back to article Windows 8 fails to revive world CPU biz

IHS iSuppli, a market watcher, has admitted that its expects world PC sales to fall this year even further than it previously thought they would. Whatever the degree of decline, it will mark the first time global personal computer shipments have fallen in 11 years. In a discussion of world chip sales posted yesterday, iSuppli …

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  1. Andy ORourke
    Meh

    Could it just be......

    People have no pressing desire to buy a new PC?

    I find my home PCM acting as a bit of dumb storage because I tend to consume more on my tablet, no need to upgrade the pc I bought a couple of years ago now. At work the "old" hardware is more than adequate to run the same office stuff it's been running for the past few years. Could the market just be stagnating?

    1. Andy ORourke

      Re: Could it just be......

      Although if I'd typed my comment on my PC instead of my tablet the autocorrect wouldn't have changed PC to PCM!

      1. CADmonkey
        Pint

        Re: Could it just be......

        Who cares about Quality when you can have style?

    2. LarsG
      Meh

      Re: Could it just be......

      You could be right, new computers do nothing new, for most users so long as the computer can do what they need it to do there is no need for an upgrade.

      Even games are no longer taxing on most PCs.

      So unless there is a radical 'must have because no other computer can do it' computer I think the majority will stick with what they have.

    3. kb
      Thumb Up

      Re: Could it just be......

      Bingo, we have a winner! The simple fact is one we retailers could have told you a couple years back, and that is when they switched from the MHz wars to the core wars the PC quickly outpaced both the users and the software.

      I mean look at what I was selling on my low end FIVE years ago, a Phenom I X3 or X4 with 4Gb of RAM and a 500Gb HDD...now what is Joe and Jane Average gonna do that is gonna stress this CPU? Nothing, they just can't come up with enough work to stress the chip so why buy a new one? Heck I've been picking up Athlon X3s for $60 USD and X4s for $80 USD, so I've been able to build dirt cheap units that are frankly insanely overpowered, what is little Timmy gonna do to stress that chip? slap a $100 GPU and you can even game with it, no problem.

      So its not "the death of the PC" or "the rise of smartphones" or any of that rubbish, its just users have desktops and laptops that are so much more powerful than what they need that they see no reason to replace them. heck my netbook is going on 3 years old yet it has a dual core with 8Gb of RAM and a 320Gb HDD, what good would a new one bring me? would it make my surfing any faster, my movies somehow better? Nope, so I just won't buy a new one until the old one dies, there just isn't any point.

    4. qwarty

      Re: Could it just be......

      I like the flexibility that Windows 8 on the new x86 convertibles offers although I've not yet found a device that exactly meets my requirements graphics resolution/ports/trackpad/performance. Clover trail gives reasonable battery life but my own work needs more performance so I need core i5 class CPU at least. Some of my software uses GPU so I don't want to be stuck with Intel integrated graphics. Happy to turn off the power features when I'm on the move but when I'm plugged in at work or a clients I need performance.

      Perhaps the Haswell improvements next year will give me the device I'd like without a meage battery life. I'm possibly more demanding than the average user so the fact the current Windows 8 systems don't quite make the grade for me doesn't make them a fail.

      I'm also looking forward to seeing Linux implementations with good convertible support. What make me positive about the whole business is the fact that laptops have largely stagnated over the last few years and we now see real signs of change.

      Credit where credits due Apple with retina displays and Microsoft with touch and convertible devices are making for more choice in laptop replacements and we can look forward to less of the one size fits all mentality in 2013. I fail to understand why some commentators here apparently feel this is such a bad thing and are always looking for evidence of gloom and doom.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile in 2014...

    ....shipments are actually negative as computers what shipped with Windows 8 are returned

  3. Fuzz

    good enough

    Problem is that PCs are good enough, and have been for years. As long as your processor is 64bit and your motherboard takes 4GB Ram then your computer is plenty capable of doing anything most people want.

    In the enterprise market there is more use of thin clients coupled to some sort of virtual desktop environment.

    Computers just don't need replacing any more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: good enough

      "Computers just don't need replacing any more"

      Well, they do, but increasingly on the same sort of timescale as brown goods, so five to seven years, compared with eighteen months to three years previously. And in seven years time a smartphone will have better capabilities than a current midrange desktop or laptop, I'd guess.

      1. jb99

        Re: good enough

        That's exactly it.

        It's not that "the pc is dying" as the press seems to want to believe.

        It's that instead of replacing it every 2 years every 3 or 4 years is enough now. So of course sales will be lower. Don't confuse that with the end of the PC though

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: good enough

          I doubt even 4 years would mean a machine is too slow to be of use. I've been going through the old PC collection at home - two Athlon XPs at 1800Mhz, 1.5GB RAM, and they run the latest Ubuntu (with Unity) absolutely fine. Flash games a bit slow, but hey, as office machines they are fine.

          The Athlon's at that speed came out in 2002....

