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PC Shipments In 2013 See the Worst Yearly Decline In History

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the what-will-it-stabilize-at? dept.

Businesses 564

An anonymous reader writes "The PC market continues to be in free fall, having now seen its seventh consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments. Worldwide PC shipments dropped to 82.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Gartner, a 6.9 percent decrease from the same period last year. It's worth emphasizing that this past quarter resulted in a total of 315.9 million units shipped in 2013, a 10 percent decline from 2012, and the worst decline in PC market history. The overall shipment level was equal to the one in 2009."

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564 comments

Current PCs are good enough. (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45920789)

Film at eleven.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45920819)

yep
i have a 2 year old macbook i'll use for another few years

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921211)

No you won't. [slashdot.org]

(Note to mods. It's a joke. Laugh.)

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920857)

Yeah. My 5 year old computer is still fast enough to do pretty much everything I need on a regular basis. It used to be that I would want an upgrade at least every 3 years.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (5, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 7 months ago | (#45920893)

Also people are turning to tablets more often for casual computing rather than getting a 2nd or 3rd computer. And then some people just don't like Win 8.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (5, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#45920931)

And then some people just don't like Win 8.

You've actually met someone who does like Window 8?

Everyone I know who's seen it takes one look, goes 'WTF?' and decides not to buy a new PC after all.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (5, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45920993)

> You've actually met someone who does like Window 8?

I have. Well, wait, he says he does, but he works in Redmond (true story) so it may be a job requirement.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (2)

no1nose (993082) | about 7 months ago | (#45921081)

I agree, most people are waiting until the odd number of Windows next year or so. In the meantime there are opportunities to purchase refurbished Windows 7 PCs from Walmart: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Dell-Refurbished-775-MT-Desktop-PC-with-Intel-Core-2-Duo-Processor-4GB-Memory-750GB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-7-Professional-64-Bit-Edition-Monitor-No/26922092 [walmart.com]

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (1)

cjjjer (530715) | about 7 months ago | (#45921113)

I realize that you have not met me but I use Win 8.1 everyday at work and love it (took a while to get used too bout the same as Win7 did from XP). Having a 3 monitors is the only way to run it, one display for Modern UI and the other two in desktop mode. I open up Windows Store Apps only on the the Modern UI display and Win32/64 apps on the desktop displays.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (3, Insightful)

Peristaltic (650487) | about 7 months ago | (#45921255)

I open up Windows Store Apps only on the the Modern UI display and Win32/64 apps on the desktop displays.

Okay, I'll bite: What benefit could you experience on the Metro side (worth dedicating a monitor) that you can't with the desktop?

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (0)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 months ago | (#45921173)

I got a tablet. Guess which one it was. The Surface. As far as Tablet OSes go, Windows 8 is the best in my opinion. Easily run 2 apps on the same screen. Go to the command line, or powershell if you want easy access to the file system. Native support for connecting to shared folders. Open up MS Work, Outlook or Excel if you want to get some real work done. Switch between apps with a swipe of the finger. Real USB port with support for keyboard, mouse, thumb drives, XBox gamepad, and many other peripherals. I can't believe people are choosing other tablets.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (4, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#45921217)

I can't believe people are choosing other tablets.

So you think people buying a $70 Android tablet should be buying $1000 Surface tablets instead?

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921227)

You are the 1% - so brave!

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45920959)

There is that. It'd be difficult to quantify, but I suspect that there is a significant percentage of people who were going to get another PC, but decided to wait rather than struggle with Win8.

But I think the overriding factor is that PCs made since, oh, 2007 are fast enough for any but the most demanding needs.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 7 months ago | (#45921063)

And a significant fraction of those that aren't 'fast enough', will become 'fast enough' for what they are used for with simply a video card upgrade.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (3, Insightful)

orthancstone (665890) | about 7 months ago | (#45921065)

It'd be difficult to quantify, but I suspect that there is a significant percentage of people who were going to get another PC, but decided to wait rather than struggle with Win8.

