Don't blame Windows 8 for terrible PC shipments

It's no secret that the PC market has slowly taken a turn for the worse. And, if we're to believe what research company IDC said in late-May, it's not going to get any better anytime soon, with shipments predicted to drop even further, by 7.8 percent this year. Furthermore, tablets are expected to out-ship PCs by 2015. Unquestionably, the future appears gloomy but, according to Gartner, the culprit is not the controversial Windows 8, as some pundits believe.

Gartner just released its latest report on the state of the PC market, which shows that Q2 2013 shipments -- which top 76 million units from all vendors, combined -- have declined by 10.9 percent compared to the same period, last year (when shipments exceeded the 85.32 million mark). "The sharp decline in the second quarter of 2013 was partly due to the shift in usage patterns away from notebooks to tablets, and partly because the PC market was exposed to inventory reductions in the channel due to the start of the transition to new Haswell-based products", says Gartner principal research analyst Isabelle Durand.


Despite Intel's and Microsoft's push towards popularizing touchscreen laptops, the market has yet to positively respond to the new type of devices. "Touch-based notebooks still account for less than 10 per cent of the total consumer notebook shipments in the last quarter", says Durand.

As previously mentioned, some pundits blamed Windows 8 for not providing any boost in PC shipments. Microsoft's latest operating system was highly criticized, mostly for its lack of a Start menu and the introduction of the Modern UI (User Interface), that are believed to alienate those who use traditional PCs (that do not feature touchscreens).

"While Windows 8 has been blamed by some as the reason for the PC market's decline, we believe this is unfounded as it does not explain the sustained decline in PC shipments, nor does it explain Apple's market performance", says Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa.

Aside from HP and Dell, Apple was the vendor least-affected by the decline of the US PC market (where shipments surpass 14.97 million units) in Q2 2013, its sales fell by 1.4 percent compared to the same period, last year (when shipments exceeded 15.18 million units).

HP shipped 3.95 million PCs in the US, which translates into a 26.4 percent market share. Dell follows with 3.68 million units and 24.6 percent, respectively. Apple takes the third place, having shipped 1.74 million PCs, which account to 11.6 percent of the corresponding local market.

So what are the (other) reasons why PC shipments are not recovering? "We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets", says Kitagawa. "In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market".

In the US, Kitagawa says that the decline can (also) be pinned on the professional market. "Our preliminary results indicate that this reduced market decline was attributed to solid growth in the professional market. Three of the major professional PC suppliers, HP, Dell and Lenovo, all registered better than U.S. average growth rate. The end of Windows XP support potentially drove the remaining PC refresh in the U.S. professional market".

But another reason, that is not mentioned by Gartner in its report, as to why PC shipments are not recouping is the technological advancement that drove a major performance leap over the past years (and, even, decade). PCs that were sold during the time Windows Vista was released are more than capable of handling any of the the operating system's successors (Windows 7, Windows 8 and, in the coming months, Windows 8.1). Users who do not want a faster system can pretty much keep their old devices (case in point is my five-year old HP 8710p laptop) and enjoy the latest software benefits (bar high-end games) with little to no extra money spent on upgrades. Because of this, to some extent, the decline of the PC market can also be pinned on technological advancements.

Photo Credit: zwola fasola/Shutterstock

92 Responses to Don't blame Windows 8 for terrible PC shipments

  1. C64 says:

    Microsoft's PC market share has dropped from 95% to 20% in 8 years. Even though Windows 8 cannot be blamed for this, Microsoft sure can! Long live the new era!
    Gnerally a tech company that enters the market late doesn't do well (history proves) but add this to the fact they will have to innovate dramatically and lead from the front they are just on a hiding to nothing. Microsoft have never done either to bring them even close to 50% market share anymore. People remember Microsoft's mistakes and failings much more in the tech industry, we are all moving away from Windows and onto much greener pastures, THANK GOD!

    • Don't fear the future says:

      A laptop will never fit in your pocket, but a phone can. That's why Windows Overall percentage (including operating systems that are NOT pc's) has gone down; not because Windows is bad. Sure, Windows Phone may evolve into a full PC later down the road and will fit in your pocket, but the screen size will limit what you will want to do on it.

      And just like a desktop will never fit in your pocket, you'll never see your Smartphone or ARM based tablet attached to an MRI machine. You'll never see a smartphone or ARM based tablet running a server. (Like this website for example. In fact, there is a 95% chance that this server is running Windows. That's a fact)

      PC's and Smartphones have different uses. Trying to say one is better than the other and that's why one's market share is moving up or down is just wrong.

      However, seeing a variety choice is good for all of us. Microsoft most likely would not have made Windows 8 the way they did if it wasn't for tablets.

