×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IDC: PC Shipments Decline Worse Than Forecasted, No Recovery Expected

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the youtube-monkeys-don't-need-keyboards dept.

Businesses 393

symbolset writes "Zach Whittaker over at ZDNet covers an IDC report. In it the 2013 9.7% forecast decline in PC shipments is advanced to 10.1%. Further, IDC's longer-term forecast turns quite grim: contracting 23% from 2012 levels by 2017. There is also a projection of future Windows tablet sales, and a statement that total Windows tablet sales for 2013 are expected to be 'less than 7.5 million units.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

393 comments

Hemingway Quote (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582591)

“How did you go bankrupt?"
Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

-- Ernest Hemingway

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582593)

That means less being added to the landfill.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 4 months ago | (#45582627)

They didn't say that there's a drop in overall computing devices sales, only in PC sales. They actually say that tablet sales are up... If anything, this suggests *more* in landfills, because a number of PC's that would otherwise be donated to a charity like Computers for Schools are no longer happening, meanwhile tablets that can't be upgraded/repurposed are being tossed.

Case in point, I've owned two tablets in the last 18 months. The first one turned out to be a piece of junk, and I gave it to a friend who was looking for something for the kids. There are people who would, in the same situation, simply toss it.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#45582655)

What makes you think that the kind of people who would toss a perfectly good tablet wouldn't also toss a perfectly good computer? At least a tablet's small, and correspondingly is a smaller item of waste.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 4 months ago | (#45582777)

In my experience, the larger something is the more value people associate with it. I've known dozens of people who buy $20 dust covers to protect their $5 desktop keyboard, but have lost (usually multiple) $300+ phones due to stupidity... err.. negligence (washing machines, sitting on them, etc). They'll also spend hours trying to clean out a keyboard they spilled beer on, but half the time won't even try waiting for their phone to dry out before getting a replacement.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#45582835)

Don't take this the wrong way but I suspect it might be the people you know, and not a general trend. I see - and know - plenty of people using phones with completely shattered screens covered up with a cheap screen protector because they don't want to buy a new one.

Re:Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582875)

Don't take this the wrong way but I suspect it might be the people you know, and not a general trend. I see - and know - plenty of people using iPhones with completely shattered screens covered up with a cheap screen protector because they don't want to buy a new one.

FTFY - The other manufacturers seem to be able to make devices that don't shatter if you just look at them wrong.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582927)

Get real, I see broken screens all the time. Apple, Samsung, it doesn't matter. I broke the screen on my g3 by dropping it on my shoe, while sitting. Still using it.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45583005)

For a phone that represents 50% market share iPhone users seem to have broken screens far more commonly than the users of any other phone manufacturer.

Re:Good (1)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | about 4 months ago | (#45582909)

The larger the item, the more difficult to find a place to dump it (or throw away). Therefore, I fail to see that small tablets would reduce the waste space in the landfill compared to PCs.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 4 months ago | (#45583209)

I'd have to argue that PCs last longer. I've never replaced a desktop or laptop more than once every four years. Using my family, which I understand is a very small non-representative sample.

I've had two laptops in the last 6 years, one is sitting in a closet being used as a media server for my house the other is my primary. I've never owned a tablet, but I'm thinking of getting one. I just don't know if I can justify it for the stuff I want to use it for (games and programming). It might be alright to take to the in-laws to read the morning news or surf the web rather than lugging my laptop back and forth. Or I could give one to my wife, since all she does is surf the web and play facebook games, and save some money on replacing her three year old over powered laptop, which I might turn into a Minecraft server.