Doubtful. There's nothing sexy about a laptop, whereas Apple and Google (via Samsung and others) have made tablets the go-to computing device of the moment. Win8 is barely moving the needle on this decision; it is all being decided by form factor.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45921147)

It'd be difficult to quantify, but I suspect that there is a significant [emphasis mine] percentage of people who were going to get another PC, but decided to wait rather than struggle with Win8.

Doubtful. There's nothing sexy about a laptop, whereas Apple and Google (via Samsung and others) have made tablets the go-to computing device of the moment. Win8 is barely moving the needle on this decision; it is all being decided by form factor.

Ok, so "significant" may be in question. I know of people who are grimly holding onto their current hardware rather than deal with Win8, but a few data points do not a trend make. I'd also argue that although "sexy" is important to many, it's not important to everyone.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 7 months ago | (#45920925)

Old PCs are good enough. I'm still on a 3.8 GHz P4 single core running Debian, and it's fast enough for everything I do but running my pet project or doing video encoding, both of which I do on my Core i7 laptop.

My folks recently had to replace their machine. It's a quad core unit that is such serious overkill for email and surfing it's not even funny. Unless it breaks down, I doubt they'll *ever* have to replace it.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45921009)

Old PCs are good enough. I'm still on a 3.8 GHz P4 single core running Debian, and it's fast enough for everything I do but running my pet project or doing video encoding, both of which I do on my Core i7 laptop.

My folks recently had to replace their machine. It's a quad core unit that is such serious overkill for email and surfing it's not even funny. Unless it breaks down, I doubt they'll *ever* have to replace it.

That's kinda the point -- you can't BUY a PC these days that isn't serious overkill for email and surfing.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | about 7 months ago | (#45921175)

I dunno, a lot of websites are super-heavy, and definitely way faster and snappier with a beefy machine.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (5, Insightful)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 7 months ago | (#45920939)

That, and that fact that Win8 is an unmitigated disaster. Had Win8 given us a Win7-type interface then I'm sure the slowing PC market wouldn't have slowed quite as quickly.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920961)

It's Microsoft's fault. They won't allow the makers to sell you a PC without a tablet OS.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45921035)

It's Microsoft's fault. They won't allow the makers to sell you a PC without a tablet OS.

I'm sure that's a significant factor. I wonder how the makers feel about that.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 7 months ago | (#45921011)

I upgraded my old ~2007 iMac with a "new" 20" iMac from 2011, spent $600. The only reason for the upgrade (my primary machine is a PC) is that my dad's PPC iMac was approaching 10 years old and definitely needed updating.. But of course, vitalization and cloud servers are also reducing the need to buy new machines.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#45921179)

Film at eleven.

Many people never needed one. PC was overkill when all you wanted to do was social network an check email. A smart phone or tablet does this without all the extra bloat and bother (depending upon service provider or how you purchased your mobile computing device, ymmv)

No. (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 7 months ago | (#45921193)

Windows 8. 'nuff said.

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (3, Interesting)

unixisc (2429386) | about 7 months ago | (#45921243)

The biggest enemy of the PC industry has been.... (drumroll!) ...PCs

Re:Current PCs are good enough. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921249)

Indeed. We've reached a pretty strange inflection point in Moore's Law where most machines built in the last 5-8 years will still cut it. Probably got to the point where gigahertz coupled with dual and four-core CPUs becoming commonplace along with it not being unusual to have 4-8GB of RAM + SSD drives make it easy to take long-in-the-tooth hardware along for the ride. Put Windows 7 or Fedora or Ubuntu on to most older machines which most people use for the Internet and light word processing anyway and it's perfectly fine. I've got two at least 6 year old PCs that are running Win7 quite well, one with 2GB and one with 4GB of RAM.

The previous 25+ years saw this constant need to upgrade PC hardware because every new major iteration of Microsoft Windows would just kill the previous major CPU generation (e.g., 286 to 386 to 486 to Pentium and beyond). Laptops also only really became useful desktop replacements in roughly the last 10 years so often there was a need for both for mobile users who also needed the performance that only desktops could deliver. I don't know about you but I remember '98-'99 and earlier vintage x86 laptops and unless you had $5000 for a top-end Toshiba the performance of the $1400-$2000 laptops (which would be where "Ultrabooks" and Macbook Pros now sit) was awful. When you were in the office you HAD to have a desktop if you wanted to get real work done and only copied documents to your laptop so you could work on them when you were on the road - and users often did that begrudgingly.