      You see, the competition makes every OEM/Software company strive to be better; and that's good for all of us.

      • trparky says:

        Actually, this server that runs is running Linux, PHP, and Apache. Just as it should be running. If you want a web server these days that has stability it would be best to run Linux on it, not Windows.

        Windows is fine for desktops. Servers? Nope, sorry. Linux is king of the server for a very good reason and that's stability and security.

      • skruis says:

        I'm not discounting Linux's stability and security at all but the price/availability definitely helps as well ;-)

      • David King says:

        Unless you have to run a Windows only app.....there is NO reason for Windows in 2013. You can do EVERYTHING without one.

        Think about everything that runs a form *nix OS. 99% of tablets and smartphones. 99% of network equipment.....cable boxes...ATM' consoles. Then look at all of the severs that run Unix or Linux. All Mac's as well. Vmware probably runs on top of more x86-64 server hardware than Windows does these days. (Windows VM's under it).

      • StockportJambo says:

        Unless of course you want to run a domain controller for Windows 7 or 8 PCs. Or Exchange. Or Sharepoint. Or remote management across an enterprise.

        Granted, Linux is very fast, stable, and free - but it doesn't have all the functionality that businesses need. I've recently moved jobs to a small company, and they have been running Linux servers for a few years. They are in the process of abandoning them and going to Windows Server 2008, in order to meet their future business needs.

        So, one example. But a factual one rather than one based on emotional attachment and tribalism.

      • trparky says:

        For management of computers in a corporate environment there really is no other solution than Active Directory and Domain Controllers. Yes, there is LDAP but come on, let's get real here, it's pretty pathetic when compared to Microsoft's solution.

        What I'm talking about is servers on the web server front, the kinds of servers that face the public Internet. I would never trust a Microsoft server in that kind of setting, not with how many security issues that keep cropping up with Microsoft server software. This is where Linux is king and always will be, on the web server front. There's a reason why close to 70% of HTTP web servers run Linux (according to NetCraft).

    • ToeKneeC67 says:

      'Remember Microsoft Mistakes' about the Linux mistake. The OS was superior 20 years ago....and lost when it comes to Desktop, Laptops and Servers - and it was free.

      • barely_normal says:

        There are literally hundreds of things where inferior products or services have succeeded, and superior ones either withered, or gone away completely.

        Beta format video is just one example where anyone having visual acuity better than 20-60 knew that the quality was better on Beta, compared to VHS. It was the same again when SuperBeta came out, and not only was the video superior, the audio quality was far superior to that of any VHS offering. In the world of computers, SCSI was far superior to any other interface for hard drives, and had the ability to connect more things than just hard drives. It is not gone, but the average person neither knows nor cares what it is/was.

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        Very true, including Android when it came out vs iPhone. But the inferior products, while winning market share, improve to the point of good enough. Some just keep improving, like the Android OS. Windows is such a product, Windows 7 is a very solid OS, minus virus/malware. But the people have spoken, they are 'OK' with virus/malware as proven with the success of Android. Bummer really.

    • arrow2010 says:

      Are you seriously including smartphones among PC + tablet?

  2. Don't fear the future says:

    Pc sales are continuing to fall, but not because of Windows 8. It's because PC's are too good. There is no need to update a computer that is only a few years old. Chances are it will still do what you need it to do for many more years to come. Just look at XP computers.

    That said, XP PC's are on borrowed time. Next year, XP users are going to have to make a decision. They could upgrade their OS to Windows 7 or Windows 8, or buy new computers.

    The fact that you can upgrade an XP computer to use both of these newer OS's proves my point. PC's are just too good. They last CAN last forever.

    Maybe OEM's should make their products crappy, and maybe Microsoft should stop supporting Operating Systems after 2 years. I'm, of coarse just joking, but that is what really needs to happen to stop the decline.

    Interestingly enough though, is the amount of active PC users there are in the world. That numbers hasn't gone down. Therefore, there's no less users, just less updaters in the PC world.

    If anything, Windows 8 may have SLOWED DOWN THE DECLINE, because it's something new. If Windows 8 didn't have the new Start Screen, App Store, or Touchscreen capability, and was really just a more stable / faster Windows 7, do really think people would be lining up for that? I don't think so. I think the sales would be even worse.

    • barely_normal says:

      While I agree that PCs are not being replaced because they are doing
      everything needed, and nothing has been put out to challenge their speed
      and power, I disagree totally that
      "XP PC's are on borrowed time. Next year, XP users are going to have to
      make a decision. They could upgrade their OS to Windows 7 or Windows
      8, or buy new computers."
      those who haven't "seen the light" to switch to something newer from Microsoft are those who will not be scared, nor deterred from running Windows XP longer. They know that MS has not been providing any new patches, other than security, for a good long time, and have settled in to knowing that, with the use of a good firewall and AV program, they are just fine.