I digress, In the last six years:
My brother has gone through three tablets and is looking at another one. iPad, playbook, iPad2, now looking at a Transformer. (3 tablets)
My younger sister took one of his old ones as her first tablet, but has since gone through two more and currently has an iPad2. iPad (hand-me-down lasted 3 months), iPad (dropped in pool), Kindle (not a hand-me-down), iPad2 (3 tablets, I didn't count the first iPad since it was a hand-me-down)
My Step-mother has had two tablets (one was a Kindle replaced by her kindle fire) (2 tables)
My mom, who lives in the states, has had more tablets than I care to mention, she comes to visit every year and for the last five years has a different model every time she's here. (5 tablets)
My Dad did get one, but he's barely touched it in three years. He's an old school developer and prefers something with a keyboard and mouse. iPad (1 tablet)
My older sister has had an iPad and a Kindle and currently has a surface RT. Her BF gave it to her two weeks ago and she hates it, too slow, too heavy, doesn't run the software she expected it to (because she thought she was getting a surface pro). Supposedly the BF is taking it back this week, but she wants another tablet to replace her original iPad, which runs like crap now. I recommended a Nexus if she didn't want iPad2 or iPad Air. I think she'll probably be going with the iPad Air since carrying weight matters to her as she travels a lot for her job. iPad, Kindle, Surface RT, TBA (3 tablets)
My Mother in-law is getting her first tablet for Christmas. ASUS Transformer Prime (1 tablet)

So of the people I know who have/use tablets that's about 2.5 tablets per person over the last six years. Where as between me an my wife three laptops over the last six years and the laptops get repurposed until the literally don't function anymore so they really last me between six to eight years. Tablets get handed down or tossed out because once they're not useful for everyday tasks anymore they sit around collecting dust.

That's just my take on it though.

Re:Good (1)

hinchles (976598) | about 4 months ago | (#45582641)

No it doesn't, overall PC ownership isn't in decline its just people are stopping buying pre-built from places like HP, Dell etc.
Alot more people are building their own or having their own built which do not count towards these figures. I'd also be highly surprised if all the thousands of "boutique" sellers of complete systems on places like ebay are counted towards the figures too.
If pc sales really were in such decline you'd see an awful lot of component suppliers going under like scan, ebuyer, newegg for you americans etc. Not seen any of them go under yet and theres even more boutique high end PC sellers around now than there was 2 years ago when all this doom and gloom started.

Its purely the old guard that's struggling there's nothing to see here move along let them all rot away in peace we'll be better off without them

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582669)

No one I know bothers building anymore, it's a waste of time and money. There has been nothing, and I mean nothing, interesting happening in desktop computing for last fear years. Okay, maybe SSDs, but that is pretty much it. Enthusiast PS building is dying just like the rest.

I'm running a three year old computer and no intention of upgrading. Within my IT department, the average age of their personal computers is around four and nine are upgrading anytime soon. The ones that are are moving to laptops and getting rid of desktops.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | about 4 months ago | (#45582701)

Every friend I know who games has built their own computer in the last couple years. If anything I've seen this trend increase rather than decrease. As a whole, less people are buying desktops but gamers are sticking with it.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582733)

There are not enough PC games to keep the industry afloat. I'm not a gamer, but my fiends that are left PC gaming around the time the PS3 came out and haven't returned.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582785)

Because everyone you know must equal the majority.

Steam sales are up, way up. PC gaming profits have been increasing.

Re:Good (2)

dugancent (2616577) | about 4 months ago | (#45582799)

And hardware sales are down. Sounds like what everyone else is saying, that current hardware is good enough and they have no reason to update.

Re:Good (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 4 months ago | (#45582845)

And the PC games that do catch on are lasting a lot longer, which means fewer PC upgrades. Look at WoW - it's in decline, but it's still pretty popular in spite of being 9 years old. There's plenty of other older games that still enjoy large followings. Then some newer games don't require much at all. I ran Diablo III off integrated graphics when it first came out, Minecraft runs fine on my 7 year old laptop, etc. Games don't drive hardware nearly as much as they did 5 or 10 years ago.

Re:Good (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 4 months ago | (#45582811)

High-end PCs are still worth building IMO because you're trying to squeeze as much performance as possible out of it and it's easier to upgrade a year or two down the line. It's similar to how high-end cars usually have a lot of custom work put into them. However, for the bulk of PCs it's cheaper, easier, and causes fewer warranty headaches to buy from Dell or HP, and the PCs will likely not see so much as a RAM upgrade before being replaced in 3 to 6 years.

I built my last PC but I'm seriously considering just buying my next one because my only "special" requirement is that I need it to run at least 4 monitors, and that's easy enough to do with any two video cards (or even one card plus integrated graphics these days).