          1. The BigYin

            Re: good enough

            And this is the reason for the boot-lock down and inability to install (or obstacles to installing) what you want; forced obsolescence. With all the servers/codes/etc locked away and held proprietary, one the services switch to the "new, improved version" you are out of luck and have to buy the new shiny.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: good enough

              @The BigYin.

              Step away from the conspiracy theory: If secure boot couldn't be switched off, you wouldn't be able to install older MS OSes, upon which business rely.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @AC 15:33GMT - Re: good enough

                Actually I believe we should stay closer to conspiracy theory because if the computer hardware manufacturer can't be bothered to allow you to disable secure boot then you'll be stuck with whatever version of Windows Microsoft wants you. Now ask yourself what is best for Microsoft and hardware manufacturers, users able to reuse their old machines or being forced to buy new ones ?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @AC 15:33GMT - good enough

                  @:AC 15:49 - I'm getting tired with this - MS require that Secure Boot be able to be switched off, in order to get an "it work with Win8" sticker/certifiaction. The manufacturers of the uEFI firmware all say that you should have it be able to be switched off. It's no extra cost or effort to have SecureBoot on/off option, in fact it would actually incur more cost and effort because the firmware manufacturers would have to change more of their code.

                  It is best for MS to allow people to re-use machines, because they'll, ultimately, sell more OSes if customers can upgrade, rather than use their workstations for as long as the possibly can, before replacement.

                  Hardware manufacturers will also benefit from not crippling their machines, would you buy a computer you couldn't install another OS on? I certainly wouldn't.

                  That's not to mention anti-trust legislation.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    @AC - 16:04GMT - Re: @AC 15:33GMT - good enough

                    This is exactly what Microsoft is expecting from us, to get tired of it and forget it. And you still did not explain why Microsoft and hardware manufacturers would not want to squeeze more revenue from customers by forcing to upgrade.

                    Actually there is an extra cost for adding the option to turn off secure boot: the cost of a OEM Windows license will be slightly higher for those who would dare, in the same way that OEMs are being compelled to avoid selling their computers without OS. Here there is no conspiracy.

                  2. The BigYin

                    Re: @AC 15:33GMT - good enough

                    @AC - "MS require that Secure Boot be able to be switched off, in order to get an "it work with Win8" sticker/certifiaction."

                    Wrong. This only applies to x86. ARM is locked down tighter than a gnats arse.

                    "would you buy a computer you couldn't install another OS on? I certainly wouldn't."

                    So you are never buying an ARM device running Win8?

                    "That's not to mention anti-trust legislation."

                    And that remains our last hope in keeping MS at bay. And Google for that matter.

              2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: good enough

                  @Edon - Get A Grip. If MS mandated in any way that SecureBoot be locked on for desktop PCs now, or at any time in the future, they'd be on the end of the largest series of Anti Trust trials in EU, US, Russia, Japan, etc that the world had ever seen.

                  You are letting your hatred of MS and everything they make and stand for colour your common sense. That is: If MS are the ultimate evil in selling OSes and software, as your posts seem to think, they'll not do anything that will prevent them from selling any more software - ie: SecureBoot has to be able to remain switchable. They are also never going to get into the situation where they end up with anti-trust prosecution again. Just look the the levels they're going to, in order to make sure that Red Hat, et al, can get keys. The keys are available from other companies, but MS give them away at a discount.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    @AC 16:29GMT - Re: good enough

                    Dead wrong here, mate! There are no other keys but Microsoft's own included with the UEFI secure boot. The UEFI spec never found useful to allow more than one public key to verify the integrity of booting environment. Please do understand that Microsoft and computer OEM are missing sales if they allow secure boot to be turned off.

                2. P. Lee
                  Black Helicopters

                  Re: good enough

                  And it isn't switch-offable on ARM.

                  If we get the 64 bit ARM desktops/laptops people seem to be after, that could be an issue.

                3. Captain Obvious

                  Re: good enough

                  Funny - the BIOS I have on the new ASUS z77 Premium allows you to disable secure boot. Ironically, the original BIOS did not even support secure boot, but when I upgraded with the latest 0 low and behold it was now on the menu. However, it was quickly disable! I suspect other manufacturers will do similar things...

        2. toadwarrior

          Re: good enough

          My thinkpad, I believe, is 6 years old. With an SSD and a new battery and Linux I've got something that more than meets my needs for computing. Companies just need to raise their prices and make something worthy of the added cost if they want to survive. They could also improve in areas other than CPU and memory, like screen resolution, but they choose not to do that for years.

        3. DougS Silver badge

          What's your definition of "dying"?

          It's not that "the pc is dying" as the press seems to want to believe.

          It's that instead of replacing it every 2 years every 3 or 4 years is enough now. So of course sales will be lower. Don't confuse that with the end of the PC though

          ----

          I hope you don't think the press saying "the PC is dying" was a suggestion that pretty soon there would no longer be a such thing as a PC. It is just dying as a growth industry, and is now in a state of permanent sales decline.

          Three reasons why:

          1) people now use tablets and smartphones to do things that previously could only be done on a PC (surfing, email, IM, facebook, etc.)