      Also, those people who haven't purchased PCs since Vista was released know that, with few exceptions, more powerful PCs are not needed. A much more telling survey would be to ask people identifying as "gamers". If gamers were not upgrading to Windows 8, yet upgrading their hardware, you would then have the statistical answer to whether or not Windows 8 is the problem.

      As for your last paragraph, the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 may be enough to give the dimwits a need to upgrade, but those with even small amounts of knowledge will know it is for some other reason they do an upgrade if it occurs - I'd venture to say that MOST of Windows 8 sales are in new PCs, those being replaced by people who feel they need something new, as something may become defective soon.

      As far as being more stable or faster, I'd love to see those people, and find out what their average IQ is, because for the people I take care of, Windows 7 has been the least source of problems of any OS ever put out by Microsoft - partially because of improvements, partially because of things taken away since XP. Either way, I doubt there has ever been a hue and cry from any more than a negligible amount of people demanding a Windows more stable than Windows 7.

      • Don't fear the future says:

        There are roughly 500 million active Windows XP pc's in use right now. Most of them (huge percentage) of those computers are being used in the enterprise. If everyone of those computers "took a dive" today, you would see 500 million new pc or upgrade sales tomorrow. Because without those pc's, the businesses they run in wouldn't be able to operate. I'm pretty sure that security is a number one priority in enterprise. When Microsoft drops the security on Windows XP next year, those computers are now at risk if they proceed without updating. The corporate world just isn't going to "ho hum" security.

        Windows 8 usage on Steam is at 13% already. I guess the serious gamers like Windows 8, since the over-all pc market share of Windows 8 is between 5 to 6%, yet 13% of Steam users are Windows 8 users.

        Windows 8 is more fun that Windows 7, and in the end that's why people will buy it. I just don't see the younger generation using Windows 7 over Windows 8. Windows 8 has Angry Birds. And don't forget, our children are the future.

        Look, Windows 8 Is new. It's not perfect, but it is a drastic change. It'll only improve with time, much like how Vista improved and turned into Windows 7. I agree everything you said. It all makes sense. But I just don't think Windows 8 is the reason why Pc sales are down.

      • Tig3RStyluS says:

        I read quite a few forums where quite a lot of gamers are still using xp. The problem is xp has alreaady entered the phase where hardware manufacturers like AMD have dropped support. Its a snowball effect from now on, It might not affect you as you might not be a gamer.. personally i couldnt go back to using XP now and really dislike having to use Windows 7 at work (as much as i loved windows 7 before).

      • barely_normal says:

        Depends on what you mean by AMD. If it is actually ATi, and video, that is true for many cards, period, no matter whether it is XP or Vista. Not a big loss in my opinion, as ATi cards have always been good, but the drivers have NEVER been even close to that. Most of the time they are only passable, and frequently are unusable.

        How ATi saved AMD is a story full of mystery if you ask me.

        As far as using XP, as long as you don't need "flavor-of-the-month" video drivers, you could be fine until the series of video card you own is not covered. [Personally, I have always thought that the game industry dictating changes to drivers, for that game alone, was a supreme case of the tail wagging the dog. It should not be that way - period.]

        If you mean processors, then it really doesn't matter until they come out with the next Fusion APUs or something after Piledriver.

    • David King says:

      You are out of touch. PC's do last longer I agree.

      That said as users "use" other devices (mobile) to do traditional PC tasks, they use their PC's less.

      My parents both retired, both had laptops, Windows 7 laptops. Then my mom got an iPad......then my dad did. Then my dad got rid of his PC because he never used it anymore. Now they have 1 PC they hardly use.....when it dies I really wonder if they will get another PC...especially since tablets are only getting better....and they think Windows 8 is beyond stupid.

      Even people that are not retired are moving more and more tasks to mobile devices. Those devices are taking away dollars that might have been spent on new PC's. Since the PC does less, its viewed as "well I only do a few things on it, no need to get a new one.....or we don't need multiple PC's now".

      Microsoft is in deep shit in a big way. They are jacking the prices of corporate products to make up for falling consumer marketshare. Last November they jacked the prices for all CAL's (Windows, Office, Exchange, Sharepoint, Lync....etc) 15%.

      Windows Phone and Windows Surface market shares are sad at best. Xbox just dropped behind the PS3 this year. Xbox bitch slapped by the PS4 and pre-orders are backing that up.

