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Windows 8 blamed for biggest quarterly decline in PC shipments on record

Thursday, 11th April 2013 11:36 GMT By Dave Cook

PC shipments have suffered the worst quarterly decline since records began. That’s the finding of a new report published by global market firm IDC.

GI.biz reports that for the first quarter of 2013, 76.3 million PC units were shipped worldwide, marking a decline of 13.9% year-on-year.

This is the biggest quarterly drop since records began in 1994, suggesting that PC sales really are struggling as alternative formats and the rise of tablets are taking its toll. Worse still, the IDC initially only predicted a 7.7% drop for the quarter.

Vice president of Clients and Displays at IDC Bob O’Donnell said in a statement, “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.

“While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, 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.

“Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market.”

What’s your take on the above? Is Windows 8 solely to blame?

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37 Comments

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  1. CyberMarco

    lol, funny thing is that people who stopped buying PC in favor of tablets/smartphones are the ones who only made a basic use of a computer, like surfing the web, killing some time with games and watching movies. And for them a tablet is a perfect solution.

    I wonder how these analysts got their degree/diploma…

    #1 1 year ago
  2. PenTaFH

    Yep, I have to agree with CyberMarco.
    The people who mainly use their PC quite ‘lightly’ are better off using a tablet for various reasons, and more and more of those people realize that.

    On the other hand, I do know a few students and other people personally who are quite hesitant to buy a new laptop because of Windows 8.

    So I’d say Windows 8 definitely has a part in the decline, but it’s not solely their fault.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. viralshag

    I think it’s bordering on ridiculous to blame an OS for the slow down of PC sales. And what I would actually like to know is in this case, is “shipped” the equivalent to “sold”?

    Haven’t actual PC (hardware) sales been in a slow decline for a while? This is a big drop but I think the answer in rising tablet sales pretty much lays the answer out right there in front of you.

    #1 is right, why buy a new PC when you can get a tablet to do almost everything you did before?

    #3 1 year ago
  4. KineticCalvaria

    Does this count in the number of people who build their own systems/buy parts etc? Because in that sense I imagine sales have gone up… or am I crazy?

    #4 1 year ago
  5. monkeygourmet

    Everyone already has a PC / laptop.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. dizzygear

    The only reason? No. Did it help? yes.

    I can imagine someone putting off a new PC because it comes with Windows 8 instead of 7.

    I know StartIsBack fixes just about everything that is wrong with Windows 8 but the average joe would not even know how to use it and instead just rage at the shitty start screen.

    MS should just admit removing the start menu was a terrible idea and bring it back in SP1.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. viralshag

    I’m a regular PC user and for all my years I don’t ever remember a time I was THAT GLAD to have the startbar. Now shortcuts on my desktop, I couldn’t live without those.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Samoan Spider

    @6 I had this with my Father-in-Law recently. He refused an upgrade to Win8 based purely on the clearly touch-oriented design. Once I showed him my PC running Win8 + Start8, he came around and went for it. The booting time improvement alone makes it worthwhile for me so I’m happy with it, but this just cements the fact that Win8 does not give the right impression to a lot of people. And I agree that they should face facts and add it back in SP1.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    @6 From what I read about “Blue” (supposedly, pay-for) Windows 8.1 update, to be revealed in June. The exact opposite is on the cards. They’re seeking to raise the Metro focus of the interface.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. G1GAHURTZ

    Because of Windows 8?

    I seriously doubt it.

    So why didn’t everybody just switch to Mac OS, then?

    Probably, because, as people have pointed out, tablets do just about everything that most people need a PC for, these days.

    You can get a cheap Android tablet that can handle all of your email/surfing/social media needs for a fraction of the price of a PC, so it’s no wonder sales are down.

    Tbh, I wouldn’t expect the decline to change any time soon.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. DSB

    Windows 8 may be better functionally than Vista, but so far it’s been a much bigger disaster.

    @10 The logic of the market is that a new Windows is supposed to make people excited both about the product and about the PC as a platform.

    Windows 8 is completely unneccessary compared to Windows 7. It’s like they released it because they had nothing better to do. It changes absolutely nothing.

    Personally I think PC hardware is gonna continue to decline as tablets become better and more affordable.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. silkvg247

    I think tablets and notebooks, and even laptops, have eliminated the need for a pc for most people. I don’t see how an OS can be held to blame.