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582709)

I respectfully disagree. I haven't seen a custom built system in a long, long time. You just can't beat $400 for an HP or Dell PC. And people aren't interested in building PC's any more. Why would they be? PC's are so cheap, they are more or less disposable items now instead of the hot commodities of the late 20th century.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#45582751)

I was sceptical, but I looked at the numbers and you might be right. AMD and nVidia GPU card shipments continue to be good, which suggests the gaming PC market is healthy. Although direct-to-consumer motherboard shipments have declined quite a bit in the past few years, that's probably more to do with games tending to be GPU bound and there being correspondingly less need for CPU upgrades. Looks like it's just the general-purpose PC market that's fading out, which is what you'd expect now that "good-enough" tablets have hit the £200 bracket. (I'm looking at the Hudl and Nexus in particular.)

Expected (5, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#45582609)

That's what you get when you plan for planned obsolescence and then can't actually make the machines obsolete. What's "grim" about it?

Re:Expected (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582651)

I blame Windows 8.

Re:Expected (4, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#45582761)

Yeah, it really sucks but that is not solely the cause. It's the lockdown that is the cause of the eminent death of the PC industry. Why buy a general computing device that doesn't let you do general computing? Can't believe Microsoft sold the hardware manufacturers on this shit.

Re:Expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582849)

That's rubbish. People simply do not care about other OSes. The reality is no one other than gamers has a desire for a faster machine. Browsing the web and ripping the odd disk does not make someone want a new machine.

Re:Expected (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#45582949)

The people who are asked which machine to buy care. Microsoft, with their UEFI, has made it so there is nothing but Android or Apple to recommend anymore.

Re:Expected (4, Funny)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#45582789)

I agree, it's entirely the fault of Microsoft and Windows 8. With Vista Microsoft did their job of making sure the core operating system was so inefficient that it required new high end hardware just to run basic applications smoothly. With Windows 7 and 8 Microsoft has actually been backpedling by writing code that actually runs MORE efficiently!

Clearly the way to save the computer industry is for Microsoft to introduce some major bugs to their next OS that causes it to require 10x the system resources of Windows 8.

Re:Expected (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#45582801)

Windows 8 is an attempted solution. The movement from Wintel to tablet computers is the problem. (This is why Windows 8 is basically a tablet OS.)

Re:Expected (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 4 months ago | (#45583085)

That would suggest that MS thinks people move from PCs to tablets because of the OS (or the UI/UX). Personally I see two great advantages in tablets in certain situations: the smaller form factor (use it where you need it), and the fact that they are available instantly when switched on. People do not seem to be turned off by the fact that their Windows 7 machine has a UI that is rather different from their tablet's, but I haven't met anyone who isn't pissed off by the crappy Windows 8 (and 8.1) experience on the desktop.

Windows 8 is not a tablet OS but a full-fledged and pretty decent OS for desktop PCs, into which they have tried to shoehorn a tablet UI, then found that it didn't really work that well on the desktop, ending up with 2 UIs, neither of which work very well. I think the Windows 8 designers would have been happy enough to put back the start button and menu, and might even have wanted to provide that option from the get go. However I think this is a classic case of Ballmer thinking he's Jobs, making a strategic decision by boldly stating "The desktop and the tablet are converging. Our new OS must, MUST reflect that".

By the way, isn't the past tense of "forecast" also "forecast"?

No Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45583009)

I blame Windows 8.

Thanks, Obama!

Re:Expected (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 4 months ago | (#45582671)

I think it has more to do with shifts to other devices than people keeping their PCs longer. People are still buying new computing devices regularly, they're just things like iPads, Chromebooks, etc. Even households with PCs will nowadays typically have fewer of them. When I was a kid, we had two: one for my parents, and one for my brother and me. But nowadays many households have just one, since between the other devices there is not as much contention for occasional use of the stationary PC.

Re:Expected (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 months ago | (#45582699)

I see the failure to make machines obsolete as a terrible sign.

I still don't have a fully immersive "holodeck" at home. To reach that point before I die I need the world to be able to make computers obsolete every year at the very least.

Re:Expected (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about 4 months ago | (#45582755)

To make them obsolete you have to convince the consumer they need a new one and there is nothing in the pipeline to do that.

Re:Expected (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 months ago | (#45582965)

That's the problem.