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        I agree, that iPad (which Apple set the bar very high) is great for many people's needs. I have heard the story many times, once they got an iPad, their PC collected dust. It's also a HUGE reason why MS has to keep on the tablet path. Minus Apps, a Windows RT 8.1 can do more than an iPad. And while I have pushed many clients from a PC to an iPad, by Q4 this year, I will be pushing Windows RT to most - It's an easy sell with USB, HDMI, Miracast, Side-by-Side.

        As for Gaming Consoles - they are both kicking ass. They one to be worried is Nintendo.

      • Don't fear the future says:

        I agree 100%. But your case really has nothing to do with Windows 8 itself. It has to do with form factor.

        The holidays are gonna be interesting this year with the launch of the new Atom Baytrail processors on Windows 8 tablets.

    • nvic says:

      I wouldn't say Win8 slowed down the decline of PC sales. Many of us are waiting it out because of 8, and many who buy them downgrade or install start menus. Many others simply don't need new PCs. What Win8 did do is boost interest in Windows-based tablets.

      I have Win7, but I also have numerous PCs in the house running XP. None of them will ever be upgraded to a newer OS because of age, and they certainly will not be replaced until they fail and are beyond repair, likely due to inability to get parts. They do everything they're used for.

  3. Zootopia3001 says:

    I think it's come to having only one desktop per household and the rest being 'mobile' devices, with many of the desktops in the household being old reliables with XP or Win7.

    • skruis says:

      Yep, I agree with this and couple that with the performance stability we're seeing with desktops sold within the last few years and the PC market has a major issue. Windows 8 being a one OS for all devices kind of thing 'might' be able to thrive in that kind of a situation if it's embraced properly.

  4. annotate says:

    PC is losing ground because people that only used PCs for Email, Internet and such are moving to tablets. They are the social bunch. People that do work are not abandoning the PC and won't. You can't do serious work on a 7-9-10 inch screen. And you sure can't use the 'tap' keyboard. Except for the social scene. There is definitely a change in the PC market but Windows 8 has nothing to do with it. People that work will not be leaving the PC market. They may have them a tablet as well but a PC will be there, too. And Microsoft has the PC market tied up, for sure.

    • None of my customers that we work for (providing IT consulting) have dropped their PCs. A lot of them have tablets now, but not a single one has gotten rid of their notebook or desktop. I've previously said that I think PCs running Windows 7 have longer usable lifespan than Vista or XP machines because the hardware is generally better quality these days, and the OS itself is more resilient and prone to lasting longer in the user's home or workplace. So replacement is not as much of a concern as it used to be.

      Slow Windows 8 sales and PC sales? Blame the quality of Windows 7, which is leagues better than Vista or XP. It's hard to replace a top notch incumbent!

      • barely_normal says:

        Have to disagree about hardware quality - I don't think it is any better than it was 10 years ago, and I build a lot of machines.

        What has changed is that we have reached a peak, where Joe Average can't see much benefit to upgrading hardware that already surpasses his ability to use it - unless you are a gamer, trying to get the very best results on the latest game, or are someone who does video production or transcoding, you just don't use, or see, the benefit of faster hardware.

      • Tig3RStyluS says:

        I agree with what you say if in context of low-end pc's that are advertised on TV by retailers. The quality of them has been horrendous for many years. I do see the quality has recently improved though, some of the machines being advertised now have some pretty beefy specs (im in UK btw) although i would never purchase a pre-built pc unless it was for business.

    • Kotawolf says:

      I've got to say that I agree 100%. The slowness in the PC market is from the people who used to buy the $300 machines at the local store that sold you the full setup. They are build to the very lowest specs and have near zero life. But now they are buying a Tablet for nearly the same price and don't need to replace it nearly every year.

    • arrow2010 says:

      BS. I can be more efficient on Facebook & Twitter from my desktop PC than I ever can from the iPad. That's due to a much larger screen and full-size keyboard & mouse.

    • ToeKneeC67 says:

      LOL - a Chromebook is only great with a love Internet connection. We saw all the people bitch about the Xbox One needed internet. Including stats on how many people world wide don't have broadband.

      • skruis says:

        That is actually a pretty funny comparison...

      • Benni Bennetsen says:

        yes and you expect to use internet constantly when using a modern pc. I don't expect that to play game, so bad comparison.

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        I was not one complaining, however the Xbox One is so much more than games (as the PS4 is too)

    • TroyGates says:

      ChromeOS doing so well they haven't even hit 1% of worldwide marketshare. That's booming!!!