Other industries are hurting too (4, Funny)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about 7 months ago | (#45920797)

Iron lungs and horseshoes are still way down.

Re:Other industries are hurting too (4, Funny)

Entropy98 (1340659) | about 7 months ago | (#45921117)

Iron lungs and horseshoes are still way down.

Who doesn't like a game of horseshoes? These kids with their Upset Birds. They need to go outside more.

and who wouldn't want iron lungs? These pink ones get sore after the first pack of cigarettes.

even compared to the number sold in 1975? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920807)

what does the worst in history mean?

Re:even compared to the number sold in 1975? (2)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45920849)

its not 1975

expect the different manufacturers to merge or dump their PC business onto others until we have Apple and one or two other companies to make laptops and desktops

Re:even compared to the number sold in 1975? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920987)

its not 1975

expect the different manufacturers to merge or dump their PC business onto others until we have Apple and one or two other companies to make laptops and desktops

We already basically have that. The other company is called ASUS, and OEMs more than people think. A LOT more.

Re:even compared to the number sold in 1975? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 7 months ago | (#45921191)

Gigabyte & Acer are out of the market?

Re:even compared to the number sold in 1975? (3, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#45920963)

what does the worst in history mean?

It means the worst in either absolute or percentage terms. It is far worse than 1975, since PC sales did not decline at all that year. The Altair 8800 [wikipedia.org] was introduced in 1975, and it was a big hit. Sales were in the hundreds.

Computers these days are more than adequate (5, Insightful)

Jimbookis (517778) | about 7 months ago | (#45920815)

Anything sold in the last 4-5 years with an i3/i5/i7 with over 2GB of RAM and Vista or Win7 is still more than enough for most businesses and individuals. There is no real incentive to replace the whole machine when there are cheap options to upgrade with a few more GB and an SSD to give it a new lease of life.

Re:Computers these days are more than adequate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920965)

And those computers haven't been downgraded to Windows 8.

Re:Computers these days are more than adequate (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 7 months ago | (#45921041)

Even Core 2 Quad bare CPUs still go for $65-$185 [ebay.com] . I'm still waiting for them to come down before I put another $50 into making my Core 2 duo system viable for another few years.

Re:Computers these days are more than adequate (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921051)

I'd say even that isn't going far enough. I have a 2004 64bit Athlon 4800. It still runs great and is our main home PC for web browsing and office work. Even latest games still run acceptable after a vid card upgrade.

The only issue I have had is vlc struggles to play highly compressed hd content, but avc official codec plays it fine with only 40% on one core.

Software IMO has stagnated. I can't think of anything I do at home or at work in a desktop PC that I wasn't doing 10 years ago.

Btw... that 10 year old PC cost me $3,500, with everyone saying it was a waste of money because it would be obsolete in 3 years...

The only people I see buying pcs are doing so because old ones have died, not because of any needle needed abilities.

Re:Computers these days are more than adequate (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 7 months ago | (#45921137)

yep the speeds have not been going in leaps and bounds for years now the same rig you got 3 or 4 years ago still does the same job today even with a gaming rig.

Theories? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920821)

1. Tablets.

B. Consumer hardware performing daily tasks at a reasonable speed for longer.

III. Tech savvy generation coming of age to build their own PCs.

Re:Theories? (0)

DingerX (847589) | about 7 months ago | (#45920951)

Alpha: Windows 8/8.1. Seriously, all you need is one person in your immediate network to get it, and you do not want to buy a PC with that on it.

Re:Theories? (1)

cogeek (2425448) | about 7 months ago | (#45921127)

Agreed. Had Windows 8 on one PC at home, refuse to buy another Windows PC until they fix it or put out the next version of Windows, hopefully calling it Windows 7R2 Subtitled: "Our bad!"