There's nothing where there should be the first of a large chain of toys, each one being a large improvement from the previous one.

Re:Expected (3, Insightful)

dugancent (2616577) | about 4 months ago | (#45583061)

Naa. Computers are an appliance for most people. I don't buy a new blender because mine is old. It's the same with computers.

PC=personal computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582613)

For many people (more in the future) their personal computer (PC) is their phone.

Victory at last (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582619)

Declining sales of PCs can only mean rising sales of Macs, right?!

The Macintosh personal computer is finally winning against the IBM PC clones, at long last!

Re:Victory at last (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#45582707)

Macs are actually doing as badly as anyone else. The only real difference is that Apple's successful in mobile phones and tablets whereas Dell, Lenovo etc. aren't.

Re:Victory at last (3, Interesting)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about 4 months ago | (#45582975)

Lenovo have seen increasing [channelregister.co.uk] PC sales (against the general market) and they move plenty of phones and tabs, especially on their home turf. For new off-the-shelf PCs I don't see anyone making stuff as interesting as Lenovo.

Re:Victory at last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582737)

hehe, what makes this joke even funnier is the fact macs are intel these days

BUT THEYRE FUCKING SHINY!

My PC is NSA spyware (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582623)

Microsoft helped the NSA bypass their crypto. They were the first to join PRISM.

Why would I buy products from a company that spies on me for the NSA?

Re:My PC is NSA spyware (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 4 months ago | (#45582715)

Microsoft helped the NSA bypass their crypto. They were the first to join PRISM.

Do you actually have any evidence for this? Seriously, there are huge amounts of accusations flying around, but no real evidence. And what are the alternatives? Walled garden, becoming property of the advertisers, or a UI that only Stallman could love.

Re:My PC is NSA spyware (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 4 months ago | (#45583109)

Have you tried Linux lately? It's far more usable than Windows inmany people's opinion, and there are options that can make it look similar to Windows or OSX if you wish.

Re:My PC is NSA spyware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582823)

What are you gonna use instead? Apple? Samsung?

Simply no need to buy as many anymore (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about 4 months ago | (#45582635)

It used to be that a house with multiple PCs wasn't that uncommon. With phones & tablets there are now many households that can get by with zero PCs, and many more that can do everything they need with just one.

Real world user performance has stagnated, with hardware gains not translating into doing a given task faster anymore. A PC from three years ago isn't that much slower at what most users are doing than a brand new one, so there's no particular need to upgrade.

This is what a mature market looks like. The product is going to continue to sell for a long time, but it's not the hot item it used to be.

Re:Simply no need to buy as many anymore (2)

ketomax (2859503) | about 4 months ago | (#45582679)

A PC from three years ago isn't that much slower at what most users are doing than a brand new one, so there's no particular need to upgrade

So, all the market needs are more bloated version of Operating Systems? Any guesses on who to turn to solve this crisis?

Re:Simply no need to buy as many anymore (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 4 months ago | (#45582753)

Aha! So Microsoft will eventually release a separate version of Windows 8 for desktop without Metro but full of bloat to slow down "obsolete" PCs and get the upgrade treadmill going again.

Be careful what you wish for...

Re:Simply no need to buy as many anymore (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#45582803)

So, all the market needs are more bloated version of Operating Systems? Any guesses on who to turn to solve this crisis?

Whoever can integrate the management of all consumer devices will be the one who will win.

Re:Simply no need to buy as many anymore (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#45582805)

So, all the market needs are more bloated version of Operating Systems?

No. It needs more bloated versions of Office suites, too.

Re:Simply no need to buy as many anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582857)

Windows 8.1 runs perfectly on my 6 year old PC, which is quite a bit faster than any ARM tablet.

Re:Simply no need to buy as many anymore (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582697)

Real world user performance has stagnated, with hardware gains not translating into doing a given task faster anymore. A PC from three years ago isn't that much slower at what most users are doing than a brand new one, so there's no particular need to upgrade.

Not true for gamers, my 3 year old mid range build has to be updated to keep up ASAP.

I wonder if there are enough of us to justify advancement...