  5. ToeKneeC67 says:

    I was the person that upgraded my Windows box every year (from when the 386 shipped), But when the Intel i7 came out, I ordered a great Asus Mobo, 8 Gigs RAM, and of course an Intel i7. This is the longest system I have kept, granted upgraded to SSD and replaced my gaming video card. A year or so latter, anyone could get get a Dell or HP with an i7 cheap. My point, if an IT speed nut is happy with the what came out 4-5 years ago, I'm sure the average PC owner is too. I'm just now looking to upgrade, only because I'm tired of my case, and have some interest in the new Intel chips. But it's far from needed as my current system is beyond fast.

    All the above still points how important Microsoft needs to keep on track with Windows RT and Pro tablets. There is a need, we have seen it with the iPad sells (which we love), but the time is now, as even myself, I want to do more then what the iPad offers.

    But there is a greedy side - if home users went all Linux, I would make a killing for the next 10 years.

    • barely_normal says:

      Why Dell never made a bigger push to Linux is beyond me - their weak and lackluster efforts to offer it are beyond stupid. The users who might benefit the most are the ones more than willing to pay for support - it just need not be or the arm and leg variety. But then, Dell would have to revamp its entire site completely, as it is almost as poor a place for support as Microsoft's main site.

      What case do you have and why tired of it? When I pick a case, my only regret is usually that it has been discontinued so that I can no longer use it to build other machines. [Example, I have 2 Cooler Master RC690s, and I wish they still made them, the second version is just not what I look for in a case. Nor, it seems are many of the Antec cases, as you just cannot find one with more than 3 open [to the front] bays, and I need a minimum of 4 for just about any serious build.

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        I agree. And I always wished OSX was opened to install on non Apple hardware, it a solid OS too.

        My case is just getting that out dated look. It works fine. It will probably be my last tower PC. I will go Windows tablet by end of year, Xbox One and PS4 for games.....I will try...

      • barely_normal says:

        If OS X had been opened up, two things would have happened - Apple would be pulling out collective hair trying to make it work with the heterogeneous mix of hardware that is the PC market, and Microsoft would be crying, as it would have lost at least 33% of the current market share, maybe more.

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        So true :)

      • view2share says:

        Mac Mini = cool little device the size of a cigar box and very quiet.
        I am done with towers. Laptop, with SSD may be something I will consider next time around, if going with Windows or ChromeOS / Android device. Hard to say what will be the best systems looking a couple years ahead. I like my Mini, the Win7 laptop I have setup as desktop works fine, but I just don't seem to find the need to switch it on, as the Mac Mini software is just so good, and the Samsung 27" monitor is a pleasure. Ended up going Android for the phone. Maybe some sort of Android desktop or ChromeOS is our future, if the OS matures into something great. Kinda liking the Android as a phone :)

      • Tig3RStyluS says:

        I highly recommend Coolermaster Cosmos 2 for a desktop pc if you are going to put high end components in it. Ive got 2 of them and also the now discontinued Silverstone Crown CW02 Media PC Case... thats an awesome case too.

    • Alvin Brinson says:

      I'm in the same boat. In 2010 I needed to build a computer CHEAP... I already had a power supply and video card, so I ordered an MSI motherboard, an AMD Athlon II X3 440, and 4GB of DDR3. Cheap cheap. I overclocked and unlocked the CPU so it is now Quadcore at 3.45ghz. I told myself that since it was so cheap I wouldn't feel bad about tossing it and upgrading later when I could afford something faster. But, with an additional 4GB of DDR3 and an SSD drive, and a late 2010 upgrade to a Radeon 6850, it is still faster than I need today. All of my speed frustrations went away with the SSD upgrade. I'm looking at having the money to build a really nice system now if I wanted to, and simply deciding it's not worth spending a penny more on the system for a couple more years at least.

      Like you, I was the "upgrade constantly" type person, except I always looked for the best bang for buck rather than the top of the line. I always had the cheapest AND fastest machine of anyone I knew. Now, I feel I have finally reached what 20 years of upgrades were spent SEEKING.

      If only my phone were at that point.

      • Alvin Brinson says:

        Honestly, btw, I think that the sole reason most PCs and laptops today still ship without SSD drives is because the manufacturers know that's the last big upgrade. As soon as someone gets an SSD based system, they're not going to upgrade again till the traces rust off the motherboard.

      • Mihaita Bamburic says:

        Valid point there. My five-year old laptop (which I mentioned in a couple of my previous stories) runs just great with an Intel SSD (240 GB, 330 series). The difference is night and day.

        One of the cheapest and easiest to do upgrades, which has a tremendous impact over the overall performance of the device.

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        We are doing this at work. 4 year old Desktops, drop a SSD HD, re-image, happy end user. Note, the all have 4 gigs of RAM.

      • ToeKneeC67 says:

        At least you went cheap :)
        I think smartphones will hit the 'good enough' in 3 years. Then serious price wars, stocks drop.... So on.