Re:Theories? (4, Informative)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 7 months ago | (#45921231)

I got it. I used it for a few months because I support "normal people" and had to learn it. I moved to Windows 7 and never put that scourge back on the laptop ever again. Windows 8 definitely contributed to driving down PC hardware sales.

Nice to See Macs are Up (5, Interesting)

glennrrr (592457) | about 7 months ago | (#45920823)

Apple's PC shipments are up 28% in the US. Good for them as a side business.

Re:Nice to See Macs are Up (0)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45920921)

apple is the lexus/acura of the PC market

its essentially the same thing as the cheaper product with a few bells and whistles then can charge $$$ for

Re:Nice to See Macs are Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921097)

Not only is Apple the Lexus of the PC market, specifically it is the Lexus ES (badge engineered Camry) of the PC market.

Re:Nice to See Macs are Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921149)

What the fuck? Yeah, essentially the same thing except not at all. You might argue that hardware without software is still a computer, but that's not what these numbers are reporting on. The product Apple delivers is vastly different from every other vendor here.

Re:Nice to See Macs are Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921213)

No. No it's not. Keep telling yourself that. You're defending that world view because if it's true, it takes the specialness out of that Mac you purchased, plus it makes you look like a fool who paid too much for your Mac. Which you are because it's true.

Re:Nice to See Macs are Up (1)

gtall (79522) | about 7 months ago | (#45921257)

Not really, software counts. I use Macs because of the interfaces and I expect most others do as well. If you Linux (with whatever interface manager you like) or Windows floats your boat fine, but I just find them irritating. Some find MacOS's interface irritating.

And Apple makes sure all the pieces work together. You must hope your Linux installation doesn't leave you groping for drivers. Windows has its share of crappy horses to ride, never liked the spit and polish on any of them.

Custom Builds (5, Interesting)

Koby77 (992785) | about 7 months ago | (#45920829)

How many brand PC units were replaced by custom built PCs?

Re:Custom Builds (3, Interesting)

Godkills (1205638) | about 7 months ago | (#45920927)

Custom built PCs are a niche market. I highly doubt they would have anything near a 10% impact on the entire PC market.

Re:Custom Builds (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921135)

Why not. It's an exponential market.

After friends/relatives/neighbors wanted me to work on their pos dell/gateway/emachines/sony.. I talked most of them into building one for their next upgrade instead of going back to shit companys who won't support you anyway unless you pay. alot.

Most of them went for the custom machine easy. Half the price. Better preformance. No crapware on top. And if i have to 'support' them. I don't want to do it for shitty machines. I built more than a few of them for people too. $50.. an hour of my time picking parts. an hour assembling and installing windows. $25 an hour for something i enjoy doing. Everyones happy and it ends up alot less work and downtime/problems for everyone in the future.

And they go out and tell other people to get away from the name brand overpriced paying for a name machines. And it just keeps growing.

I can easily see it being 10% of computers now. Maybe even 20%. Someones keeping newegg in business and growing.

Re:Custom Builds (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 7 months ago | (#45920945)

One in my house last year.

Re:Custom Builds (1, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 7 months ago | (#45921015)

How many brand PC units were replaced by custom built PCs?

There's very little incentive to create a "custom" PC any more. Very powerful machines can be gotten refurbished for less than $300. My guess would be that custom PC's are less than 1% of the entire PC market.

Re:Custom Builds (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 7 months ago | (#45921167)

people are not replacing there pcs that's the point there running the same hardware for years and years now rather then buy a new one every year.

Re:Custom Builds (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#45921241)

I replaced my motherboard, processor, and RAM... does that count?

I'm not worried... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920855)

The general public and most end users have never needed the power of the PC in the first place. With the advent of throwaway tablet trash, the herd has finally found the correct fit.

Re:I'm not worried... (0)

genghisjahn (1344927) | about 7 months ago | (#45920955)

I agree, only with a tad less snark. But you are right, most people do not need the full power of the PC. Email, Web, streaming video. If a device does those three things then what else do you need? What's that? It makes calls too? One less device to buy. Heck, most people don't use the full power of their phone.

Re:I'm not worried... (1)

substance2003 (665358) | about 7 months ago | (#45921181)

I'll second that one.

