardware:

A quality, bright, matte high resolution screen,

Excellent keyboard

SSD and HDD combo.

integrated WWAN.

Gigabyte got the storage right in their U2442N, but the TN display panel is dim and has poor contrast, and the keyboard is merely ok.

I think bad choices of where to spend the money and lacking upgrade options for things like the display make it a well deserved downturn for the PC industry.

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Headmaster

Damp SQUID????

It's "squib", ITYF.

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Bronze badge

Re: Damp SQUID????

So you'd prefer a *dry* squid?

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Pint

Re: Damp SQUID????

No, fried.

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Coat

Re: Damp SQUID????

Dry hair is for squids...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dry hair is for squids...

Upvoted for the Trancers quote.

"I'm from another time, another world. I don't even know what you people eat for lunch. "

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Silver badge

Are we reaching the PC event horizon ?

(with apologies to Douglas Adams).

I think it's simply market saturation. Here at Page towers, we have:

2x2008 model Dell machines with Win7+Office. One for the lad and one for the Mrs.

1x2009 model Dell server running Ubuntu - media, download, and security server.

1xHP laptop - my work machine

plus 1xWin7 phone, 1xAndroid phone.

All doing exactly what we need (and more relevantly , what we WANT). So why would we upgrade. That's the domestic market gone. Meanwhile, at work, they are going down a Citrix route, so no new desktops needed there either.

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Re: Are we reaching the PC event horizon ?

Agreed. Most new PCs that I install these days are replacements for very aged machines, 6 years +. It seems once we got around the 2GHz mark that software demands for the average business user leveled out and that until you got in to power users and developers that people writing business plans and word documents simply don't need more computer at this time. The 'bad caps' point in history cycled out a lot of computers that would have lasted for years at the jobs they were entailed. A lot of these machines were replaced by faster computers with solid caps that will likely continue to run for years more.

My main desktop is a 2008 model. I've jammed bigger hard drives in it over time, and some more memory, but it does everything I need. I currently have a drive in it running Windows 8, and despite the abortion of an GUI, it runs perfectly fine. When something works perfectly fine for a business they don't tend to spend money for new ones.

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Happy

Damp Squid?

"Q3’s traditional back-to-school sales period proved to be something of a damp squid, sales wise, as has Intel’s new laptop sales drive, the Ultrabook."

I'd really love to believe this was a vague reference to the I.T Crowd.

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Silver badge
Holmes

Why would I want to buy something from HP, Dell or Acer etc?

When:-

1) It will come with Windows 8 (Ugh) of the usually Home Version of Windows 7 which is naff all use to me.

2) The Laptop screens are generally pretty crappy 1366*768 unless I want to pay through the nose at which point.

3) I can build my own Workstation from parts that will :-

- be faster

- have more memory (32Gb Min for multipl VM's)

- Be quieter (nice large quiet fans, lots of sound proofing etc)

- Not run Windows but CentOS (no brainer)

But the article is not aimed at those of us who post in this forum now is it?

Being totally serious, they want 'Joe Public' to buy more stuff when their current 'stuff' does the job pretty well AND when 'Joe Public's' funds are being queezed right left and Centre.

They must be taking the same sort of stuff that Lancy boy was for all those years if you ask me.

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Anonymous Coward

the only pc that needs replacing in our household is my ageing aspire 1 netbook.... its 4 years old now, and although in good working order, the touchpad has worn through and the left button is very worn when my fingernail makes contact...

its getting a little less agile though, with all the latest versons of common sotware i use, and the lack of hardware support for HD content, its just not doing is job any more...

My phone is due for upgrade in december, and I am looking to replace my aging HTC desire with a new Samsung Galaxy Note 2, that will do everything I need my netbook for and more....

My netbook is most likely going to replace a old desktop pc that is currently working as my email server (less space, less power)

so, one less pc in use and one less pc/laptop/netbook sale !!

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Silver badge
Devil

THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN PIANO INDUSTRY

By William Braid White. The American Mercury, February 1933, pp. 210-213 (some selective quoting)

"During the last century the piano has obtained a position of almost complete dominance over the art of music. That is because it combines two properties that are not to be found in the same combination in any other instrument. On the one hand, its player can instantly and directly control the loudness of the tones he evokes, while on the other the keyboard which he manipulates gives him command over the entire range of sounds used in music, through seven octaves and a minor third, from the lowest A at 27.5 vibrations a second to the highest C at 4186. He commands every harmony within the scope of his ten fingers; and if he be sufficiently skilful he can even expand this scope by combining rapid skips over the keyboard with a judicious use of the pedal. Many musical instruments, in fact, nearly all, endow their players with the first of these powers. Some, like the organ, give him the second. But only the piano gives both, immediately and directly. Moreover, the piano is the easiest to play of all the more important instruments. It is this combination of powers within a comparatively small physical size that has brought it to the front of the musical art. But today that position is seriously threatened....