    • Kotawolf says:

      I just retired my first i7 machine. It was something like 5 years old. It was still a good machine, it just needed more.

      • Tig3RStyluS says:

        Ive done the same, i normally buy ASUS Rampage boards with Extreme Intel CPU.. they are capable of carrying on after 4 years even if you game at ultra settings. This time I have just replaced the guts of a 4 year old Media Center/Gaming pc in my lounge with an ASUS Maximus VI and i7-4770K and Windows 8, i expect this could run for many years beyond when choose to replace it. I can tell the difference in boot time and system respnsiveness but i get 60fps (with vync) now just like i was getting before i upgraded. The thing i like most is how quick the new rig goes into and comes out of sleep.. it really is instant like 1 second or something. In a media center pc, thats a real benefit.

  6. helipilotx says:

    People do not want Win8. It has a bad reputation. They rather hang on to their old system as long they can.

    Microsoft: STOP the BS to say people love Win8 and STOP talking about sales records!

    People DO NOT have a choice when it comes to Windows. No STORE sells Win 7 anymore. (except Dell business online )

    • Kotawolf says:

      Don't like the truth? I've been using Win 8 at home and Win 7 Pro at work... I find Win 8 to be even more stable and faster than 7. Once out are out of the Metro UI... it looks pretty much like 7.

      • pko66 says:

        So you are satisfied with MS forcing you to work your way to get "out of the Metro UI"? the good thing you can say about W8 is that "it looks pretty much like 7"?????

      • Kotawolf says:

        Getting out of the metro UI.... by default on Windows 8 Metro UI, there is this "button" in the bottom Left that says.. DESKTOP. One click and you are out of Metro UI. Real hard.... not sure if that is easy enough for the average 8 year old, and almost no work at all. As for your other partial quote.. you missed the other half... it is MORE stable and FASTER than 7.

    • TroyGates says:

      Can you buy a Mac with the previous OSX?

    • I want and have it, I am homogenous MS across my gaming, tablet and PC platforms, and I always have been, and always will be.

  7. nilst2011 says:

    Microsoft Helped The NSA Bypass Its Own Encryption Software, Spy On Its Clients :

  8. GS5 says:

    If windows 8 isn't to blame for terrible PC sales.
    What's to blame for terrible Windows 8 Tablets and Hybrid sales?

    • Mihaita Bamburic says:

      I can tell you that this applies to that as well. Take Surface for instance.

      Microsoft has pretty much limited Surface sales, due to practically non-existent retail availability and terrible worldwide availability trough its online stores as well.

      I know many people compare this to the iPad. Apple announces a new iPad, it goes on sale almost everywhere within the next 30 days. That's how a strong and intelligent company does it.

      Microsoft announces a product, it takes almost half a year to arrive (the Pro version took even longer than that) and offers it in a couple of countries, waits a few more months then it expands the availability some more.

      Now, a year after the Surface was announced -- it's not even in most mature markets.

      Microsoft is moving at a rather pathetic pace even with its own Windows tablets (likely due to its internal sales policies, which honestly suck big time from where I'm standing), so you can expect other vendors to not have any big shoes to fill.

      I know this is not one of my typical responses and I apologize if it sounds too opinionated. But, after following Microsoft for so long, some of these findings are just plain obvious.

      • TroyGates says:

        That's because Apple's entire business revolves around iOS now. If they don't go to market immediately they would be dead. Microsoft can take their time because they are so diverse in where they make money.

        If Microsoft heads in the direction of producing their own hardware like it looks like after the reorganization, they won't have that luxury.

      • David King says:

        Apple always goes to market immediately and always has. Surface announced what 6...7 months before you could buy it?

      • Mihaita Bamburic says:

        I disagree. What you are saying there only applies if Apple would make less money than Microsoft, which is not true.

        Apple isn't dead if it doesn't "go to market immediately". As you can see, Surface is sort of dead because Microsoft didn't got to market immediately. Sales speak for themselves.

        PS: That diversity you speak of is sort of irrelevant per the overall scheme of things when it comes to making money. Apple profits are 50 percent higher than Microsoft's.

        The fact is that (there's no other way of saying this) Microsoft is dragging its ass for too long. It's time to wake up to the reality of how things are done now and not in 1990 and start implementing Apple's way of immediate worldwide release after announcing a product. Notice I said worldwide, not that crippled and idiotic first roll-out in two countries.

    • Iain Simpson says:

      I would say the always high prices that oems try to charge for these tablets and hybrids. I fthe oem is suffering its their own damn fault, nobody elses.

  9. nilst2011 says:

    Windows is nothing but a spyware for NSA !

