LONDON – Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013, down 13.9 percent compared to the same quarter in 2012, according to market research firm International Data Corp. The year-on-year contraction marked the worst decline since IDC began tracking the PC market in 1994 and also marked a fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines, the company said.
The PC industry's attempts to adopt touch capabilities and ultraslim systems have been hampered by a weak reception for Windows 8, the firm said. Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is putting significant numbers of people off buying personal computers and making them more likely to turn to tablet computers, the firm said.
"At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market," said Bob O'Donnell, vice president of clients and displays at IDC, in a statement. "While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI [user interface], removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices."
David Daoud, research director for personal computing at IDC, said the size of the reduction in PC shipments was "surprising and worrisome."
The U.S market fell to 14.2 million PCs in 1Q13, down 12.7 percent year-on-year and down 18.3 percent compared to 4Q12. The quarterly shipment number is the lowest since the first quarter of 2006, IDC said.
Most of the major PC vendors fared dismally. Two exceptions were Lenovo and Apple. In the United States, Lenovo outperformed the market with double digit year-on-year growth compared to the market's double-digit contraction. Shipments in Asia/Pacific declined, however, keeping Lenovo's overall growth flat. Apple fared better than the overall U.S. market, but still saw shipments decline as its own PCs also saw competition from iPad tablet computers.
Microsoft HAS to get into the tablet and smartphone market if they want to survive long term. They need to find a way to do this without alienating their current customer base. When I last checked, MS still had a monster pile of cash. The absolutely have to buy their way into this market. It is very worrying that their execution has been so poor up to this point. There is no reason for MS to fail at making an OS for tablets. Making operating systems for mass market computers has been their bread and butter for thirty years. Tablets and phones are not that different from PCs, just a bit smaller and simpler with a touch screen. Why was Surface so late? Why are the prices so high? Why is the performance so poor? Why can't they build a developer community? Maybe there needs to be some kind a major management purge at Microsoft.
Windows 8 was designed to be a great tablet interface, PC interface, Xbox interface, phone interface and who knows what else. Yes. all of those thing need a user interface and all of them have computing power in them, but the overlap in usage requirements, in my opinion, is nowhere near enough to justify a single UI. It's pretty rare for a product that's designed to be all things to everyone comes out being anything other than mediocre for all things.
I have and still maintain that a quick and easy way to switch a Windows 8 PC from the tablet UI to a desktop UI and back would solve a vast majority of the complaints.
Microsoft people: Think about it. All of your prior OS's had an an easy to select "old UI" mode. Don't be stubborn. Try it, I bet you'll be happy you did.
We needed a new laptop. I asked around how people liked Windows 8 and did not receive any positive feedback. However, I could not find any new laptop I needed without Windows 8. So, I bought it. Now I have it and still struggle with it. What I hate most is that almost all new machines come only with Windows 8.
The negative impact on desktop & notebook PC sales should be no surprise. Win 8 was too radical of a UI change in one iteration for many of those users.
Win 8 may have actually caused an additional boost in sales of Win 7 machines in Q4 last year. I'm sure my wife wasn't the only one who asked for a new desktop PC for Christmas last year, for the sole reason that she "wanted to upgrade to the latest hardware while you can still get it with Windows 7."
If Windows 8 has a UI that looks like Windows 7, or similar, then for the life of me, I can't figure out what the bother is. Why aren't Windows 8 PCs sold with that more classic UI set by default?
Perhaps this is nothing more than a colossal mistake in advertizing and marketing. When the ads for Win 8 PCs show that ridiculous start screen, with gymongous icons, it certainly turns me off. Why wouldn't it have the same effect on everyone else?
What makes sense for a Windows Phone or perhaps for a tablet (not necessarily the Surface tablet though), doesn't make sense for a PC. This is not hard to figure out.
There are two things going on here:
Microsoft sees the growth of tablets and smartphones that get access to software through apps, and wants to do this and have it work with their new OS.
Meanwhile millions of people have a way of implementing the Windows UI into their workflow. They want software x, which is found at location y in the start menu, then they port it over to software z, which is found here. A new UI completely disrupts this workflow. Of course people can learn, but it takes time, and, at least in corporations, time is money.
As Bert22306 says, what they -should- have done is make Windows 8 exactly like Windows 7, but with a button to press that brings up the Metro UI. This would have caused no disruption and people could take their time learning the new interface.
Encourage people to use Windows 8. Don't force it down their throats.
I was suspecting that Windows 8 is the reason PC sales are down (it is why I haven't upgraded my PC).
The question is, will Microsoft learn their lesson with the next Windows 8 release?
I had read about even before even trying Windows 8. It may not really be that difficult for Joe (or Jane) Average Consumer to learn how to enable ClassicShell, but if it doesn't just boot up that way, as "Windows 7+", it's going to be aggravating for those who would rather not have to do this.
Ok, I have installed windows 8 yesterday
and I was very skeptical after all what I read about it.
I don't have a touchscreen.
And I... love it.
I don't understand what you mean.
Are you using it ?
Switching from windows 8 to desktop is one "double"key:
You still have desktop and taskbar.
You can pin any application to the start menu with a context pop up menu
Going to desktop to start screen is one key:
I actually prefer the start screen to the start menu. I can create sections and I scroll with mouse wheel.
So I ask my question again: are you using windows 8 ?
I am baffled by all this negative press on windows 8.
I just don't get it.
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