I'm thinking the processing power requirements to do what an average user needed was pretty much what a PC from the earlier millennium offered and arguably earlier than that. Tablets sold today offer something that would be about equal or greater to that and are cheaper, smaller, portable and less complicated as well. Most of these people buying a PC never were really interested in them. They just wanted to do as you mentioned before. Email, web browsing, video streaming (well that one was not available back then like now) and some other rudimentary things.

I don't see why this was unexpected (4, Interesting)

zippo01 (688802) | about 7 months ago | (#45920865)

This just isn't news to me. There is a large percentage of people that don't really need a PC todo what they do. play online, email, Social media, shop, pictuers, etc.... Until a few years ago the PC was the only way todo this so, they bought a PC. They bought an item that designed todo work and tweeked for home use, so it was overly complex for most. Along came the smart phone and tablet. Small, portable, works, it's SIMPLE and does everything they want/need it todo. Couple that with the slowing of PC speeds advances and new techknology, it is no wornder PC sales are down. They will continue to go down until they reach their new equilibrium.

Re:I don't see why this was unexpected (1)

thoughtlover (83833) | about 7 months ago | (#45921013)

This just isn't news to me. There is a large percentage of people that don't really need a PC todo what they do. play online, email, Social media, shop, pictuers, etc.... Until a few years ago the PC was the only way todo this so, they bought a PC. They bought an item that designed todo work and tweeked for home use, so it was overly complex for most. Along came the smart phone and tablet. Small, portable, works, it's SIMPLE and does everything they want/need it todo. Couple that with the slowing of PC speeds advances and new techknology, it is no wornder PC sales are down. They will continue to go down until they reach their new equilibrium.

Not to be snide, but you sure have a lot to say about a 'no news' story.

Re:I don't see why this was unexpected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921169)

What percent of PC's were brought only for content consumption? I'd wager 33%. The decline still has a long way to go.

What has surprised me is the slowness in companies making small embedded pcs. Mac mini was in its own world for years, only now are we starting to see intel and others release their tiny pcs.

So? (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 7 months ago | (#45920875)

I don't think may homes are going PC-less, they're simply realizing they probably only need one or two instead of four. Also, why is Apple excluded from these numbers? They sell PCs that happen to also run OSX in addition to other OSes.

Re:So? (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 7 months ago | (#45920905)

Just ignore me. I see Apple failed to place worldwide, but shows up on the US numbers.

Re:So? (1)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45920943)

yep
i remember when multi PC families started popping up. today you only need once per family and the rest are smartphones and tablets
the PC makers missed the boat

expect apple to come out with a cheapo laptop (1)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45920877)

my prediction for 2014 to 2016
apple comes out with a somewhat cheap A7 powered laptop in the $300 to $500 range sort of like a chromebook

most of the cost of a computer goes to intel and MS. once you trade those out for cheaper parts you can make yourself it fairly easy to make a nice profit

as long as it has a 500GB hard drive, its enough for close to 90% of the people out there

Re:expect apple to come out with a cheapo laptop (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45921047)

I'm sorry, I'm trying to wrap my brain around "apple" and "cheap" in the same sentence.

Re:expect apple to come out with a cheapo laptop (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 7 months ago | (#45921099)

my prediction for 2014 to 2016
apple comes out with a somewhat cheap A7 powered laptop in the $300 to $500 range sort of like a chromebook

most of the cost of a computer goes to intel and MS. once you trade those out for cheaper parts you can make yourself it fairly easy to make a nice profit

as long as it has a 500GB hard drive, its enough for close to 90% of the people out there

I'd be very surprised if this happened, for two reasons: (1) there's really no reason to buy a laptop with the same processing power as a tablet and (2), even if there were, Apple has nothing to gain by offering one. They are already growing their market share at premium prices.

Re:expect apple to come out with a cheapo laptop (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#45921121)

I'd be very surprised if this happened, for two reasons: (1) there's really no reason to buy a laptop with the same processing power as a tablet and (2), even if there were, Apple has nothing to gain by offering one. They are already growing their market share at premium prices.