  10. Benni Bennetsen says:

    We would have seen drop anyway, but win8 is a part of the reason. The dissaster decition was to make only one windows edtion, both for mobile and desktop. They should have split it up in two dedicated versions. There's a reason Apple has iOS and OSX and google with android and chrome os.. It's a terrerible idear to merge the two worlds, yes easier for microsoft to maintain, but a bad product for the two consumer markets.

    So split up in ARM and desktop editon ! (And give me a modern version of start menu on desktop, and remove apps from here and only show on mobile edtion)

  11. Charles Clarke says:

    PC Shipments went up in the US which is the only market I care about. It actually shows that Windows computer stole some market share from Apple. I would say this SCREAMS success for Windows 8!

  12. bob says:

    Say what you like but I'm a power user and I won't be upgrading because I'm not willing to put up with Win 8. So that's at least one sale that you can blame on MS and that's a fact.

    • pko66 says:

      I was sure I wasn't the only one :-)
      After seeing all the hot new desktops came with win8 and touch screen (with its associated cost) and I should have to install W7 myself and even be counted as a "windows 8" user, I opted to keep my old laptop for the uses that require a laptop and buy a nexus 10 for all the mobile browsing and stuff

  13. arrow2010 says:

    There is another factor as to why people don't buy a new PC as often as they would a tablet. With a regular PC, you have to re-install all the applications, restore browser bookmarkes and other things manually. it's a huge pain & hassle. With the iPad, you just log-in with your Apple ID and it will automatically sync all your settings, apps, start screen and content with ZERO hassle. That is why people have no problem buying a new iPad after 2 years.

    • StockportJambo says:

      If I log into Chrome using my Google account on any PC, everything is synced as well. So you have a point, but it's not an Apple exclusive thing.

    • All vendors offer cloud storage for those things, and the USMT in Windows does the same thing. The only thing here is that like practically all computer users, you just don't know what tools are available, it isn't that they are only available on the platform you can operate.

  14. Neoprimal says:

    Blaming Windows 8 has definitely been absolutely wrong. Based on the simple fact that the trend started before 8 came around.

    The market reduction, imho is not a true reduction. It's a re-adjustment.

    Lets look at a few things.

    - When Windows 95 came, you had to upgrade from 3.1 or you'd have been dealing with a slow, laggy PC. 98, ME and 2000 could get by on the hardware that ran 95 as well as subsequent hardware leading up to XP.

    - When XP came you absolutely had to upgrade your PC. The shift in hardware vs. OS requirement was dynamic enough that running XP on hardware than ran 95 initially was not a good idea.

    - When Vista came - oh lordy. Good Luck running Vista well on the same machine that XP shipped on. If it wasn't after market or current towards Vistas release, you were in trouble and even PCs released with Vista were in trouble, but that's another topic.

    - With the release of 7, we saw a change. Machines running 7 actually ran better than Vista machines and putting 7 on machines released with Vista would often make it in some cases significantly quicker.

    Around the time 7 came, we saw the introduction of mobile computing devices to the mainstream. We'd been all hot on netbooks but netbooks were cheap and underpowered and Windows tablets were expensive and not well received due to not being touch optimized and certainly had no "friendly" touch apps. The very next year the iPad came and a few months later the first Android tablet.

    2 things happened at this point. PCs and the Windows OS came to a point where an upgrade of the hardware was no longer required every few years and the introduction of these mobile computers meant that we are no longer particularly interested in the 200-300 PC price bracket because everything we did on these PCs we could now do on our tablets.

    Between CPUS and Graphics being as potent as they are currently, unless MS effects a drastic change in Windows requirements, we are at a point where we will likely not NEED to upgrade our PCs for a very, very long time. My previous PC was a Q6600 with 8GB RAM on a very solid Abit IP35 Pro board and it now runs my HTPC like a champ. I have absolutely no need (though I've been begging for one) to replace this setup with anything newer. I upgraded it only really because I dutifully do so every 4 years whether it's absolutely necessary or not due to tech advancements. Alas, my 5+ year old Q6600 is kicking serious tail running Windows 8 on my HTPC in my living room.

    Why then, if this is a typical scenario - would customers with computers running fine feel like they need to up and buy a new PC when they don't care about the "details" and advancement that someone like me cares about?
    My wife, as an example, is very happy with her notebook (purchased in 2008). It runs Windows 7 with 4GB and shows no signs of slowing down or giving up. She has no reason to buy a new laptop.

    Pair this with the fact that tablets allow us to do things by touching vs. typing and are generally lighter and/or cheaper than notebooks with similar capability and certainly preferred over those, what we previously called "disposable" desktops, the ones we buy or gift to our parents or kids for "emailing and surfing the net" and you have what is an evolutionary change in the industry.