Re:Simply no need to buy as many anymore (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 4 months ago | (#45582893)

I don't know of any households with zero PCs except for a few older relatives who never had one to begin with. I know plenty that only have laptops and no longer have desktops, but I don't see them being completely replaced by smaller devices anytime soon - especially with the rise of streaming media. It's great that you can watch a movie on your tablet or phone, but you'll still want at least a 14" screen to watch a movie *with* someone else.

Re:Simply no need to buy as many anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45583055)

I don't know of any households with zero PCs except for a few older relatives who never had one to begin with.

Personal Anecdote FTW!!!

If you "knew" me, you would know of a household with zero PCs.

Well, I take that back. I have three: 2 Linux boxes and a NAS. None of them have been turned on in over three years.

Now is as good a reason as any to get rid of them.

Re:Simply no need to buy as many anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45583079)

Something else I've noticed, in the UK at least: As house prices go up and up, people are having to make do with less and less living space. Family-sized houses are being converted into multiple tiny flats left right and centre.

Full-sized PCs with monitors take up quite a bit of room. Laptops are more convenient for smaller homes. Tablets and the like even more so.

Good... computers should last longer. (3, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | about 4 months ago | (#45582643)

We're past the time when computers are already obsolete by the time you're walking out of the store with them. I don't have a problem with that.

Not being a heavy gamer, I've had the same core PC (updated disk and graphics is all) for now 10 years. I have bought newer ones for the family, but even the worst new computer is better than the one I still use, and that one is still quite good.

Unless you're a hard-core gamer, computers should last LONG time for your average user.

Re:Good... computers should last longer. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 4 months ago | (#45583149)

Even for gamers like myself, the cycle is becoming longer. In the past I got a new PC every few years, but these days it's perfectly fine to just upgrade the GPU every so often and alternate with a motherboard / CPU upgrade. My current rig is 3 years old now but still runs modern games just fine, albeit not in the highest graphics settings. But that's where you enter into the land of diminishing returns.

New tech like VR headsets which demand high performance computing might bring about a (brief) resurgence in gaming rig sales.

Why replace what works? (5, Insightful)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 4 months ago | (#45582645)

PC horsepower exceeded the needs of the average non-professional user a long time ago. I'm sitting in front of a $400 laptop from a couple of years ago that I can use for Adobe Premiere workflow! The market is flooded with computers that do everything a person needs, so why would you expect sales to continue increasing? People who barely use computers are moving to tablets, but tablets aren't what is trashing PC sales. People just don't need new ones, and good for them for milking that hardware until it blows up.

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about 4 months ago | (#45582683)

Yes! Agreed; essentially what I was saying - most people are not hardcore gamers or video editors; people have way over-bought for years, there's absolutely nothing new most people need... even moderate 3D gaming works fine on older computers, even if without the bells and whistles, but most people are surfing, watching Youtube and using facebook and sending email... the most taxing thing on the vast majority of computers is the OS.

Re:Why replace what works? (3, Insightful)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 4 months ago | (#45582783)

The exception would be people who bought el cheapo laptops. For the past few years, $280 would get you a full-size laptop with Windows 7 and at least 2GB of RAM, but they've all saved the money by using the worst processors possible. The Celeron 900 isn't exactly fast, nor the AMD V140. I have drastically improved the performance of a V140 laptop for someone recently by installing Debian with XFCE, but I also know that that's not an option for many people. The bottom-of-the-line CPUs going into many under-$400 laptops are garbage on performance, and owners of those machines would greatly benefit from buying something a little better. The difference between $300 and $400 laptops is insane, and people who cheap out (usually because they honestly don't know any better) get a much worse machine than they might have expected. The only mitigating factor is that if they buy a $280 laptop, they probably don't know it's slow anyway. That or they are broke and need it to job hunt, and I couldn't blame someone in that position for taking the crummy deal if their livelihood depends on it.

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

JanneM (7445) | about 4 months ago | (#45582939)

The difference between $300 and $400 laptops is insane,

It better be, considering that it's a 25% price increase, with most of the value - screen, case, power supply and so on - practically the same.

Re:Why replace what works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582859)

the most taxing thing on the vast majority of computers is the OS.