True. One of the other consequences of Window 8 is that I'm seeing more people I know who do buy laptops and desktops buy Macs instead of Windows.

Re:expect apple to come out with a cheapo laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921139)

source for "90%" ? Generally, such statistics (90%, 99%, and my favorite: 99.99%) are made-up.

Anyone surpised by this? (1)

weatherbug (680008) | about 7 months ago | (#45920883)

Economic calamity notwithstanding, tablets and phones give most people more than enough power to do what they need.

Hear that, Microsoft? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920901)

All you need to do is slap the UI of XP on Windows 8 and kill the tile interface for desktops: Massive sales in 4 months.

Re:Hear that, Microsoft? (1)

a1cypher (619776) | about 7 months ago | (#45921131)

Didnt they do that already with 8.1? You can now boot directly to the desktop and they even put back the start menu.
http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57591261-285/how-to-boot-directly-to-the-desktop-in-windows-8.1/ [cnet.com]

I'm likely getting a new machine for work and am very much considering Windows 8.1 with the direct to desktop mod.

Re:Hear that, Microsoft? (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#45921171)

Didnt they do that already with 8.1? You can now boot directly to the desktop and they even put back the start menu.

Unless I'm much mistaken, they just added a 'Start' button that takes you to the steaming pile of tile crapola that everyone hates.

Looks at calendar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920909)

Windows 8 general release Oct 2012... pc sales downward trend... any possible relation?

Window 8 (5, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#45920915)

Wasn't Window 8 released about seven quarters ago?

Re:Window 8 (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45921055)

Wasn't Window 8 released about seven quarters ago?

Utter coincidence. Nothing to see here. Move along, now.

The PC is Dead! Long live the PC! (4, Interesting)

cogeek (2425448) | about 7 months ago | (#45920929)

This is no shock. They've been proclaiming the death of the PC for 15 years or better and the laptop for the last 5 or so. Tablets are cheap, they perform all of the functions the average user needs (browsing, email) But sit down and try to type a novel on a tablet. Or do any sort of CADD work. Programming, 3D modelling, animation, it's not going to happen on a tablet. And 3-4 years from now when everyone's tablet batteries start failing and people realize they have to throw them away and buy another, we'll see the laptop and PC coming back stronger, but it probably won't ever reach the levels it was once at. Doesn't mean it's going away, just the market balancing itself.

what's a "pee sea", grandpa?! (0)

Thud457 (234763) | about 7 months ago | (#45921039)

The year of Linux on the desktop!

Re:what's a "pee sea", grandpa?! (1)

cogeek (2425448) | about 7 months ago | (#45921105)

Umm, ok... what are you running Linux on? A mainframe? I run Linux at home, but it's on a PC... (FYI, PC is not equal to Windows)

Re:The PC is Dead! Long live the PC! (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 7 months ago | (#45921219)

will the pc market die no people will run them until they no longer work/so slow cant preform basics and that can take many years. its the same for laptops with tablets and phones taking the mobile market long battery life basic task. but they cant replace the raw power of a hi end gaming laptop.

Tablet computing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920935)

Why buy a PC when you can buy an iPad or and Android tablet ?
What can be done on a desktop or laptop PC that can't be done on a tablet ?
I just miss using my scanner and burning CDs, but nowadays let's be honest, we don't scan or burn CD that often..

Re:Tablet computing (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#45920973)

Why buy a PC when you can buy an iPad or and Android tablet ?

Because the tablet is slow and clunky and Google (and possibly Apple) are tracking your every move? I left my laptop at home last time I traveled and took the tablet instead, but I went back to the laptop (and the desktop for anything CPU or graphics intensive) as soon as I returned home.

What can be done on a desktop or laptop PC that can't be done on a tablet ?

You can do word processing on a tablet, but it's god-awfully painful compared to a desktop or laptop. Even emails are clunky if you're sending more than two lines.

Re:Tablet computing (0)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45921059)

Pages on ipad is not slow and painful. not even on my ipad 2

only if you're one of the crazy people who are doing everything in the browser

Re:Tablet computing (1, Informative)

m00sh (2538182) | about 7 months ago | (#45921083)

Because the tablet is slow and clunky and Google (and possibly Apple) are tracking your every move? I left my laptop at home last time I traveled and took the tablet instead, but I went back to the laptop (and the desktop for anything CPU or graphics intensive) as soon as I returned home.