With some external refinements, cheap uprights soon began to appear also in the cities. With their appearance came the instalment system of purchase, already known to buyers of the cheaper lines of furniture. Considering that the retail price of a fairly good upright was in those days about 1250 and that $15 a week was a good salary for a clerical worker, it is easy to see how the instalment system became a necessity. Very quickly the cheap upright became the money maker of the industry. The number of manufacturers increased year by year, until at the end of the century some 300 were listed. Many of them were turning out what were unkindly called thump-boxes, that is to say, large, cheaply constructed uprights, poor in tone and poorer in mechanism. Why they were bought at all is still something of a mystery. For the American middle class was no more musical then than it is now, and the number of persons who could play the piano was proportionately no larger than it is today. Yet everybody wanted an upright, and 250,000 were sold each year from 1900 to 1910....

Cheap upright player-pianos soon came on the market, with the playing mechanisms built in. Within a few years after 1905 they were leading all other kinds of piano in output, and had become in their turn the big money makers. The apex of their popularity came during the war-time boom of 1916-19. Almost immediately thereafter this received, suddenly and unexpectedly, a fatal wound, by the emergence of public radio broadcasting. For twenty years, under the feet of thousands of wholly unmusical men, women and hildren, up and down the land, the player-piano had been emitting terrible caricatures of piano music. But there was no longer need for it when better music, in every style, could be had from a radio set.

The number of pianos made and sold annually in the United States has been declining steadily for six years, nor has the process yet been checked. The effect of this decline has been two-fold. In the first place, it has revealed clearly what has always been realized by a few, namely, that the American people were never really musical, but bought pianos during many years only because their possession was a sign of social respectability. The position which the instalment-bought piano once occupied in this respect has now been assumed by the automobile."

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Anonymous Coward

To all the computer OEMs

If you want me to be your customer, here's my wish list :

- No more bloody glossy screens, it's impossible to work with and it's plain stupid

- Vertical screen resolution higher than 700 or 800 or, if you really want me to love you, please go back to 4:3 screens like in good old days. I've had enough of browsing the Internet on a narrow vertical band in the middle of my wide screens with huge unused areas on both sides.

- A minimum of at least 8MB of RAM or better.

- Decent hardware and software support for Linux. Don't need you to pre-install it, I know by now that Microsoft will not allow you do to that.

- Most important, don't charge me three times the price just for offering these basic features.

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Facepalm

Re: To all the computer OEMs

- A minimum of at least 8MB of RAM or better.

I think we broke the "standard 8mb RAM" barrier some time ago...

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Unhappy

Re: To all the computer OEMs

Hell yes! I bought a computer, not a movie player. I'm afraid the scroll wheel on my mouse is going to wear out from having to scroll back and forth because 1600x900 is too damn short.

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Silver badge

Re: To all the computer OEMs

"- No more bloody glossy screens, it's impossible to work with and it's plain stupid"

This. Oh dear god, this. The glossy screens are only good for the store; they're shit in everyday use.

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404
Bronze badge
Alert

Wife Trouble...

Wife is hinting at an Asus netbook before they run out of stock...

The Scenario: Wife has Kindle, Kindle Fire, and my Acer A500 tablet. Kindle-nice. Kindle Fire- nicer but surfing only adequate if nothing else available. Acer A500 tablet- her main (stolen/taken?) since it proved somewhat inadequate for the networking/work stuff I do. Happy enough but starting to "note" issues she having doing this that or the other, thus the Asus netbook "hint".

So, I can help out here - now if somebody will do something about the other 3,999,999, that should be just fine.

;)

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Silver badge
Linux

WANTED!

Reasonable build quality;

Reasonable prices;

And an end to enforced OS choice.

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Re: WANTED!

If you'll buy 4m of them, I'll be happy to provide all that, and a nice return policy.

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Re: WANTED!

Don’t be silly - you'll be suggesting next that the 20 or 30% extra cost windows has on PC has some influence on purchase. Oh, that an having to upgrade every other computer in the organisation to the same OS as the new one so they can read the same OOXML 'standard' documents.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WANTED!

Windows is cost neutral to the OEM due to the volume licensing and the kick-backs they get from crapware vendors. Providing an alternative is likely to increase the price.

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FAIL

Build your own

I've never bought a desktop always built my own so not uinterested in some manufacturers restricted offering full of bloat ware and odd ball drivers.

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