I think it is the virus scanners, the OS probably uses less resources alltogether

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 4 months ago | (#45583117)

One reason my main workflow PCs don't run security software is the laggy performance that they cause. Even Avast (my AV of choice) causes a noticeable drop in performance when starting programs and opening files. Since those PCs aren't used to touch the Internet excluding a very minimal number of safe sites, I don't really worry about them, and the boost is quite nice.

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#45582929)

Even hardcore gamers, the last game released that required users to update their rig was Crysis back in 2007. Gaming has completely stagnated in the last 5 years, and people can basically play the modern games at the same settings as what they were able to do for Crysis, all those years ago. You no longer need to update to play the latest releases.

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

Ken Valderrama (2899927) | about 4 months ago | (#45582779)

I got a PC for $40.00, with some hardware upgrades its working just fine for my needs.

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 4 months ago | (#45582793)

Why would you ever buy a brand new one? I know people who are GIVING AWAY computers that are better than some I own to people they know that need them. I love to see old hardware put to new use.

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | about 4 months ago | (#45582861)

My "old" Intel Core 2 @ 3.2Ghz can still run the latest game (not full details, but still run great!), why would I change?

+1 parent!

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#45582865)

My very first computer was obsolete with in a year, one of the earlier games I played on it required more that it had and we had to double the RAM to play it.

Now my 6 year old PC will play any game on the market, and this does not look like it is going to change anytime soon.

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 4 months ago | (#45583063)

Ironically, most handheld games consoles don't even have enough RAM to run a normal Linux on top (I know DSLinux [wikipedia.org] exists but it's far from "normal" in the Linux world, being no-MMU with 4MB of RAM to work out of.)

Re:Why replace what works? (1)

mounthood (993037) | about 4 months ago | (#45582989)

Software hasn't kept up. We should be programming in some GUI based/visual data-flow language that's slow, but lets us build functional (crappy) apps at record speed. Then we need to make everyone a "programmer" so they need faster computers, and they don't have to ask IT every time they need something.

Welp, Microsoft doesn't care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582653)

...whether it's PCs with Windows or tablets with Windows - MS gets their cut regardless.
And it it's a MS-made tablet, the cut is even greater.

It's Microsoft's fault (2, Interesting)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#45582665)

If you have to bypass UEFI just to have a working computer you might as well buy some other restricted device. Talk about killing the goose...

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582703)

That only applies to ARM tablets, which aren't really computers anyway, at least no more than an iPad or other locked-down tablet.

While it's fun to blame Microsoft this isn't their fault. Windows 8 is bad, but it's not THAT powerful as to take down an industry. The problem is that five+ year old computers are more than enough to handle normal tasks and since most people just use them to browse the web and read their email tablets are eating the market. The fact that the tablet market has expanded by more than the PC market has shrank is evidence of this. In fact, that seems to defeat your argument as people seem to prefer simpler restricted devices.

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582837)

Microsoft IS to blame. First, they screw up so much with after-XP-Windows that everyone sticks with XP until just a few years ago, and now, everyone is sticking with Windows7 until....who-knows-when. Do you know of any company that plans to upgrade their Windows installation anytime soon?

When you have stagnant software, there's very little motivation to update desktops. I know many folks who "upgraded" simply to move from XP to Windows7. I don't see the same upgrade cycle for Windows8, 'cause... well... Windows8 sucks (or at least that's the general [and IMHO correct] impression).

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45583231)

You really are an ignorant moron, aren't you. Must be another kiddie who doesn't think the Enterprise exists. XP is shit, grow up and move on.

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#45582853)

What computer can I buy today that doesn't require disabling UEFI simply to install a decent operating system? People are buying restricted devices because that is all that is available to them.

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45583037)

What user buys a computer and then installs a different operating system on it? Oh, that's right, the statistically insignificant.

Stop projecting your own frustrations across the entire industry.

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 4 months ago | (#45583151)

If you disable secure boot, you can install a number of operating systems on UEFI, including Linux. Even Windows 7 will happily install on top of UEFI if you want it to. I think you should replace "UEFI" with "secure boot" in your questions for a more reasonable approach. UEFI is definitely the way to go with things in the future, and having the BIOS compatibility mode available is unlikely to vanish anytime soon. By the time it does, you won't be trying to crowbar XP onto new machines anymore anyway.