    Eventually it’ll just be the hardcore gamers that own them.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Hybridpsycho

    Windows 8 is great, it was stupid to remove the start menu and they could’ve intergrated metro UI on desktops better.

    But I like it. I hate how people fixate on one thing and goes really stubborn cause some people on internet posted that Windows 8 is stupid.

    Just buy it, it’s awesome.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. G1GAHURTZ

    After a long time of trying, I recently ditched my iPad for a Windows 8 hybrid tablet (comes with a keyboard dock), because I managed to find one with built in 3G.

    There are a lot of differences between Windows 8 and iOS, of course, but I’m much happier with what I have now.

    Even so, I can see that this wouldn’t be for the tech noobs, and mass market.

    Windows is fine for me, but no matter what the haters may say, it’s still a wide open OS that needs a skilled user. Basically, it doesn’t have the Apple ‘It just works’ factor.

    Something that not only Apple, but also Google with Android can offer in a much better way than MS currently can.

    The only way for MS to beat iPad is to make a whole new OS, because Windows is too powerful for what most people need.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. DSB

    @13 Ironically “Just buy it, it’s awesome” seems to be the tagline for Microsofts advertising. They’ve done a terrible job of telling anyone why they would ever need Windows 8.

    They think they can get away with a few ads showing happy hipsters living their lives and simply slapping a Microsoft logo on the end.

    Those days are long since gone. People have no idea how it would ever be worth their money.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Samoan Spider

    @15 But don’t forget about them cramming into a couple of TV series. Arrow definitely has lingering Windows 8 scenes. They’ve missed the boat on advertising that’s for sure. But to counter balance it, they aren’t asking £150 for it any more, its £50 which is far more reasonable, and it was £25 for months.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. DSB

    @16 Yeah, but that just makes it doubly embarrassing when Vista still has more users than Windows 8.

    But then you have to ask the question whether Microsoft were really serious about it in the first place. Windows Blue will be out before long.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. MidlifeAxe

    @16 I’ve definitely seen it in Arrow. Next they’ll be putting it in The Walking Dead on phones and PCs with the tagline “It even works in a zombie apocalypse!”

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Samoan Spider

    @17 Yeah I agree, that makes it look bad. I don’t have any problems with Win8 though, that’s the thing. Performance in games is as good or better than Win7 as drivers have matured. Boot up and shutdown times are genuinely blistering and I still have a full desktop environment. But that still doesn’t make it sell to those whose only experience of it is some people jumping around on a tv poking colourful boxes on tablet screens.

    @18 I’ll be worried when it turns up in Revolution :P

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Clupula

    I imagine this is an article we will never see bdh link to.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. DSB

    @19 I don’t doubt that it is actually better, but to me it sounds so marginal that I’m just not in a hurry to upgrade.

    Maybe if I finally got around to getting an SSD and wanted to see how fast I could boot :P

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Samoan Spider

    @21 Yeah, I guess its subjective, but I had Win7 on my SSD before shifting to Win8 and I felt the difference. With hybrid boot mode enabled it is fully usable within 6-7 seconds from pushing the power button. Doesn’t even bring up the logo. As for performance in games there’s zero reason to upgrade.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. sh4dow

    How about the fact that there are so few things being released these days that would require better machines?

    #23 1 year ago
  24. roadkill

    Lol! Doooh!

    @viral! It’s official! You’re a douche-bag!

    Also, check out 13. Windows 8 is great. It does stupid thing but it’s great!! Lol! Stupid fan boy is stupid.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. MidlifeAxe

    I’ve heard some games have compatibility problems with Windows 8? Can’t say for sure as I’m not speaking from experience – just something people have said.

    @19 That would be concerning ;)

    #25 1 year ago
  26. TheWulf

    It seems like Mr. Newell has gone from being madman to clairvoyant savant. I always saw him as the latter, though. His business sense is sharp, and he knows which way the wind is blowing. A friend of mine works for a robotics company, too, and even they’re sick of Windows. They’ve been actually tweaking and submitting driver updates to nVidia rather than having to use Windows. That’s how far it’s gotten.

    Their consensus, that of my engineer friend, and of myself is that Microsoft is very silly. The smartest thing they could do now is license an open source version of DirectX for the Linux platform, but I doubt they’re going to do that.

    This is just the beginning of the decline of Windows, really. The PC platform never really needed it to begin with. Steam and Valve have done more for the PC than Microsoft has in recent years.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. TheWulf

    @13

    To mix up operating systems and hardware proves that you know as much about computers as I know about neurosurgery. The decline of a monopolistic OS doesn’t mean the end of a platform.

