Sales of personal computers – fat workstations, clunky desktops and laptops not running Android or iOS – took a bigger dive as 2012 wound down than the box counters at IDC had expected. People are not necessarily shifting from PCs to smartphones and tablets, but these new devices continue to lengthen the time between PC upgrades …
Re: W7 is W8
Sorry but many commenters here are quite wrong and I had to sign up to tell you so. I was recently shopping for 3 new laptops and on the dell australia website most of the best laptops and configurations were win 8 only. You could pay 179 AUD to upgrade to win8 pro and hope that a downgrade to win7 would be effective but this is work you would have to do yourself, as well as the expense, with no gaurauntees of hardware/driver success if support for win7.
I ended up with 3 lenovo ultra books. Their configurations had similar problems sometimes but there were definitely more windows 7 'home premium' options. It is poetic justice for me to see that dell has dropped the most market share. It serves them right for not using their purchasing leverage to stop the windows 8 fiasco prior to Christmas. I will never buy a windows 8 machine. Dell and Microsoft, lift your game!
"these new devices continue to lengthen the time between PC upgrades."
This is a good thing for the desktop PC. It will reduce the time consumers spend beta-testing new OSs. It will hopefully reduce the frequency of disasters like Vista and Win8. It will make PCs more usable for the real work they were designed for.
Perhaps someday the marketing geniuses in Redmond and Cupertino will receive the astonishing revelation that small mobiles on the one hand, and larger screen-and-keyboard kit on the other, are (drumroll) two different product classes, for two different uses, with two incommensurable markets. (Cue gasps from the media at the brilliance of this insight.) Desktop machines are (gasp) for work that can't be done on small mobes. (Cupertino may have a vague inkling of the two different markets bit, but at no time have they ever glimpsed the "work" part. The Mac's virtues have always been as a smooth interface for gaming and entertainment, and any other functionality was purely incidental, and forbidden if possible.)
Perhaps in 20 or 30 years *n*x will support non-IT "work" too. (Just joking. Wanted to see if you were still reading. If it ever does happen, the documentation will be written in Chinglish.)
"has gotten more difficult"
My Favourite Little Spiel
Yay. Time for some unnecessary self-praise here. For the last couple of years I have been boring the crap out of everybody who expresses even a slight interest in computing by saying: -
"Most computers will have no keyboard, or will have no screen".
Most people will have an Android/iOS/similar thing that will talk to some *NIX thing.
Moore's Law and ignorance
I believe we should blame Moore's Law, when the computing power available to us double's, it used to make a vast difference. I,e The upgrade from a 486 rated at 66MHz to a 586 at 133MHz was huge in terms of what we could actually do with the device. Many here have already stated their 6 year old computers work just fine, I support this view.
I run Arch Linux on a ULV Lenovo Thinkpad and it is blindingly quick; two VMs and all development environments open. It is pretty much impossible to notice the difference on my older (but much faster workstation) unless compiling programs. Why upgrade?
There has been a lot of controversy relating to the death of PC/Laptops in favour of tablets recently and I am a strong believer in the survival of the former. With that said though, my next purchase will probably be the upcoming Nexus tablet though. Why? Very simple.
When a tablet (hackable with support for *nix) comes with a resolution twice that of my laptop and twice the battery; it's a no brainer, 2560x1600 for pity sake! People say it all the time here; FOAD 1366x768. I can honestly respect all that device manafacturers do however, if they start complaining about sales they should pull their head out their ass and address this very simple issue. I would certainly change my next purchase option from a tablet back to a laptop if it allowed me to work remotely and comfortably as ranted about in this paragraph.
For the record of opinion on the matter, I already own a Galaxy Tab 7.7 and do use it to emulate *Nix whilst still remaining an android phone/tablet so, I do understand the difference between using a laptop for Linux and a tablet for Linux well.. I'd just love something that can be booted natively like the Mer/KDE combination.
Re: Moore's Law and ignorance
It really was the advent of dual cores that ended the constant need for more CPU power for most.
With two CPUs under the hood we could then do at least two things without the machine grinding to a halt.
Heh - I take back my dig at people's comments. Actually most of the commenters here seem to have better smarts than the article writers who seem to have a weird right wing slant. Someone has suggested this is trolling/linkbait. Or is it keeping advertisers happy? Or is it sincere yet misguided opinions? I'm not referring particularly to this article - just an overall slant I noticed since adding elreg to my RSS.
I'm getting a bit tired of the constant "It's Windows 8!!!! That's the reason....." articles.
Got nothing to do with that from what I see with my customers. They don't care what OS goes on the machine. They really don't.
The main reason is that the dual core PC or laptop that they bought in 2007/8/9/10 is still going strong.