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582995)

A new PC is much faster than a five year old one. Five years ago, 4GB wasn't the norm. SSDs were almost unheard of. Laptops had VGA out, not HDMI. And on top of all that, computers break. Even if the turnover time had doubled, it wouldn't explain the decline in PC sales. People are actually moving away from PCs. Who would blame them? Microsoft appears to have given up on the PC as we know it. They sell a mobile phone OS for the desktop now. The OS to which most PC users are accustomed is no longer maintained and security fixes will only be provided until April 2014, which is only four months out. If the users are going to learn a new system, and the only PC OS currently available from Microsoft is a cloud-infested insult, it's only reasonable to go all-in and switch to a tablet: Same walled-garden, same dependence on network access, same consumer-oriented UI, just more portable and less expensive.

Personally I think Steve Jobs got us into this mess, by making the walled garden palatable, even fashionable, and making every competitor envious of the lock-in and the high margins that only a "managed" user experience can create. But Microsoft didn't have to jump on the bandwagon. They could have had the professional market all to themselves. Microsoft screwed up big time.

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 months ago | (#45582809)

"If you have to bypass UEFI just to have a working computer you might as well buy some other restricted device. Talk about killing the goose..."

The percentage of PC users who even know what that means is vanishingly small.

They DO know what malware means and are often tired of hassling with Windows.

Most people just need an Internet Appliance combined with a Phone. Previous "internet appliances" were crippled. Netbooks were crippled. People want RELIABLE systems which are CONVENIENT and "less crippled".

LOTD is coming in a roundabout way. As phones are (grudgingly) offered with enough features to replace desktops, they will. We are nearly at the point where you can dock your phone, toggle the interface, and use it as a desktop.

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#45582923)

The percentage of PC users who even know what that means is vanishingly small.

Yet those vanishingly small persons are the ones who are asked which PC to buy. My answer lately is don't buy any of them, just buy a device that does what you need. Shame really, used to be I would recommend whichever system allowed them the most freedom.

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#45583095)

Shame really, used to be I would recommend whichever system allowed them the most freedom.

I've always found when giving this advice to non-technical folks it was better to focus on what they needed, and leave my politics the hell out of it.

My mother in law expressed interest in a tablet over the last year. So, I did a little digging and decided on the Nexus 7 for her -- after I bought one for myself.

Mine, I went through, disabled or uninstalled stuff, locked down what I could, added ad blockers, and generally tuned it for my needs. For her, because she doesn't want to fiddle with these things -- I set her up in the Google landscape and left her with a tablet which worked and which she won't have to really worry about wrestling with or having to know what works and what doesn't (or what magic is involved in making it work).

She's happy with hers, and I'm happy with mine. But the last thing I wanted to do was start telling her about privacy and internet tracking and the like -- because it's a waste of time, and she doesn't really care. She's far more interested in something which just works than the politics behind it (which would only make the experience with the technology even worse for her).

I've just learned to bite my tongue about all of the scary geeky things that some people really would rather not deal with. Because my web browsers on my PCs are so locked down some sites don't really work, because I've blocked so many things and don't care to find out what to unblock to make it work. The last thing I need is the mother in law bitching about stuff like that to me.

Re:It's Microsoft's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582943)

The percentage of PC users who even know what that means is vanishingly small.

OR, it was a larger percentage of the market than anyone realized.

Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582759)

The biggest remaining reason to get desktop machines is for development and high-end PC gaming. The customers in those markets tend to build from parts.

Endorse MS Much? (3, Insightful)

Thruen (753567) | about 4 months ago | (#45582773)

I believe that PC sales have been declining and will decline and stagnate, that sounds legitimate, but this...

"Even so, these Windows devices are projected to account for 10% of a combined PC & Windows Tablet market by 2016 – making them an important growth segment for the PC ecosystem."

Really makes Mr. Loverde sound like he's being paid to say good things about Windows. Who in their right mind could possibly believe that Microsoft's failure of a project is going to end up accounting for 10% of the market? It's a failure amongst tablets alone. I don't even know if there would be any benefit from him saying this, it just sounds crazy.

On a related note, I currently play Battlefield 4 on a computer I put together for around $400 a year ago, so I can definitely see why the PC market is struggling. But it will never disappear, which is enough for me.