Most PCs come with spyware installed.

You can do word processing on a tablet, but it's god-awfully painful compared to a desktop or laptop. Even emails are clunky if you're sending more than two lines.

It is difficult to use a PC/laptop on anything other than a desk and chair.

Re:Tablet computing (2)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 7 months ago | (#45921129)

Why buy a PC when you can buy an iPad or and Android tablet ?

Because the tablet is slow and clunky and Google (and possibly Apple) are tracking your every move? I left my laptop at home last time I traveled and took the tablet instead, but I went back to the laptop (and the desktop for anything CPU or graphics intensive) as soon as I returned home.

What can be done on a desktop or laptop PC that can't be done on a tablet ?

You can do word processing on a tablet, but it's god-awfully painful compared to a desktop or laptop. Even emails are clunky if you're sending more than two lines.

Apple and Microsoft are tracking quite a lot more on their desktop platforms now, too.
A tablet with a keyboard and external monitor is indistinguishable from a desktop for most user tasks.

Re:Tablet computing (1)

michaelwigle (822387) | about 7 months ago | (#45921183)

I feel the same way as far as not liking to do any "real" work on a tablet such as word processing, long e-mails, etc. However, I've been noticing more of my co-workers and other folks lately on their PCs and realizing that they are as slow on a regular keyboard as they are on a tablet when it comes to typing. So, this may actually be a non-issue for a larger portion of the population than I originally thought. Kids are coming out of school with good mouse skills but still having lousy typing skills (at least around here that I have noticed)

Re:Tablet computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921237)

Why buy a PC when you can buy a PC ?
What can be done on a desktop or laptop PC that can't be done on a tablet PC ?
I just miss using my scanner and burning CDs, but nowadays let's be honest, we don't scan or burn CD that often..

Tablets are PCs

Not news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45920983)

The computing market has been divided between Desktops, Laptops, Tablets, and Phones.

What did you think would happen to PC sales?

How are they measuring this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921003)

Prefab PCs manufactured? Core PC component sales? Retail PC sales?

Build your own (4, Informative)

Sandman1971 (516283) | about 7 months ago | (#45921021)

Now I'm only going by my circle of friends, family and acquaintances so this might be a small anomaly but...

It appears that not only is tablet use displacing having a 2nd or 3rd PC, it is more importantly replacing the laptop (name brand). When buying a desktop, the people in my circle have been moving away from buying the Dells and Compaqs and other name brands and have either been building their owns or buying the local PC shop pre-mades, Numbers that wouldn't show up in these reports.

  As others have mentioned, today's desktop PCs also tend to last longer as they are still very powerful 3-4 years later.

Mix all of these together and it's no surprise

Re:Build your own (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45921077)

Makes me wonder if (full size) tablet growth will eventually be eroded by phablets. The advantage of the latter being that it's something you always have on you, unlike a PC, or a laptop, or even a tablet.

Re:Build your own (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 7 months ago | (#45921189)

My Galaxy S2 obsoleted my tablet before I bought it. I got the tablet and after a week I stopped using it because my phone effectively IS a tablet and runs all of the same apps, plus it's insanely convenient. I sold the tablet to someone else.

Second that, partially. (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 7 months ago | (#45921187)

My main PC is a 2.5-year-old Fujitsu Siemens workstation with an 8-core Xeon and 4 hdds in it. It will prolly run fine for another 3 years.

As for building your own: at work, I recently proposed we build our own server, for a certain project - at a cost of about € 4000 - rather than buying a COTS Dell box for about € 10,000. The proposal was met with enthusiasm by colleagues, only died because of archaic in-house regulations. The PC is not dead, in spite of what is being heard each year again. It is changing. That's all.