          2) there aren't any killer apps that make a PC sold in 2007 too slow for 2012, so why replace it?

          3) Microsoft improved Windows security and reduced (but didn't eliminate) malware, which used to be one of the primary reasons a PC got "slow" and was replaced

          1. P. Lee
            Unhappy

            Re: What's your definition of "dying"?

            > 3) Microsoft improved Windows security and reduced (but didn't eliminate) malware, which used to be one of the primary reasons a PC got "slow" and was replaced

            Now the reason a PC is slow is the AV software.

            I suspect most PCs are used in business which isn't so enamoured with tablets, so the sales decline isn't permanent, but the life-cycle for clients is longer. The XP->W7 jump boosted resource requirements but it appears that not even MS can bloat an OS that fast. I suspect there will be a "boost" (for vendors, a "downer" for customers) when all those XP VDI solutions have to move to W7.

            Some apps are moving to servers. You don't run the entire company accounts on your PC, it runs on a server. Gmail doesn't use much in the way of local resources. Some companies are ditching dedicated websites for facebook so again, more consolidation.

            There's been little innovation in the consumer end of the IT infrastructure industry. Where are the PCIe NAS blades providing the local host with virtualised NAS storage and a NIC out to the network for when the host PC is "off." How many graphics cards can power down their fans when they aren't doing much? What happened to 100m optical Thunderbolt? Why are dual-gig ports disappearing from desktop boards when they would enable iscsi to be used effectively and why is it *still* so difficult to get adsl routers with all gig switches? Why is it so hard to get a monitor with a webcam built in? Why aren't graphics cards "hot pluggable" so I can turn off my 3d gaming monster and use the built-in graphics on my desktop board without pulling the 3d card out of the box? Where are the BSD ARM router/firewalls? Where are the range-extender access points for consumer wifi, so I can get a decent signal on the other side of the fridge? Has no-one thought that gig-ethernet on a tablet/phone might be useful when running HD mpeg2 traffic, or at least a cradle with PoE for ultra-fast networking, sync and charging. Don't even get me started on 1366x768 laptop screens or "ultrabooks" that have no VGA, DVI or DP outputs. CPU has never been so cheap, but we're intent on moving it as far away from the users as we can so UI latency becomes almost insurmountable. Lotus 1-2-3 ran in a few hundred Kb on 16 bit hardware and we can't get a browser-based spreadsheet to run on a quad-core 64bit cpu with gigs of ram at a decent rate.

            It isn't just the hardware industry, It is probably changeable, but the standard Outlook UI is an abomination, Valve still doesn't have download scheduling, Android - a device that's designed to be on high-loss wireless networks seems to have no proxy abilities and Apple, which made its name in high-quality display/UI, steadfastly refuses to work with blu-ray.

            /grump

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: good enough

      I've got a HP-Compaq Dx5150, it's about six years old. It has four gigs of RAM, an amount of hard disk bigger than I need and a dual core 2.2GHz (IIRC) 64bit AMD processor. This machine runs Win8 perfectly well, the only problem was that I needed to get a replacement graphics card for Win8 as the old one, which worked fine, didn't have Win8 drivers.

      Over the years it's had it's RAM maxed out a new processor and a new HDD put in, no need to replace the machine though. Having said that, one of the most common reasons people replace PCs isn't because they can't be upgraded, it's because the owners can't or won't upgrade them. In the case of private individuals, it's usually can't, in the case of corporations it's usually won't because the upgrades will be more expensive than replacement, when you take into account depreciation and paying someone to do the work. Better to sell the machines when they're finished with, to a recycling company.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: good enough

        The children use a 10 or so year old PC - runs OK, Pentium 4 just raised to 2.8GHz from 2.4GHz for under £3 for another CPU (I thought the 2.4 was failing but it was eventually RAM not liking overclocking)

        Not THAT much slower than the quad core home PC

        1. Mint Sauce

          Re: good enough

          Quite. My home PC is a Pentium 4 and is perfectly capable of running windows 7, web browsing, usual email and document editing. Heck, even video editing is do-able without too much pain (just go and make a cuppa whilst it is rendering the final file!).

          Basically I see no need to replace it until it explodes or I suddenly get back into gaming and need more power. Over the years I've upgraded the graphics a bit, stuck in more ram and another hard disk. That's about it.

          That's not to say I wouldn't _like_ something new and shiny of course... :-)

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: good enough - video editing

            This is why I bought the 2 x 1TB Samsung drives and a quad core chip used the old innards at work after a PC failure now my sons have it.

            And a bluray burner but the BDs are lumpy so something went wrong.