    Really, you speak as if the two are one, and that’s ridiculous. Has your only exposure been Apple computers or something? The vast demand of computers in day to day work will ensure that they remain around for a long time. And computers need entertainment. The PC isn’t going anywhere. It’ll always be around.

    Just another voice saying that the PC is going to die, when the PC market is currently as healthy as ever (with games that outsell their console cousins, and modding that doesn’t exist on consoles).

    Also, consider how the Steam Workshop has created a resurgence of modding of the likes we haven’t seen in over five years. The PC is going from strength to strength and Valve are largely responsible for that. The end result I see happening here is that Valve will create their own Linux distro — a Valve OS. I said that this would happen four or five years back, and it’s looking more and more like I was right.

    Oh, and do I even need to mention the indie devs with success stories of making anywhere between 2x and 50x what they made on consoles?

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Phoenixblight

    WIndows 8 is not the sole cause of PC hardware sales failing its a whole slew of things; smart phones, tablets, laptops now can get the job done for what most people use the PC for. I know once my wife’s comp takes a crap we will be sticking with a tablet for her especially since she only needs internet and word or openoffice.

    She has no reason to have a desktop now.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. Da Man

    Nothing to do with Windows 8, borderline noone bar socially deprived patients who spend their days refreshing comment sections need a PC or a mouse these days.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. GrimRita

    I have Windows 8 – I didnt buy a PC, I BUILT my own. Lots of people do, maybe these pointless stats should include components to give a true view on the market at large.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. DSB

    @30 It’s a bit early for doom and gloom, but the decline is consistent, and of course it’s hitting all the major component manufacturers as well.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-13/nvidia-forecasts-sales-that-fall-short-of-analysts-predictions.html

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2025521/intel-sales-profits-slide-for-2012-but-data-center-business-growing.html

    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/amd-puts-brakes-on-chip-manufacturing-as-sales-plummmet/

    #31 1 year ago
  32. NightCrawler1970

    What is wrong with Windows 7???? why people have be forced to buy a windows 8 OS when most people use a mouse and not using a touch-screen????

    I think Windows 7 is allot better OS than a crappy 8….. give people a break and let them choose, not what the company THINK the people will need a windows 8….

    In that way you destroy ya company… unless you dont give a shit….

    #32 1 year ago
  33. OlderGamer

    “why people have be forced to buy a windows 8 OS”

    Short answer is because that is how they make Mo Monies. It was never about what the consumer wants or needs. They have to keep coming up with newer versions, that is just what they do.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. nollie4545

    Windows 8 strikes me as offering not a lot to the gamer yet. In time it will, of course it is an improvement, but I’m not interested in touch screen technology, I deliberately won’t buy a a PC which uses it for a long time.

    W7 offers most of what I need and until it is un-supported completely I will continue to use it.

    That said, I would do anything to avoid IOS. Apple hardware, fine, but their software is far too inflexible.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. NightCrawler1970

    @34, see Windows 7 is better, at least someone agree with me…

    So am i, why using ya dirty fingers specialy when ya ate a whole bag of cheetos???

    #35 1 year ago
  36. Joe_Gamer

    Windows 8 fucking sucks, my parents HDD crapped out and this weekend it was up to me to replace it, including installing that godawful mess, I hate it, the interface is awkward, everything takes twice as long to get to because it’s buried three “gestures’ and a dick waggle underneath all that tablet dickery. Tablet dickery that wouldn’t even be good on a fucking tablet…The fucking key was a god damn upgrade key and with a new HDD there was nothing to fucking upgrade from, gone are the days where you just put in your old disc, now you have to call M$ and curse their mothers lack of birth control until they get sick of listening to you and “authorize” the fucking software that you fucking paid for. That little prick had the balls to tell me to install the old Win7 over the Win8 I JUST FUCKING INSTALLED and then do the upgrade… I could have had Linux installed five times over by the time I had that shit working and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do with the next one. Since I’m the only gamer in the family I’m the only one that actually NEEDS to put up with win-doze.

    The hatred burns within me, I’m telling everyone I can to wait for the next OS and pray for improvement, the OEM market is gonna feel some pain.

    /rant

    #36 1 year ago
  37. roadkill

    @NightCrawler1970 your spelling! Wow!

    #37 1 year ago