Feeds

back to article Sputtering storage space portends poorly for PCs

With sales of most hard drives down, the much-anticipated rebound of the PC market looks to remain on hold for the moment. Research firm IHS is reporting that shipments of storage drives for use in PCs fell over the course of the year with hard disk drives and optical drives continuing to fade while solid-state drive shipments …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

No rebound before new games & 3D headsets require new hardware.

...or Microsoft sobers up and fixes Windows 8.

At the moment it seems as if the new games & 3D headsets will arrive later this year, and a usable Windows 8 when hell freezes over.

3
1
Bronze badge

Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

People want the OS they have. Which is why they don't all switch to Windows 8.1, MacOS, Linux, etc. We want what we already know, it doesn't matter how easy to learn the new thing is, it can't be easier than what we already know.

People can easily buy Windows 7 computers, and they can buy Windows 7 software to install on a Windows 8 machine.

And they can buy Apple computers or download Linux.

Desktops and laptops are not constrained to only running Windows. Windows and MS could vanish and sales would remain the same, after a blip.

Bundling some compelling new software with a Windows 9 wouldn't going to do it either. People would buy Windows 9 for $120 instead of a new computer for $800.

The problem is merely that we've all got laptops and desktops already and won't need replacements for several years.

We don't all have smart phones and tablets. And the ones that we have from two years ago were underpowered. So that market will stay alive.

How often do you buy a TV? Every 8 years? Nothing is going to make you buy one ever year. How often do you buy new shoes? Every 1 year. Shoes and portable electronics wear out quickly.

4
1
Gold badge

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

Wrong.

Windows 7 may be simple for you to buy. You're plugged in, a techie, a nerd. The average punter isn't. What's selling in Best Buy doesn't rock the Windows 7, it has Windows 8.

You are correct in that people want what they know, but that very fact prevents them from downloading Linux, switching to Apple or doing "technical voodoo" to upgrade a computer to Windows 7.

I've sold more computers in the past 6 months than I have in the past three years. Why? People found out "I could get Windows 7." There's a strong desire for it. People want newer, faster PCs than what they have...but they wont those PCs to be exactly like what they already have, just faster...and they want it cheap.

A new system with an SSD meets their needs. $500-$750 at the top end is what they're willing to pay, and they'll keep it for 6-10 years. People are refreshing. PCs still get too old and too slow.

...but that refresh cycle is lengthening, and people would rather put up with a slow, creaky computer than use Windows 8.

Is all of the PC market decline Microsoft's fault? No. But a good chunk of it is. Those who - like you - refuse to admit that Microsoft was a big part of the problem will only depress the market further. You can't solve the problem until you admit it exists, and continuing to ignore the customer base while shoveling shit that people ardently don't want to buy is not going to reignite sales.

4
2

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

> Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

Windows 8 isn't the core problem, as you point out the core problem is that PCs don't need replacing until they fail, but it compounds it. It's a bit like if a car was sold with an ugly Justin Bieber paintjob: it's aimed at a niche, it's not a definite deal-killer, it's in theory fixable, and a few people love it, but to most it's a reason to not buy.

> We don't all have smart phones and tablets. And the ones that we have from two years ago were underpowered. So that market will stay alive.

There are signs that the mobile market is maturing too, once a phone can surf, show video and take photos well it's pretty much "arrived" with regards to what's asked of it. That said, it is easier to enforce planned obsolescence on mobile devices (through OS updates and non-removable batteries) so they will probably always have a higher turnover than PCs.

1
0
Gold badge

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

If I repaint my car before the warranty is up, then with most dealers I've ever encountered they wouldn't service it. To paint the thing would mean taking it apart, which means a non-dealer mechanic would have had at it.

If I take the vehicle to a mechanic that isn't a dealer, they won't honour the warranty. All service to be done by the dealer until end of warranty, and the dealer will only ever bring the car to stock. if the stock is a Beiber paint job, then it must be a beiber paint job until the warranty is up.

Thus a Beiber paint job would be a hell of a dealbreaker. I'd rather drive my 10 year old car than anything with a Beiber paint job.

Besides, how am I supposed to paint a car? I have no idea how that's done. I know it isn't like painting a wall. Who can do it properly? Isn't that expensive?

Fuck it, I'll just drive what I have.

1
1

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

> Fuck it, I'll just drive what I have.

Yes, that's exactly what a significant part of would-be PC buyers say.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

> If I repaint my car before the warranty is up, then with most dealers I've ever encountered they wouldn't service it. To paint the thing would mean taking it apart, which means a non-dealer mechanic would have had at it.