            Tempted to try a new SW package for editing HDV

    3. Conor Turton

      Re: good enough

      This. My parents are running a Pentium 4 3.0D Compaq business desktop with 2GB RAM/80GB HDD I bought from an IT auction for £30 a couple of years ago. I shoved Windows 7 on it this year. For what they use it for it is more than fast enough.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Currys/PC World

    Took a look in our local branch of Currys/PC World today and there was only one Windows 8 convertible on display, and that was missing a trackpad so no use to me. A couple of touchscreen laptops with low resolution 768p displays but the rest of the systems were low graphics resolution Windows 7 class PCs with Windows 8 installed. Fun to see people touching the screens to see if they responded. On the other hand several MacBook models out on display to tempt Christmas shoppers

    Its a no brainer we need to see some Windows 8 hardware out there before we can tell what people make of Windows 8, good, bad or indifferent. All we can say for sure so far is the Windows 8 launch was poorly organized and the advertising campaign a waste of money if consumers can't get to properly try out the new features.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: Currys/PC World

      Try John Lewis or Tesco. Everything they had in there was infected with Win8.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Currys/PC World

        @The BigYin - Not when I went into John Lewis at the weekend, they still had a fair amount of Win7.

        Anyway, as you said "infected" I assume you'll be buying the Linux desktops that they sell at John Lewis.

        Oh, hang on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC 15:35 GMT - Re: Currys/PC World

          Linux is not the infection, actually is the cure.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Currys/PC World

        John Lewis in Reading has far more Apple kit prominently displayed than Windoze 'stuff'.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Currys/PC World

          Err... Not really, I was in there on Saturday and it had one desk of Apple laptops for about four of others. Likewise workstation. You do, however, see the Apple stuff before everything else if you enter from the main entrance, rather than the round the back, near the Oracle entrance.

        2. The BigYin

          Re: Currys/PC World

          @Steve - the newer Samsung's look a little bit Apple-y; I think it's just the aluminium body. There's also a project running to get GNU/Linux stable on them, if that gains more traction I would seriously consider one as the Samsung's seem like nice kit for the price.

          I wonder what their refund policy on the unwanted Windows license is?

      3. LateNightLarry
        FAIL

        Re: Currys/PC World

        Everything at Best Buy, Fry's, Wally World and every other chain store that sells 'puters in the San Francisco was infected with Win8 on the day it was released.. . No choice at all, and apparently nothing was left in the store the night before... or maybe the elves/slaves worked through the night to upgrade them.

        Save Win 8 for tablets, and rewrite Win8 to work the way we're used to for desktops and laptops...

        Another MASSIVE FAIL for Microshaft.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Currys/PC World

      Took a look at my local PC World today only to find it's been turned into some "B&M homestore" that I've never heard off. Looked to be like a poundstore only much bigger and without the air of refinement and quality. What a tacky dump.

      Obviously not many Windows 8 PCs being sold round here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Currys/PC World

        my local PC World .. the air of refinement and quality

        Funny, I've never seen the terms refinement and quality mentioned in the same phrase as PC World without the word "not" appearing somewhere. You must be living in an interesting place.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Currys/PC World

        You local must be in MK. The PC World has moved down the road to the Currys store, now renamed Currys PC World.

    3. Mint Sauce

      Re: Currys/PC World

      When I wandered through PC world at the weekend, approx 1/4 of the Win8 machines were showing an 'Automatic Repair - Automatic Repair couldn't repair your PC' type BSOD.

      On some of the others I clicked through to the desktop only to see various error dialogs. Although that did look like it was caused by some incompatible crapware installed by the manufacturer or possibly PC world.

      The staff were far more interested in pushing iStuff, and hardly anyone was looking at the Win8 machines.

  5. The BigYin

    Wait, what?

    Haven't we also see stories about Win8 flying off the shelves? PR puffs about how people are selling their grannies into slavery just so they can afford Win8 because it's just that good?

    And now this about Win8 not being enough to boost sales?

    Which is it El Reg?

    Of course, not the I personally want to touch Win8, unless it's with an install disc and MS have seen fit to ensure that's nigh-on impossible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait, what?

      A particular OS is being sold is not the same as New computers are being sold with a particular OS.

      Otherwise there would be no desktop installs of Linux, would there? (Excepting self build PCs)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait, what?

      I think it's mainly flying off the shelves by itself, because that's the only way those boxes will move.

      It doesn't strike me as a popular item in my local store, although I noticed a fairly large amount of discussion on how to downgrade in the PC corner. It appears the Ballmer gamble may not be paying off just yet, to which I can only say BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. But I digress..

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait, what?

      @The BigYin

      I guess a lot of people are like me - I bought a Windows 8 licence because it is relatively cheap for a limited time only. Out of curiosity, I ran the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, which reported 31 compatibility problems with existing installed software on my Windows 7 machine. That doesn't really bother me, because I'll be running it in a virtual machine on Windows 7, and only using it to test code that I may or may not develop for Windows 8. Still, that's another sale for Ballmer to crow about.

  6. Perror
    Facepalm

    Nothing to do of course...

    ... with the bad economy, forgettable computers with W8, so-so logistics/specifications for the only cool looking Windows (RT) tablet, meh Windows 8 itself and as mentioned previously by @Andy ORourke 3-5 year old computers are more than enough for practically anything most people don't/won't/can't do on a tablet...

  7. Select * From Handle

    Vista needed an awesome PC to run it. But now.....

