"In line with global PC trends."
Of course it is; PCs by and large are Windows. (There is some Mac, some Linux...but not really a huge chunk of the market.)
The reason that PC sales are declining not during a recession, but during the recovery from a recession lies entirely in Microsoft's utter failure to innovate. PC sales would be soaring if they could remove cerebrum from sphincter and produce product that met the needs of more than just Big Business.
Putting it out at a reasonable price point with simple FRAND licensing would make huge differences too. You want to kill off linux/mac – including android – then you need a modern, innovative OS that is once-price-fits all. That price allows unlimited reinstalls, being in a VM, moving VMs from host-to-host, you name it. No CALs, no counting this, that and the next damned thing. Easy to understand, easy to implement, easy to account and easy to afford licensing.
“In line with current market trends” might be true of this year, but it won’t be the next. Next year Windows will start bleeding market share. The reason is not the typical Microsoft bashing of “they make insecure crap that gets viruses.” (As of Windows 7, Windows proper isn’t often the culprit, third party software is the hole through which nasties crawl.) No, the reason Microsoft is losing it’s grip on the market – and why PCs are on the decline in general – is that all the peripheral stuff about owning them is just too damned complicated.
I am not talking about using the computers, I am talking having to bear licensing, patching, system requirements, etc. etc. all in mind and fret about all this crap before you even get down to the “using it” part.
Don’t believe me? Go down to best buy, and tell them you want a “computer you can play games on.” Tell me if the computer they point you at is going to play the top 10 games of 2011, or 5 out of the top 10 in 2012? How difficult will it be to use that computer out of the box? How much crapware will be on it? How many 30-day trials will there be, how many setting to be changed, how many bits of fuckery will need to be poked at?
I can take an iPad out of the box, turn it on, do the wizard and 5 minutes later I am downloading and using my first app. The same goes for a console. What’s the unbox procedure like – and the ongoing maintenance mindspace overhead – of that Windows PC?
Pointless bureaucracy, and it’s killing the PC/notebook/netbook market.