You really need to go to other dealerships. If painting your car invalidates the warranty, then what do they say about changing tires or windshield wipers?

Of course, why would I buy a car with a horrible paint job from a dealer in the first place? Usually, if people are buying from a dealer, they have a lot of choice and pay for what they want, not some crap that makes them nauseated.

0
1
Gold badge

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

Wipers and tires are considered "user replaceable parts". A proper paint job on the car requires disassembly of components that are only supposed to be disassembled by the dealer during warranty period. Thus it would invalidate the warranty on everything but the powertrain, as the disassembly was not done by the dealer. (Warranty is only honoured if all such maintenance is performed only be the dealer during the warranty period.)

That's not exactly earth-shattering in conceptualization. It occurs on cars, printers, computers, even home appliances. Your manual will explicitly state what is a user-serviceable component. Any disassembly of the unit for any reason invalidates warranty. User-serviceable components never require disassembly.

Which brings me back to Windows 8: people don't know how to get rid of it. It's bloody hard to find a PC that doesn't run it for sale in the shops. Even if people did get the upgrade to Windows 7 done, they'd probably not get their warranty honoured.

If what is for sale is not what people want to buy they don't buy it unless they are under significant duress or pressure to do so. What the hell is so hard to understand about this?

People will buy a newer computer even if they don't need one if that computer is significantly faster than their old one and does exactly what they want (i.e. is exactly like their old one, but faster and without the viruses.)

Microsoft released a smelly turd onto the market and tried to force everyone to buy it.

People said "I'd rather use my beater than buy your goddamned Edsel."

This is not rocket science. It may hurt the feelers of the nerderati that the hoi polloi have the choice of doing this - that they the pendulum of power is no longer on the side of being able to force upgrades by fiat - but too fucking bad.

Put PCs on the market with Windows 7 and SSDs and they will sell. How do I know this? Because this is exactly how Lenovo ended up kicking HPs ass and stealing top spot. The market. Analyse it.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

Sigh, you need to learn how to do a paint job. Very little needs to be removed on most cars to do a proper paint job and the dealerships I've dealt with still accept the warranty when I've added aftermarket items to the car.

> If what is for sale is not what people want to buy they don't buy it unless they are under significant duress or pressure to do so. What the hell is so hard to understand about this?

People do not buy what they do not want, that I agree with, but most people do not know about things outside of their expertise, just like you and painting cars. Most people only know they can pick between two "computer" companies (they do not know what an OS is) - Windows or Apple. Why just those two, because most big chain computer stores do not sell Linux.

Most people only know what their family, friends, or in most cases the sales peon is telling them. If I searched for Windows 8 reviews, I would get equal amounts of positive vs negative reviews, how would I know which review is right? To someone who doesn't know any better - If it gets email, plays whatever games I'm told I must play, I can still tweet/facebook, and it can run Office 2013 (Wow, that is like, 6 years of tech better than Office 2007!1!) then why is it bad?

This is a horse that has been flogged, raised from the dead, and gone through quadruple bypass surgery umpteen times, I would have thought you knew this by now.

0
1
Gold badge

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

My dealer says to do a paint job required removing components and thus they won't support warranty. Their word is the one that matters, not yours. I also checked the warranty on several of the notebooks I've recently purchased: same deal. Remove the OS and warranty is null and void. Again, their word is what matters, not yours.

Your repeated assertion that people want Windows 8 is equally irrelevant. It isn't reflected in the market. Windows 7 is selling far better than Windows 8. In fact, it's where virtually all growth is coming from. Evidence from retails has been mounting as well. Evidence from online statistics has been perfect clear too.

But you know what? I don't fucking care. I am not the one who suffers because you - and those at Microsoft - are in denial about this. Microsoft shareholders, employees and fanboys are. I'm done with Microsoft. So you believe whatever you want to believe. It doesn't change reality.

In reality, when I offer someone with the opportunity to upgrade to a Windows 7 computer with a shiny new SSD, faster CPU and so forth, they buy it. When I offer them the opportunity to downgrade to a shiny new Windows 8 computer, they pass. That tells me what I need to know to sell computers to my customers. That makes me money.

You can go on your merry way being poor and selling fuck all. It's no skin off my nose one way or another.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

> Your repeated assertion that people want Windows 8 is equally irrelevant.

Read the previous post moron, where did it mention anything about what people want? It made the argument that most people do not know what is good or bad outside of their expertise so they rely on those that are "in the know" to help them make a decision.

0
1
Gold badge

Re: Windows has nothing at all to do with it, regardless of what you've read.