The need for constant power upgrades is over. The OS only matters to Corporate/Enterprise refresh cycles. We all knew that 8, no matter what it was like, was never going to be the main corporate upgrade choice.
Thats partly why I reckon MS went with a more consumer approach with it.
The primary reason
...for a drop in PC sales is the worldwide econimic recession. Other portable devices certainly have had a negative impact on PC sales but those of means are still buying toys including electronics, cars, new homes, etc. Those who are unemployed and their number exceeds 100 Million people over the past five or so years, they ain't buying new PCs, electronic toys, cars, etc.
This economic recession is likely to run another 5+ years if the the folks in the U.S. gov don't figure out how to get their house in order. They spent trillions of dollars they don't have and wonder why it eventually catches up to them.
Most older pcs do work fine for most stuff but i recently moved from a xp420 quad core q6600 to an ivy bridge xeon workstation with a 7750 gfx card and the main thing i have noticed is my electricity bill has come down quite alot almost to the point that within two years of use it will pay for itself. Maybe the retailers and manufacturers should start promoting this as well considering the ever increasing energy prices.
To a great extent, general user needs have stagnated, and they don't wat to do THAT much more that they did 7 years ago, so a 5 year old compter can still watch youtube, type a letter, edit and print a photo, rough-edit a movie or surf the net just fine.
To be or not to be....
I watch the PC sales suffering and everyone I know rejecting Windows 8. It's starting to look like the PC manufactures are committing Suicide By Microsoft. Are they choosing to go out of business rather than build a future with a new OS?
Things not going so well down Microsoft street...
Samsung have shelved plans for Windows RT tablets due to poor demand:
The same old story
Microsucks tries to tell people what they should want instead of giving them what they want. It's good to see them fail some more. Eventually they will lose their stranglehold over the PC industry and then better O/S's and software can emerge.
It's now Sunday.
Re: Bad news
Still time for a few pints so you can deal with Monday...
lets get real
For those with savvy - a powerful Desktop Workstation with some form of Linux to do real work. build it yourself types. I chose aptosid Linux with 40,855 plus applications and programs to select from to make it all happen. And it *is* a power house system with an eight core AMD CPU and all 64bit end to end, 16 Gigs of low latency RAM, liquid cooled. Its a rolling release so up-times are variable but I chose when to upgrade and it is always up to date. Secure, powerful and fast is the name of the game.
For those on the go, either an oldish laptop with Win XP still running ( poor old thing can't get a rest ) or again some type of conversion to some Linux put on it... try Linux Mint, kind of turnkey, Yes it runs great if you have a worthy laptop. not as many choices as aptosid but then again it just works without a lot of knowledge from the user.
Mobile = Android ( Get over it, Linux Kernel Won. 75% global market currently ) Sorry but Apple is going down.
Reason... Android is distributed technologies over many supplying vendors.
Apple is just one, soon to be politically incorrect system.
Or an old Apple Notebook or Laptop or Workstation... if it works why not.
Notebooks can be resurrected with a Linux install. I have done many experiments just for fun... All with Linux installs and trials with live DVD tests... Open your eyes... Its a big world out there.... Chrome, Android, pure Linux... New super laptop... Figure it out because time waits for nobody.
Win 8 fails to impress - Microsoft is soft in the head and its age shows poorly.
I go into a store to look at the new systems and the sales people plead with me to do this and that to make it palatable and I ask why should it have to do this and that with a new system... does it suck or something... laughing as I walk out...
Company’s are not all that stupid unless they are Nokia running with their master - and real owner, Microsoft.
A new age is coming but it will not look like the current forced sales of systems that don't get the job done. Kind of looks like a modern Linux or even Unix like systems are the ones that survived... Windows will hang around for a time... but can you smell its old age yet. Like a relic of some distant past, I think it really is on life support.
Why upgrade a PC these days? If someone could answer that question, maybe the sales would pick up again. Games are designed for 6 year old hardware (consoles) and smart phones / tablets are more convenient for most "general computing" tasks.
Most work machines don't need upgrading as they're still fast enough from whenever the last hardware refresh happened, so what's left to justify spending money on new machines? Writing formal letters??
Lets be honest.
The reason Win8 is doing so badly is that most people don't want to have to buy a touchscreen monitor and Win8 has been sold as being touchscreen. I can't actually think of any reason why I'd want to move to Win8 apart from it's touchscreen friendliness.
Heck, I stuck with XP and completely avoided Vista ... only went Win7 because it came with a new laptop
So perhaps MS have made a serious marketing mistake, or maybe Win8 really has nothing else to offer the majority of people who don't have and don't want to buy a new TS monitor just yet.
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