back to article Intel CEO: PC market slogging along at half speed

Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini knows that the PC business is in the tank, believes that Windows 8 might lift it out of its funk, and can't predict which form factor will be The Next Big Thing – tablets, convertibles, or Ultrabooks. "We do believe that when the numbers are all in," he told analysts and reporters during a …

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Facepalm

haha

Expecting the Windows 8 launch to revitalize the PC industry is like expecting the launch of the Titanic to revitalize tourism.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: haha

No it's not. Have you seen how cheap a Win 8 upgrade is. This is a monster push and, whether the market loves it or not, the fact is it will usher in a new age of device.....even more so than Apple has managed.

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Re: how cheap a Win8 upgrade is...

...is irrelevant, since "upgrade" presumes you already have Windows running on something. That's going to be a machine with a mouse and keyboard and there's no point in upgrading such a beast because Win8 offers nothing new on such a device. (Once you get through to the desktop and install a third party shell, there's no change from Win7.) MS clearly aren 't going after "upgrade" business in this cycle.

Instead, Win8 stands or falls on its penetration of the device market, where the relevant cost is that of a new OEM licence. (Of course, the near absence of any hardware at launch time is not a good omen.)

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Headmaster

Whether Intel's CEO is whistling in the dark or not with regard to other matters, on this score....

"I don't think that the tablet as we've seen it evolve over the last several years is the end-state of computing."

......he is certainly right. The reason in my opinion? Whatever one thinks of Win8 the coming year ushers in the real mass market in touch computing. Currently all the iPads and Android tablets taken together do not amount to more than a few percentage points of the total personal computing market on a global basis. The number of adults in the UK who own a tablet is about 6% or so of the total market and in virtually all cases it is an addendum to a "proper" pc in the house whether it is a Windows box, it's running a Linux distro or it's a Mac. Touch enabled computing as opposed smart mob use is still in it's infancy. Whether Win8 is a commercial failure, a success or something in-between does not change the fact that this is the first major industry wide attempt to make touch computing as ubiquitous and "mass-market" as the conventional box or laptop. Furthermore it is only in very recent years that the hardware has begun to catch up with the dream. With the coming developments in 2013 in chippery of all types from several manufacturers (not just Intel) it will likely finally overtake it. The initial devices we are going to see this autumn are just a beginning - the sort of devices we are likely to be seeing at the end of next year will give us a much better picture.

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Re: too long a title for it to put "re" before

I think you are overly optimistic.

The issue with touch computing hasn't been the technology for some time, it's that it really doesn't add anything to most tasks. It's useful for the fondle-slab form-factor for space reasons, but that form-factor is just not how we do most computing. I do not foresee any changes that will alter that.

Time will tell.

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Happy

@Oninoshiko Re:"I think you are overly optimistic." Well I prefer to err on the side of........

........optimism. Must have something to do with my sunny disposition. ;)

I think however that my comments about the hardware are not without saliency here. With more powerful x86 devices (and ARM won't exactly be hanging around whistling either) that don't slaughter the battery coming in the course of 2013 we will begin to see mobile full productivity pcs that can easily run something like "Naturally Speaking" from Nuance, will be equipped with proper digitizer pens and software without costing blood, can readily be docked at home or in the office, connected to your choice of peripherals and of course are equipped with good quality touch screens (if I see another shiney 1366 x 768 screen I am going to scream and throw my toys out of the pram). In other words it is not unlikely that we are going to increasingly see on the mass market full-productivity mobile pcs that you can talk to, write on (handwriting to text anyone?), stroke and, yes, interact with by means of keyboard and mouse. In other words the punter will finally be "liberated" from the tyranny of having to use his/her device in the way the pc "wants" and will be able to use an eclectic mix that suits them personally, the task they are performing and where they are performing it whether at home, in the office, or on the road. Having that available mass market will IMHO have a considerable effect on the way a large number of people do their computing.

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Gold badge

Re: "something like "Naturally Speaking" from Nuance"

Dear God, no! It's bad enough having to listen to "Honey, I'm on the train." without having to listen to some early-adopter dictate the same in an email.

Voice, like touch, is only going to work in a very small number of scenarios. You can rule out just about any environment (from office to pub) that has other people in it. However, reaching such environments was pretty much the point of making the device portable, so voice is a non-starter.

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Anonymous Coward

that which is too terrible to speak aloud

"Why such a slump? Is it caused by the generally crappy world economy, or because sales of tablets – essentially all ARM-based – are tearing bleeding chunks out of the PC market? Otellini doesn't know."

Oh he knows. He's not an idiot. He just doesn't want to admit out loud that Intel have been caught with their knickers down.

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Re: that which is too terrible to speak aloud

Exactly what i were thinking.

Arm have the mobile market. While intel where playing with mini notebooks, Laptops and Desktop chips and trying to . Arm blitzkreig the mobile computing. I guess consumers rather than refresh that laptop, bought a tablett o fondle with.

Even Nokias new Lumia 900 Windows phone runs with a qualcomm CPU.

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FAIL

Re: that which is too terrible to speak aloud

This is what happens when you try to type on a screen. Both Office RT fans, take note.

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90 days

No doubt that time will fly by.

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Silver badge

Re: 90 days

The really clever journalists will have an appointment with him that afternoon.

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Anonymous Coward

Another reason for the slump

There is another set of possible reasons

1. With Windows 7 Microsoft has finally produced an operating system that doesn't degenerate into a treacle-like mess years before the hardware craps out.

2. Today's hardware just isn't significantly faster than the machines of 3 years ago (unless you are lucky to have an SSD)

3. The Victims of Vista have almost all completed their migration to Windows 7.

4. For several years now, consumers have been buying laptops rather than bargain-basement desktop machines built by spotty teenagers.

The net effect is that those factors that used to force the man in the street to replace their computer every few years have largely disappeared. And at work we cannot afford to retrain all the staff in a new UI paradigm, so we'll just keep on using XP til end of support - and we might even grit our teeth and stick it out until W9.

BTW point 1 is not exactly true, but what I'm trying to say is that Windows bit-rot is no longer a major cause of computers being replaced.

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Anonymous Coward

If people have no money

It doesn't matter what is on the shelf. I went to a technology super store a couple days ago and am amazed at the number of tablets and laptops already on display. You can double or triple that number and it won't make any more of them magically fly into people's hands. Further, they can't confuse a holiday shopping season with a trend. In the next 60 plus days sales will increase like they always do at this time. Watch for sales to fall off a cliff in Q1 of next year because there are no real long term drivers for consumer adoption and business. Everybody in the industry is sweating this one and Otellini was the bellweather by saying he doesn't know so many times. They have their estimates and projections, but they know they are semi-meaningless if nobody has any money to spend.

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Bonez

Honestly, Windows 8 will have a market for PC's, but it will be a niche market. Businesses won't be upgrading anytime soon and even startups won't be looking at it for a while. Currently most businesses I've been involved in are still in a slow roll out phase for Windows 7. For those that will purchase Windows 8 they, more than likely, will be those that are buying new laptops or workstations with it pre-installed, and they'll be end users, not business users.

System builders, hardcore gamers, and enthusiasts will eventually upgrade to Win8, but I can't see it being anytime soon. Some in these groups, myself included, will have one machine running Win8 as a test bed, but won't upgrade our main machine until all the little gremlins are sorted out, or possibly even until the first service pack.

Myself? Well I've had a chance to play with Win8 on a standard workstation and even though it looks pretty, until touch screen monitors come down in price (and if Win8 can support multiple touchscreens) I'll stick with Windows 7 or Server 2008R2.

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