Some do. I argue that most don't. A lot of people suffer from Dunning Kruger and so think they know way more than they do. Or at the very least, they believe they know "enough" to make the call. Still more people simply go with "what they like" without ever asking for advice or help.

Those people asking for help or advice are in the minority. Most people think they know enough to go buy a computer, because they're on their second, third, fourth or moreth computer by now. Computers are a commodity. You don't need to talk to a nerd to get one. You just browse Futureshop's selection and pick one you like.

Amazingly, if what people want isn't on the shelf to be bought, they won't buy something that they don't want except under duress. They aren't buying Windows 8. That has little - if anything - to do with advice (or lack thereof) from nerds. It has everything to do with personal preference on behalf of the consumers.

"Good" or "bad" are entirely relative here. You might consider Windows 8 "good" because you wrongly conflate "new" with "better." I might consider Windows 8 bad because it not only is a piss poor UX, but to spend a bent copper on it would be to validate Microsoft's position that we are all consumers to have our preferences dictated to us instead of customers whose preferences should drive design.

"Good versus bad" mean nothing. The opinions of nerds mean nothing. The press coverage in tech magazines means nothing. People are making up their own minds without having to go to a nerd. They are trying out Windows 8 in stores and deciding "no".

That "no" decision usually occurs before they would go to a nerd. Nerds are used to help someone make the optimal choice, once they've decided that a purchase is to be made. They aren't making it that far. They are driving by the local "auto dealership row" and seeing that every car and truck on every lot has a Justin Beiber paint job and saying "fuck this."

They are so turned off by that paint job that they don't even call a knowledgeable friend and ask them "what's the best option." They don't bother taking it for a test drive. They see a deal breaker and decide to live with what they have.

My point in all of this is that Windows 8 is a fucking deal breaker. People would, will and do buy new, faster PCs when the option of Windows 7 is made available. That option isn't even visible to most people.

They simply don't have a conceptualization that you can buy a computer with "not Windows 8" any more. They don't go to a nerd and ask "can I have Windows 7" because they don't even know this is a question they can ask.

Let them know, however, that this is something they can still do...and you sell some PCs. Pure and simple. The difficulty is only in getting the word out that Windows 7 is still a thing you can buy.

PCs are a mature market. They are only going to be replaced as old ones fail or when new ones are so significantly faster than old ones as to make an upgrade worth it. (SSDs being the driver right now.) But the dominance of Windows 8 on retail PCs - and thus in the public mindshare of "what you can buy" - is artificially supressing demand below even that "replacement only" level.

People are willing to forgo replacements on systems they would otherwise be entirely willing to replace because they don't want Windows 8. That makes Windows 8 a great big fucking mistake. It makes the inability to admit that there was a massive problem with Windows 8 - and with Microsoft's customer-hostile attitude surrounding it - an even bigger problem.

Those who deny the present never learn from the past and are thusly condemned to repeat it.

0
0
Bronze badge

The PC and laptop market is mature. What does anyone expect?

The PC and laptop market is mature. These machines last 5 to 10 and 3 to 5 years. Everyone who wants one has one.

Why would any reasonable person not expect sales to drop down to an equilibrium level where new purchases match failure rates of old machines.

5
0

Re: The PC and laptop market is mature. What does anyone expect?

> Why would any reasonable person not expect sales to drop down to an equilibrium level where new purchases match failure rates of old machines.

Some believe that mobile devices will replace PC, not complement it, that people will have a smartphone instead of a PC.

When a company as dominant as Microsoft believes that, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The reason Windows 8 is such a flustercuck is that Microsoft wanted to force its users and (more importantly) its developers to use and program for a mobile interface, at the same time as Microsoft made all windows versions compatible and shifted business model from software seller to an Apple-like hardware-selling, walled-garden-owning, software-distributor.

The plan was truly brilliant: Microsoft would increase revenues, gain complete control of the platform, channel hundreds of millions of PC users to its struggling mobile platforms, and break out of the dying PC market, all in one fell swoop. Sadly, the implementation of the brilliant plan was absolute cack, and there really are no words to express how spectacularly it backfired. Windows 8 has replaced New Coke as the worst corporate fiasco in recorded history, and Microsofts hardware-selling walled-gardening plans forced its biggest PC software and hardware vendors to form a coalition to create an alternative platform, SteamOS.

0
1

This is the beginning of the end..

For Physical HDD's

Now that SSD's have the life span and space that is comparable to platter HDD's, and the price has come down to affordable levels, you'll see their sales go up.

1
1
This topic is closed for new posts.