My Quad Core is over 6 years old... (4, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | about 7 months ago | (#45921123)

...and still running just fine. Very little is happening on the PC market (except graphics card wise), I just couldn't justify upgrading to an i7 gaming platform that in Scandinavia cost around 2500$. It only had 16 gig memory, whereas my old one got 8 gig. The only thing I did to my "old" quad core pc, was to add a brand new Nvidia 760GTX, and basically every game ran smooth as ever. Even my 3D design software (which uses GPU rendering anyway) ran fantastic with this upgrade. So yeah, if more people do what I just did (which I suspect they do), there's part of your decline in sales right there - the new computers just aren't innovative enough to justify spending hard earned cash on them.

Have you seen the PCs they're selling these days? (5, Interesting)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 7 months ago | (#45921157)

Everyone will say "no sense replacing what works" and I agree. Let's look at what one would be able to buy now, though, and why people wouldn't buy it.

On the low end of the price spectrum, you have Chromebooks (yuck, puke, no one sane buys these unless they put Linux on it instead), Celerons, and AMD E2 and A4 processors; none of those are even remotely fast. Moving up in price, you see a lot of AMD APUs and Intel Core i3-M systems. I've owned two fairly new laptops recently, one with an AMD A8-4500M ($400) and one with an Intel Core i7-2630QM ($830). The i7 was disappointing (it's a freaking i7, it should absolutely blaze) and only more so because for tasks that are not heavy in the data processing side of things (i.e. data/video compression, software compilation) the A8 seemed to move much faster than the i7 with identical Windows 7 images. Unfortunately, someone at AMD had the stupid idea of making the L1 instruction caches a pitiful 16KB in size and that makes data-heavy tasks run like dog poo.

On the higher side of things, you find ridiculous and exotic offerings like the Yoga 2 Pro with a 13.3" LCD that has a 3200x1800 resolution (hint: you can't read anything at all unless you squint) and it comes with a low-performance ULV version of a mobile (read: already low-performance without being ULV) Core i5 and a nice low-performance Intel GPU, and all versions of this insane hardware combination are around the $1000 mark. I also firmly believe that while there is a market for "ultrabooks," the majority of people out there are wasting their money on "convertible laptops" and having touchscreens for Windows 8. It's a neat shiny new feature that ends up only being useful in niche situations and otherwise was no different than wrapping $400 up and chucking it in the rubbish bin.

Why would anyone buy a new laptop when they are so ridiculous? If you're penny-pinching, you get a machine with tons of RAM, hard drive space, and maybe even USB 3.0, but the CPU is slow beyond belief and the whole system suffers. Dropping a few hundred more bucks might get you into i7 territory but even the i7 up to Sandy Bridge is, in my experience, not much better than equivalent higher-end chips in laptops made four years ago. Why blow $1000 on a really nice new laptop when they're either not much better than what you already own or they're an expensive high-resolution joke of a machine? No thanks; I'll wait until they sweeten the pot some more. (And until the convertibles fad goes to hell.)

Article gets term wrong so statistics are wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45921203)

Last I checked tablets and smartphones are still selling like crazy and both are PCs.

6.9%? (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 7 months ago | (#45921229)

6.9% decline in the past quarter? I swear, when I started reading the article after this punchy headline, I was expecting 69%,

Here's the deal: computers nowadays are pretty fast, in combination with processor speeds didn't increase by much. In fact, I used to replace my laptop every year, because it was worth it for the extra speed. But my 1 year old i7 laptop is still going super strong, and an upgrade would only net a small speed increase. The only thing I would get is more battery life, but then I already get 6+ hours. Other than the compiler, not many applications take advantage of the 8 threads it can chug at the same time either.

So guess what? I'll keep it for another year.

When looked at this way, 6.9% is actually not that bad at all.

resume 2005 levels (1)

doas777 (1138627) | about 7 months ago | (#45921233)

in 2004, most people didn't need a PC, and one unit would service 5 or more people. then there came facebook and services like it, and with it, PC sales soared. people only used them to consume content however, so for the most part, a general purpose PC was more machine than they needed.

Now that we have Smartphones, and tablets, and internet connected TVs, and all manner of other cheap devices for consumption, only the content creators need full PCs.

The desktop isn't going away, but the inflated market must shrink back to its previous levels before the sales numbers will stop falling.

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