Who has the spare money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582795)

And moreover, why the hell pay that money in the first place?

Modern AAA games are the only thing that getting a new PC is required. But why the hell buy them? YOU CAN'T. You can pay for the privilege of being allowed, under severe restrictions that can change at a whim, to benefit from the largesse of the label that created that game. But be prepeared to pay for nothing other than the temporary and circumscribed privilege of enjoying the works of these people far far better than your miserable self.

And be prepared to hand over the keys to your computer you paid for because you're such a miserable piece of scum compared to Eidos et al that they have to ensure you're not being a pirate.

Crappy tablet OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582827)

When you've got a crappy tablet OS, and they you put that onto a PC where it simply does not belong even if it was any good, then what the hell do you expect?

If I was making sandwiches and selling lots, then I started pissing on them and advertising that as a selling point, I should not be surprised that sales go down.

Q2 2014 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582885)

Newsflash, Windows XP expires Q2 2014. There will be a massive uptick in PC sales Q1 and Q2 of 2014 as companies refresh and replace their XP infrastructure. There will be rejoicing in the tech world. It may even lead to foolish bubble like expectations.

In Q3 2014 PC sales will start declining again and they will continue to decline for several years until the next surge. Even stupid economists realize this.

Tablets are not replacements for PCs. Tablets are mobilizers for browsers. PC are still required and will remain so, if for no other reason than, it is a pain(literally) to work on a tablet all day when a large screen, keyboard, and mouse are a much better interface for extensive and long-term typing, creating, and manipulation of data.

Steve Jobs was right once more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45582993)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6--_Z4unLQ0

And it's happening even faster than he probably thought.

Re:Steve Jobs was right once more. (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 4 months ago | (#45583075)

Either he was right and that included the time scale.
Or he was wrong.

It's easy to predict this that and the other with disregard for the
time scale on whcih the prediction should be evaluated.

Example: Jobs thought he licked cancer. The cancer in the end
proved him wrong.

Content creation/consumption split is the cause. (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 4 months ago | (#45583081)

Content creators, be it website designers, or code warriors or video editors, book typesetters, desktop publishers, they all had a good run for about 2 decades now. They needed a machine with fast chips, oodles of memory and powerful graphics. Their machines were subsidized by the content consumers who did nothing more than surf the web, send emails, store/view photos and videos and wrote an occasional letter. The content consumers who out numbered content creators 10 to 1 or more were the reason why extremely powerful computers are dirt cheap.

Then the split happened. Finally people realized, the market demanded and the free market delivered a computer purely optimized for content consumers. They have deserted and are deserting the all purpose computer in droves. At the end of the day, we code warriors would be forced to pay more for our computers. Still the commodity common components like memory and peripherals would be amortized over a larger set of computer users. The desktop pc might not get to be as expensive is IBM 3090. But the days where you can run Fluent solver to simulate fluid flow on a "home" PC are gone.

just because it was easy doesn't mean you can rela (1)

Mirar (264502) | about 4 months ago | (#45583153)

For years now I've been looking for a lightweight laptop that worked, with linux-compliant hardware, and a good screen. (And good battery time.)

So far I've managed two out of four (five).

Build machines people want to buy, and you'll have an easier time selling them. Stop building the same machines over and over again, with mysterious, buggy hardware, incomplete hardware drivers, too little battery. Even the nice "retina" full-hd screeens bug. Sometimes it seems to have everything, but the build quality is low or the manufacturer decided to mess up the keyboard (I blame Apple for that).

PC industry is suffering from the fate of going from an easy sell (everyone needs to buy one) to a hard sell (everyone got one already and/or doesn't need one).

I think the GSM-phone industry and car industry went through this already. Smartphone and pad industry will hit this any second now.

Re:just because it was easy doesn't mean you can r (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 4 months ago | (#45583249)

I just want a laptop with a 17" or bigger WQXGA (2560x1600) display that isn't outrageously expensive. It could have a cheaper processor like an AMD A8-4500M and I'd happily buy it. It doesn't seem to exist. Monitors that go beyond 1080p resolutions are way too expensive relative to their 1080p brethren of the same diagonal as well.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...