    Vista needed an awesome PC to run it I.E... 2-3ghz quad core and at least 2-4gig ram. Now that the OS is fixed so it is fast on older hardware (i.e. Single core 1.8ghz pentium with 1-2gig ram), why would people upgrade the hardware when they can just buy windows 8 upgrade for £40? I can only see gamer's or enthusiasts upgrading hardware...

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win 8 has no advantages

      It's a good job you're a balanced commentator, who is equal in their criticism and complement of all systems. Otherwise a comment like "Win 8 has no advantages" would show you up for the biased, MS hating Linux fanboy you are.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Win 8 has no advantages

          Ahh, you're on form, first reply accusing someone of being an MS shill, it's what you always do when you've been called out. Oh and for the record, I'm not just not a shill, I work for one of MS' major competitors in the Server OS market.

          If you can't see a single advantage in Windows 8 over other OSes on the market at the moment, you either haven't used it or don't understand it.

          All OSes are better than the rest at some things, if you can't see what that thing is, you should investigate more. Just sticking to one OS and blindly slagging off the rest is merely avoiding learning and bettering yourself.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Win 8 has no advantages @Eadon 17:36

              One post or a complete history of 100 - won't tell you whether someone's a shill. just lets people like you and Vic use the shill crutch to write off any post you don't like and convince yourself that points they make are invalid by default. Your whole AC whinge thing is just an attempt at diversion, as far as I can see. "Playing dirty" - what a petulant child you are ...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Win 8 has no advantages

            "bettering yourself."

            Fuck that's funny, as if knowing some random new UI for a computer is "bettering" oneself.

            Sheesh, he was right, you are a shill!

    2. The BigYin

      Re: Win 8 has no advantages

      @Eadon - Agreed.

      Considering just the graphical aspects (which is what most people probably will) Win8 and Ubuntu (one of the main GNU/Linux distros) suffer from the same problem; a desktop/tablet schizophrenia. In Ubuntu a few workflows might have to change, but annoyances remain (two clicks to switch a workspace for example). In Win8 it is just freakin' gawd-awful. The whole schism as it switches to desktop mode just shows how badly thought out it is.

      At least on vanilla Ubuntu I can install another DE (MATE or whatever) should Unity not be to my taste and I can't be pretty damned sure all the important stuff will work. And if it doesn't? Use another. Or configure that one to is does work how I want.

      On Win8? Meh, I'm screwed. I must follow the dikats of their UI people and be-damned to my work flow or muscle memory.

      "Oh, but switching to GNU/Linux needs sooooooo much training." Not it doesn't. Just have one person fiddle with it and make it look Windows-y enough and I can pretty much bet the team will hardly notice (there are other factors I agree).

      As to our AC shill, they are either that or a troll. Never reply to an AC, those accounts only exist fro shills/trolls. It's not like this place has a "real name" policy or something.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Win 8 has no advantages

          @Eadon and The Big Yin:

          If someone doesn't agree with you, it doesn't mean that they're a shill. I'm one of the ACs from above, I've been posting here since April 2007, I have 150 pages of comments, I don't post with my handle since someone threatened me based on guessing that they knew who I was because of my handle and posting history.

          Now, I don't know if you two are the same person, if you're different people, if you're also posting as AC, it doesn't matter, I have no way to verify your status so I just accept that. The thing is if you continue to think that anyone who disagrees with you is a shill (incidentally see the house rules about that) you're just going to alienate people, many of whom have genuine opinions that even if you don't agree with, you could learn from.

          1. The BigYin

            Re: Win 8 has no advantages

            "The thing is if you continue to think that anyone who disagrees with you is a shill (incidentally see the house rules about that) you're just going to alienate people"

            I don't. I think anyone who posts as AC is probably a shill or a troll (note: I haven't accused you of being a shill). It is so easy to create a new account/handle that there is no need for AC IMHO. And as evidence to that I cite you stating you can't tell if Eadon or I are one and the same (we're not, but then I would say that).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Win 8 has no advantages @The BigYin 18:52

        "As to our AC shill, they are either that or a troll. Never reply to an AC, those accounts only exist fro shills/trolls."

        Wrong. I'm neither. Dunno about other ACs. Are you a sock puppet for Eadon? By your and his logic, you must be! Nice try, Eadon!

        On a side note, it's good to see that your Linux pushing follows the often-used format. Windows is crap -> You can do that in Linux (then usually qualified with things like "I'm sure" or "can pretty much bet". Not exactly likely to inspire confidence in the people you want to convert, though it will go over well here, so it's a nice safe thing to do isn't it? Fair play - I suppose stand up comedians pick their venues if they want to get a good audience response. :)

        1. The BigYin
          Thumb Down

          Re: Win 8 has no advantages @The BigYin 18:52

          "Wrong. I'm neither. Dunno about other ACs."

          Right. There is no real name policy here. You could call yourself "Galactic Wombat" for all the difference it makes. AC accounts have no use on this site except for shills and trolls.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AC accounts have no use on this site

            "AC accounts have no use on this site except for shills and trolls."