    We don't need to buy computers every 2, 3 or even 5 years anymore. We don't need or want those $400 desktop or notebooks anymore, we have $400 tablets now. This results in way less shipments of typical PCs/Notebooks over the course of time in which this change in the market is taking place. I don't consider it post PC either, just a natural progression where technology and software have converged into a case where we just don't need to upgrade hardware frequently and have enough options that there's nothing driving people to buy new computers in any mass, critical way right now, probably never again....unless Windows becomes something epic, different enough to warrant "current" hardware of, say 2016 or whenever it comes. Then and only then would the market respond accordingly.

  15. theweAkinpolitics says:

    The devastating recession in Europe surely has to be reflected in the figures.
    People are suffering, and additional taxes are reducing their spending power
    still further.

  16. psycros says:

    And if PC sales were up you'd be only too happy to give Windows 8 full credit. Certainly Windows 8 isn't the only reason for the decline - perhaps not even the main reason. But to say it has no real impact is disingenuous at best and delusional at worst.

    • Will says:

      Well Mac shipments are down too and you never see successful OEMs blaming Win 8 for slow growth (hint, bad companies should stop blaming the OS and build a better product)

  17. Froderik says:

    "Don't blame Windows 8 for terrible PC shipments"
    Yes - Blame Sinofsky & Co!

  18. maxxxem says:

    It cant be the economy the Administration said all is coming up Roses

  19. sportmac says:

    gee, that's nice. don't blame windows 8 because of what you have decided is a significant size of the market. you wouldn't happen to have any hard facts on that? some analyses done? no? because, you know, being able to type out "people have a fast enough machine right now" really isn't going to get it done.

  20. pluizebol says:

    I am a desktop user and my machine is equipped with a licensed Windows 7.
    I rather upgrade my desktop-hardware instead of buying a new desktop with Windows 8 (even if it will cost more).
    So yes ! Windows 8 slows down PC sales !

  21. rauckr says:

    The biggest impediment to Windows 8 adoption is the unfavorable comparison with Windows 7. I see no reason to upgrade from 7 to 8. It just looks like a "bag of hurt".

  22. mikeyd says:

    Windows 8 isn't the cause of PC sales decline, but it is a culprit and one of the worst releases yet. PC sales are going to decline, its inevitable.

    Beyond the terrible "welcome" screen, and all the other "features" to turn one's PC into a bloated Surface tablet, I'll give you a great reason, SECURE BOOT is crap. Lets face it most desktop users these days are either gamers or programmers/techies. The fact that Microsoft REQUIRES PCs shipped with Windows 8 to enable secure boot, means I will NEVER buy a PC with Windows 8 on it.

    I should be able to put whatever operating system I want to on a PC I purchase with my money. Last time I checked when I purchase a PC I purchase the hardware as well as the software. There is a reason all of Microsoft's ventures into the Web have been laughable failures (if you use Bing shoot yourself) and why Internet Explorer been impeding web development for years. Proprietary software is dying and Microsoft is a dinosaur. Only reason Mac is a better alternative is that it is based on Linux (the best alternative).

    Put the power back in the hands of the consumers and switch from Windows/OS X to Ubuntu or Mint, just as easy to install, no bloatware or user tracking, oh yeah and completely free

  23. cannie says:

    Smarts and tablets are a better tool in many cases, and a space has to be forcedly left for them because they mean an excellent techological advance. This means obviously a considerable reduction in the number of demanded PCs, but is not the end of them because there are many users who really need or work better using a traditional keyboard and a bigger frontal screen, and even a nearby printer.

    As an almost monopolist of the Pc Market Microsoft is used to impose their own criteria and to manipulate users according to their own interests. They don't understand how dangerous for them is to put all eggs into the same basket in this moment.

    Pcs are a very different tool and Windows 7 is an excellent OS for them, but for Pc users Windows 8 is almost an offence, because they offer it as an upgrade and in fact it means a real downgrade instead for the millions of users all over the world who don't want to pay for unnecessary touch screen hardware and therefore feel how Microsoft is trying to force them to do it, putting company interests in the first rang and forgetting the user's real needs.

    Most of us won't buy Windows 8 computers for as long as possible and will keep using Windows 7 and even XP instead for as long as possible.

    In a short term we all shall be used to all kind of mobile devices. If we forcedly need to buy new hardware after this most probably we shall find better and cheaper alternatives for our old needs somewhere else.

  24. Charles Clarke says:

    Lets find a way to subsidize!

  25. Minecraft says:

    I agree with what you put out, blame Windows 8 when it is subjective.

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