            With the greatest respect: Rubbish. Hope you don't mind me saying so :)

            It would be just as sensible for someone (me, for example) to claim that named accounts have no use on this site except for self-obsessed egos who want shiny badges (or some other ego-driven reason).

            Obviously both claims are wrong in general. There are egos here (no names, no pack drill), and doubtless there are trolls and shills too. Shit happens, especially on the Interwebs.

            It would help a great deal if people would generally focus on the message rather than the messenger. Posting as AC can be helpful in that respect. Posting as AC doesn't necessarily mean that the poster is a troll or a shill. Look at the message and draw your own conclusion based on the content, not based on who posted it (or on what colour the badge is).

            1. The BigYin

              Re: AC accounts have no use on this site

              "Posting as AC can be helpful in that respect. Posting as AC doesn't necessarily mean that the poster is a troll or a shill."

              This site does not run a real-name policy, no force you to use some global ID like G+, Facebook, OpenID or whatever. So the only reasons for posting AC are:

              1) To troll - and one doesn't want the trolling to be linked to their actual handle; or

              2) To shill - and one doesn't want that to be easily traced via post history.

              Yes, one could use sock-puppet accounts etc.; I completely agree. So until someone can give me an actual good reason for AC (and I don't buy anything I've read so far) I shall continue to dismiss ACs as troll/shill.

              And if I wanted to karma-whore, I'd align my handle here with what I use elsewhere; but I can't be arsed.

        2. The BigYin
          FAIL

          Re: Win 8 has no advantages @The BigYin 18:52

          "Windows is crap"

          It is. I use Windows every day and feel qualified to state that it is crap. And Win8 is more crap than Win7. If you want some balance - GNU/Linux isn't perfect either; nothing is.

          "You can do that in Linux (then usually qualified with things like "I'm sure" or "can pretty much bet"."

          It may surprise you, but I don't have time to go around and test every aspect of Windows emulation on every DE on every distribution. Also if I haven't tried something myself, I don't like stating it as a fact.

          My current DE is similar, but not identical to, Windows. I am fairly sure, but have conducted no tests, that any Windows user could use it. There are, of course, differences out of necessity, e.g. workspace switcher, window controls in different place (I could move them, but I like them where they are), different Super-key behaviours (again, I could change these but I don't need to). And that's before we get into the differences caused by the filesystem, but again these could be dealt with, I just haven't bothered.

          "Not exactly likely to inspire confidence in the people you want to convert, though it will go over well here, so it's a nice safe thing to do isn't it?"

          So Eadon writes off posts they don't like as "shill", and you write off posts you don't like as "preaching to the choir"? A bit hypocritical, no?

  9. CADmonkey
    Happy

    Just to add a bit of balance...

    ...to all these shed-dwelling corruptors of capitalism who are stealing the bread from the land-fill owner's children's mouths...

    PC sales were up by one this April thanks to my good self. Built to a Quality, rather than a price (an advantage of being self-employed is you can be your own finance department). Yes, thankyou, I WILL take all the Ghz and Gb that you can stuff into one little box.

    I should declare that whilst I'm very enthusiastic about my PC, it's not for Gaming (well, not primarily....)

  10. Tim Ling
    Mushroom

    Just to add a bit of balance...part 2

    LOL @ all the Win8 hate. So M$ change some of the interface and no-one can use it anymore? Or maybe it's slow, clunky and not woth the £40 upgrade?

    Grow up guys, some people like Windows, some like Macs and some like Linux. Some can *gasp* even learn to use them all!

    1. Andy ORourke
      Joke

      Re: Just to add a bit of balance...part 2

      Welcome Tim, I admire your spirit but come on, you have to get yourself a camp and stick to it if you want to be a regular comentard, unless you hate at least two out of the three main OS's / hardware manufacturers then you are going to be real lonely here.

      Speaking as someone with an android phone, an iPad, home windows 7 PC and using many disparate versions of unix / Linux at work I confuse the hell out of the average commenter on here myself!

      See that, it's a joke alert but I guarantee I'll get down voted for my "joke"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just to add a bit of balance...part 2

      @Tim - Yeah, but learning more than one OS is hard, much easier to slag off the ones that you don't know. I was that person, then I bothered to knuckle down and learn other OSes because, as a storage guy, you need to know everything you'd provision storage to or backup, if you're going to make it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Worth considering...

    If you're going to link Windows 8 to this trend, it's worth considering that Windows 8 doesn't need more resources that Windows 7. Also, Windows 8 is dirt cheap to buy at the moment. In the olden days (well, pre Windows 7), you needed new hardware to run a new OS and it was so expensive, many people would have figured they'd may as well just buy a new PC with the new OS on it.

    1. fandom

      Re: Worth considering...

      On the other hand, in the olden days I could go to the mall and buy and upgrade but, at least here in Spain, they are none to be found.

      MS want to keep all the upgrade money for themselves or something?

      1. Jess

        Re: Worth considering...

        I did. The demo completely failed to install on the PC I tried. (It now has mint on it.) And I tried it in a VM on another PC, and found it so awful to use, I'm not prepared to pay the £30 or whatever.

        It is dreadful, I thought we'd left that sort of stuff behind with the demise of windows 3.11

        The x86 tablet/ultrabooks being advertised seem to be a flop waiting to happen.

        They won't be as good as a W8 tablet, because they are heavier. They won't be much good as a laptop because of windows 8. Their battery life and available applications won't compare well to iPads and Android devices.

        And RT seems like it will be another non-starter, and given Microsoft's history of abandoning ARM based systems when they falter and lack of compatibility/upgradibility between generations (WM6, Kin, and WP7) who would take the risk? And what happens when someone sticks a Raspberry Pi in a tablet or netbook form for a quarter the price?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: what happens when someone sticks [ARM] in a tablet for a quarter the price?

          Pretty much here already, for well under £100. With a rather more upmarket processor than the Pi, which is aimed at a slightly different market.

          You probably won't have heard the brand names, and you probably won't be buying them from well known dealers, and they'll be based not on Tegra but maybe Allwinner A10 and Rokchip, and they will be 1024x600 or worse (etc).

          But for around £60-80 quid, will anyone care?

          If you want one from a dealer with relatively well known name, with a spec somewhat behind the curve, they do exist, e.g.

          http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/product_detail/13426/Jazz-C725-7-Android-4-0-Tablet-PC-1-0GHz-ARM11-4GB-WiFi-b-g-n/ for £70 (caution: 800x400 screen - look around for better screens at the same price, but you'll have to trade off against something else e.g. noname dealer).

  12. All names Taken
    Coat

    11 years ago?

    2012 minus 11 equals 2001

    Wasn't that when the West knew it was in crisis and took the "Oh b*gg*r it! If we spend enough it will go away" solution to financial woes?

  13. Cipher
    Linux

    What we want ...

    Could be that the world is not in love with Win 8? That the "Death of the Desktop" mantra is wrong? That people want mobile AND desktop as well? I wonder what the popularity of Win 8 workarounds is...

  14. DS 1

    I love PC's

    and have done for a long time. But its serious crunch time. PC's today are in general at the low medium and ultrabook ends - just rehashed, warmed up shit. Its little wonder that people have tired of buying the same rehashed, reheated garbage ever x years. Some people say a PC is enough, but brutally I personally have not found it to be thus. Today if you wish to work on or study on the enterprise software levels (example, 16GB for exchange) then you start to reach a point where you need fantastic monster machines. And who provides these - not many options, and very little in the medium range. So, people more and more find tablets equal to rdiculous ultrabooks. And who can blame them. And on the server side, given the vast cost and nightmarish levels required for working on serious server level stuff (Hi Microsoft, welcome server 2012, powershell, windows 8, and..) its little wonder there is a run taking place to move cloudwards. And not to azure either.

    AMD could save itself. It could simply up the spec on its motherboards and oem's (LAPTOPS). Why not put 4 dimm/simm slots on every laptop chipset. Guess what, I'd like a machine I can put a lot of ram in without a nightmare price?? Oh look, you've just created a bioundary layer where a PC is again bigger, badder and better than tablets.

    I'll say this to every single PC vendor out there. You are not going to out tablet the ARM platform at tablet level, and certainly not on rediculous over priced garbage ultrabooks. If I want a thin mobile device with mobility at its core, I am not going to pay your price. End of. However, I still want the PC of tommorow. Something powerful - capable beyond the tablet or cloud. And I'm willing to pay good money for it. But its graphics, and its cpu and its storage and its memory must not just be another reheated hash of the last gen over and over and over. Yes, I want a 1TB drive, yes I want 16GB, yes, I actually want a decent GPU not just rehashed junk intel gfx. And if you don't want to build that machine, thats ok, I don't have to buy the crap you're shipping today thats junk. And by the figures no one else wants that stuff either.

    The PC isn't going to win the war in mobility. And its not going to survive in the areas like battery life, convenience or light usage that the tablets rightly dominate in. The bulk of its software library isn't even built for that paradigm. Built the powerful PCs of tommorow and start doing it today. You will in either case have lower sales figures, but the powerful PC will always hav e its place, and the junk models won't.

    People are dropping the PC - because the last 2-4 machines they bought were junk and they are reaching a tipping point where they don't want to have that complexity + junk again when simnplistic tablet platforms answer more of their desires.

    Lastly - ultrabook - a huge nail in the coffin of PCs. Intel lost the plot on this. Its taken its quite marvellous Ivy bridge and sandy bridge lines, and crippled them in the worst chassis. With limited connectivity (Its a PC - PC's soul is plugging things into it, not removing the connectors) and heat induced crippled perf - one can only marvel at this dirge. At huge price as well.

    In the meantime, PC gaming is screaming for a vendor to step in and bring it. The games are at a surperior level to consoles or tables - assuming the right hardware is applied. And the window to catch it right is now.

    This failure is going to result in the death of a very large part of the PC industry. Thats going to bite all affected. Would be much better to attack the issues in a unified way. That way is not the ultrabooks.

  15. Fenton

    No problems with win 8

    Well I installed win8 on an old Athlon64 x2 running at 2ghz. With 4gb ram. It runs perfectly. Think of thee new UI as a big start button and no problems with usability. The kids like the MS store.

    If anything it has fewer problems in terms of stability than Win7.

    Ok I do hate IE10 lots of compatibility problems with lots of sites, but a quick chrome install fixed the issue.

    Not need to buy a new PC at all though. Run faster than XP or Win7.

    Not an MS fanboy also run an iMac and a Solaris workstation at home.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Windows 8 is dirt cheap to buy at the moment"

    Windows 8 may be dirt cheap (relative to MS usual end user prices) but

    Why bother at all if the benefits aren't visible in comparison with today's setup

    Why bother at all if the upgrade assistant says "you need to upgrade x dozen apps"

    As for VMs:

    1) My former favourite, VMware Player, is no longer zero cost afaict. Does Player 4 support Win 8 (it doesn't sound like they work well together, from a quick look around)?

    2) Do the cheap Win 8 prices apply to fresh installs, or just upgrades? If just upgrades, can I move from Win 7 on a real PC to Win8 in a VM on that and still only pay upgrade prices?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Windows 8 is dirt cheap to buy at the moment"

      VMWare player is free (or was when I downloaded it recently) and it has way better facilities than previously.

      VirtualBox is still free and it's definitely in the "good enough" bucket

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        VMware Player 5 not free for commercial use

        "VMWare player is free (or was when I downloaded it recently)"

        It's still free to download. Player 4 was free to use, for personal or commercial use. For Player 5, when my copy starts up, the startup screen window title says "VMware Player (Non-commercial use only)" and the window body text includes "This product is not licenced and is authorised for non-commercial use only. For commercial use, purchase a licence. Buy now.". "Buy now" goes to a web page which includes the text "VMware Player is free for personal use. VMware Player is now available for commercial use with support offerings as a component of VMware Fusion Professional."

        Nice, eh?

        Or you could have a look at Section 8 of the EULA:

        "VMware Player is intended for your own personal non-commercial use only. Player may only be used commercially or be re-distributed with written agreement from VMware."

        And from the Player 5 Release Notes:

        "VMware Player is also now available for commercial use. A commercial license for VMware Player 5 is included with VMware Fusion 5 Professional to enable customers to run virtual machines on Windows or Linux PCs and on Macs using a single license key! "

        The way I read that is that commercial use of Player was free with V4 and isn't free with V5 (you need a paid-for licence, bundled with Fusion 5 Pro). Correction most welcome.

        VirtualBox GPL Edition it shall be then, at least at work.

        [minor changes from deleted version, e.g. more quotes]

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: VMware Player 5 not free for commercial use

          Nah, I got the agreement. You can use VMPlayer commercially for free, as long as I do not distribute it. In other words I can virtualise to my hearts content internally as long as it's all inward facing. The latest VMPlayer is limited to 4 virtual CPUs and it has all the necessary bits to define and set up the VMs. Works a treat.

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: "Windows 8 is dirt cheap to buy at the moment"

      Ignoring Win 8 is free.

  17. Rattus Rattus

    Gaming no longer driving the upgrade cycle

    There are many factors contributing to decline of PC sales, of course, but one I have not seen mentioned yet is the longevity of the current console generation. Since most PC games are not PC-exclusive but are designed for consoles as well, and since the leading consoles have been around for such a long time, games no longer require anything more than a cheap midrange computer. I bought a fairly cheap video card nearly three years ago and I have still been unable to find anything I cannot run at maximum settings.

  18. David Strum
    Meh

    Microsoft = IBM

    This is like hoping a new set of Alloy wheels will fix an old car that is past it best working life. Microsoft is turning into another IBM (of old).

  19. Chika
    Holmes

    The gravy train is a-mouldering...

    Yes, yes, yes. SO many people are posting here saying that they have machines that are easily good enough to support what they need. I can say the same. I upgraded to a Phenom II x6 a while back and, while this is easily powerful enough for W7 and anything I'm likely to need to run, it does raise one point.

    Windows 8 is, at least in the traditional PC world, an "upgrade" to W7. It consumes no more than W7 did, and therefore needs no hardware change for those of us that have W7, if we actually decide that we really want to go in that direction. The only realistic target there is for remaining Windows XP users (I doubt that any Vista users will have any more problems than do W7 users) who will likely be using older hardware.

    However the problem there is that WXP users won't necessarily switch to W7/8. With the expiry of WXP coverage getting closer, the people still using WXP will increasingly be either hard core users who do not like the idea of shifting, people who can ill afford the shift for whatever reason, and corporate users who are likely to go to W7 only when the existing machines are getting near to their end of life.

    I'm not convinced that the tablet is going to replace the PC everywhere, but it does have an advantage in the home market at least, not least because a cheap tablet running a reasonably recent version of Android can undercut anything in the Windows market, and W8 has yet to really catch on with the great unwashed. If it every does.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

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